“Be there.” That was the main offering from my first-year journalism professor, Allan Thompson. To be successful in the media landscape you have to be there - whether that means that you are physically where the story is, or whether you are in tune with what's next. Now, while this is advice he gives to all first-years during orientation and has become somewhat of a meme in the program, it is advice that I take seriously.
This is how I interpret it: you need to know where new and traditional media are going, you need to pay attention, and you must be ready to use these mediums to the best of your abilities.
For the most part, I have been working on the side of the journalist. I've sifted through social media or press release sites and took note of my surroundings in hopes of finding my latest story. I allowed the bright light of my computer to burn into my eyes while I researched all possible sources, angles and information on the subject of my piece. I've made phone calls and sent out emails in hopes of nailing down big names by being persistent with assistants or public relations officers.
Then, of course, there are the more stereotypical aspects of a journalist’s job: the interviewing, taking audio and videos, the sitting down and building the story, the relentless editing, and the meeting of your deadline.
However, I believe that these skills are easily transferable to public relations and advertising: they both include researching, communicating, and storytelling. Both involve being in the trenches of social media, newspapers, and out-of-home pieces to see what opportunities can be seized. Both involve talking on the phone, emailing up a storm, and trying your best to connect with people so whatever narrative you choose to follow can be as clear, concise and interesting as possible.
On this website, I have included journalism samples of what I consider to be some of my strongest work. These include a piece published in the Ottawa Citizen that began with a question: why do our Supreme Court Justices wear clothing similar to a famous man that delivers presents over the Holidays? I've also included two pieces published in Carleton's own publication, Capital Current. These offerings include a podcast I helped create called "Scrappy Meal", which covers a McDonald’s in Ottawa known for it’s surreal experiences varying from raccoon appearances to threats on people’s lives - including on my own as I attempted to eat a Snack Wrap. There's also a historical piece on one of Ottawa’s neighbourhood’s, Vanier, and how locals went about celebrating its 50th anniversary. I’ve also included previously unpublished longform work that I put a lot of emotion and a lot of tears into.
For my public relations samples, I've included posts where I was thrilled with their engagement, and pieces that I led the writing on I am most proud of.
Check them all out!