I’m not a journalist.
At least, I’m not a journalist by the traditional definition. I don’t write for a newspaper or anchor for the evening news.
Instead, I’m a content marketer. I write about different things, much like a journalist would, like business, influential people, and restaurants. I might not report on big news stories, or always call sources, but I do tell stories. I help people learn things to be better in their working lives.
My Alternative Career as a Journalist
Although I’m not a journalist, I have a graduate degree in journalism. Since I started working at Clique, I’ve learned that the skills of a journalist are the same skills you need to be successful here.
A journalism degree connects to each of our values.
Value #1: Build something
Journalism is about stories. Journalists find a story, report on it, develop relationships with sources, and create a variety of media, like newspaper articles and videos, to tell that story. The story that journalists tell informs a community.
It might take years for a journalist to put together a TV news segment that sheds light on an unresolved issue. For another journalist, it might take three hours to write about the local art fair. Both journalists, in this case, have built something.
Much like journalists, at Clique we build great things. We make organizations a little better, or sometimes, we fundamentally change the industries we work in. A person who works at Clique tells stories through design, content writing, marketing, engineering, or through relationships with clients and communities.
Value #2: Be a student and a teacher
Journalists are curious. Journalists are committed to lifelong learning and doing their best possible work.
At Clique, we are also curious and committed to lifelong learning. Everyone on our team puts in their best possible effort in everything we do.
We work with organizations across industries, including education, finance, and non-profits. Much like a journalist, we are interested in learning about so many different things. Before we can help our clients, we first learn and understand their stories and industries. We learn how a non-profit dedicated to childhood development is educating parents to help improve children’s lives, or how a data science company is helping brands get a complete understanding of their customers.
When we’re not working with clients, we learn things we’re curious about. Whether we read a book about city planning, or a go to a workshop about data analytics, we open our minds to learning new things.
When we learn something, we don’t keep it to ourselves. We teach it to clients, to each other, and to the public—much like a journalist would report on what she knows for a public audience. For example, we taught ourselves all about accessibility; then one of our content strategists, Natalie Gotko, wrote an introduction to accessibility to teach anyone who wants to learn what accessibility is all about.
We also learn how to get better at our own crafts, every day. Whether it’s writing, design, development, or marketing, we are constantly trying to learn how we can improve and do good work that matters. A journalist wants to makes an impact with their work, too.
Value #3: Make somebody’s job easier
When journalists are in a newsroom, they help each other out. They ask each other for advice, they support each other, and they make each other’s jobs easier. Reporters might discuss a topic out loud with another reporter to figure out how to write better, or ask for advice on where to get more information.
In journalism school, I learned how to edit, which allowed me to help make my classmates’ assignments easier.
Our team at Clique offers help and asks for it. We talk things out. We arm our colleagues with the tools they need to be successful. We make it easier for one another to do our jobs – and do them well.