As the digital age has forced publishers to reassess how it does business, the media industry has been enduring a rough transformation over the past decade. For those of us who graduated from universities in that time, it’s come with a mixture of opportunity and apprehension.
Traditional storytelling techniques have not been replaced as the platforms have changed; rather, it’s become even more essential to master the art of storytelling as it now turns up more widely in other areas such as advertising and marketing. There’s always been a strong relationship between media and marketing, and in recent years as more writers and editors have become marketers and entrepreneurs, the two industries have become that much more closely entwined.
Blogging and social media skills are par for the course for anyone in any field of communications these days.
Looking for a way in recent years to separate myself from others who were vying for the same positions and freelance work I coveted, I learned the basics to FinalCutPro and how to succinctly shape a story through video. At the time, video was emerging as a new, interactive way for advertisers to get out word about their campaigns. To achieve that, though, publishers had to conceive of content to lure in top brands.
I didn’t anticipate at the time just how big, and vital, video would become over the years that followed. For my purposes, video was another way to take conventional principles and to apply them elsewhere. I monitored the day’s news via video, looking for headlines to share, in the same fashion I would for print. Instead of churning out blog posts of 150 words apiece, I was producing short clips for people to watch, share, and enjoy. By taking on new responsibilities, via a new set of skills, I discovered just how valuable I could be inside a newsroom.
I didn’t know it then, but, at that impasse, I’d taken my career in the right direction.
At Shutterstock, where I currently manage blogger outreach and online partnerships, we’ve made a heavier push in recent years to build our collection of stock video clips. To help promote that side of our business, we’ve pursued more content marketing and partnerships that showcases the various ways video can be used to tell a story. Since I have experience firsthand working with some of the necessary programs, I have found it easier to communicate with our footage team about conceiving new features, developing content, and planning for the future.
In every line of business, we all want to know as much as we can, as fast as possible. For many of the things we hope to supervise, due to time restraints, we have to either hire people to run or defer to others. Yet, you can’t underestimate the importance of knowing the ins and outs of the programs and systems that you’re administering. After all, many of the great editors were once unproven writers. They labored over edits to make their stories better. Having been through that, they wind up being better when it’s time to move to the other side of operations.
Learning video skills worked for me and has paid off in ways I couldn’t have predicted. What skills will you take on now as a form of investment in your professional career?
Danny Groner is the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Shutterstock.
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