Learn marketing strategies now, or face tighter job market unarmed

by Shawn Smith on October 29, 2007

Shine your shoes and update your resumes, Forbes ranks journalist as one of the “worst jobs for the 21st Century.”

The magazine reports that “the number of reporting positions is expected to grow by just 5 percent in the coming decade, the Labor Department says. Most jobs will be in small (read: low-paying) markets.”

Online Marketing guru Steve Rubel isn’t sure of how journalists will fare:

I don’t believe that the industry is progressing fast enough when it comes to embracing the digital age so there feels like there is some big disconnect here.

I met Rubel at the Online News Association conference and wish more editorialites had the chance to meet him. In the online age, the lines between promotion and content production is becoming more and more blurred. Creating content only goes so far these days. To be heard, journalists also need to know how to market their content.

Journalists and web producers need to think beyond their skill set of content production. In the coming years, producers will be asked how they can promote a story through Twitter and StumbleUpon and other social sites, much like how recruiters require photogs to have video skills now.

What can journalists do?

  1. Pick up copies of The New Influencers and The New Rules of Marketing and PR
  2. Read Rubel and others
  3. Learn the Long Tail theory
  4. Try out social marketing strategies, make mistakes, learn from them and try again

What do you think? In a slimming job market, what else can journalists do to make sure they can keep paying the bills?