‘All About Allison’ by Rachel Hills
These days journalism students are told that they need to develop their own ‘brand’. Opportunities for full time journalism positions are shrinking and many graduates face a future as freelancers. Selling a brand, it is suggested, is much easier than selling you. For the modern journalist the business of building a brand is often carried out using social media.
In this article, which appeared in the August/September 2008 edition of The Walkley Magazine, Hills looks at the importance of managing your online persona. She uses the example of New York dating columnist, blogger and self-confessed ‘publicity whore’ Julia Allison, a woman who once said, ‘Ultimately you are replaceable if you are not a brand’.
Hills examines the issues that have arisen from Allison’s brand building, over-sharing, multimedia efforts. While Allison may already have had some profile, given her profession, Hills argues that the internet has ‘ripped the public sphere open’. You no longer need to be famous in the traditional sense of the word to be sharing the minutiae of your life with the world.
It is the tension between brand building and over-sharing that journalists need to manage. Social networking is an excellent tool for journalists to connect with their audience but they are always only an inappropriate comment away from potential disaster.
Read more articles by Rachel Hills here.
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