What You May Not Learn In College (Part One)
1 – Regardless of where you land your first writing job, chances are you will work an exorbitant number of hours for a less than desirable salary.
Below are the results of a poll on freelance income published in Freelance WorkExchange News: Market Bulletin FREELANCE SURVEY.
Thanks to the hundreds of you who took part in last week’s poll on freelance income. We asked you how much you earned from freelancing in a year. The results were as follows:
More than $100,000 12%
It seems that many of you are still freelancing part-time, or working at building up your business. However, a healthy 30% of you make over $50,000 a year, with a good percentage reaching six figures.
So the potential in the market is clearly excellent. We’ll be working hard to move many more of you into the $100,000 bracket in the months ahead.
See the following sites for more information about salary surveys and industry trends:
Association of Research Libraries – Annual Salary Survey
2 – If you get hired as a reporter for almost any daily and/or many weekly newspapers, you will probably have to cover municipal government and/or local school board meetings.
These “official” weekly/monthly gatherings usually occur in the evening and each session may last from an hour to more than four hours.
You may find yourself bored to tears at times. You may also feel confused by what transpires at these meetings until you become more familiar with the agendas, personalities and practices of each individual group.
You will learn “on the job” how to identify which issues are important and what their technical terms mean in plain English.
However, your editor(s) are probably going to expect you to immediately understand much more than you do.
To keep your bosses happy and make your job more interesting, do not be afraid to ask questions at these meetings.
Once you establish contacts within each group, you will probably find it beneficial to take the time to call them before the meetings to find out what is on the agenda and/or which issues they feel will be “newsworthy.”
It’s not a bad idea to stick around after the meetings (deadlines permitting) and talk to the officials to clarify anything you did not understand and/or talk to the audience members to get their comments on the meeting.
Remember it’s better to have too much information than not enough.
3 – If you pursue a career as a public relations writer, you may be initially surprised by the lack of media response generated by your press releases.It can be difficult to attract attention to your cause or company’s announcement.
When you’re starting out in PR. Sometimes no matter how well your write a release and/or how important – exciting – “newsworthy” – the information is, you will not get the attention of the media until they get to know you…
You have to “break into” your targeted markets by establishing contacts and developing relationships with editors/producers/reporters etc…
DO NOT give up too quickly. Persistence usually pays off in this game.
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