Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Everyone has a story

I was watching the news this morning with my kids, when my five year old asked me, "If there's nothing happening, do they just make up the news?" So I talked to him about how if nothing is happening anywhere in the world, the news people will just tell good stories. Everyone has a story to tell, I said.

Now my son, being five, said "What's my story?", and then I spent the next ten minutes making fake news reports about each member of my family: My five year old's story was about the trend of his daycare situation (he's in two different programs because as a January baby, he's too old for the 3-5 year-old program but too young for kindergarten); My seven year old's story is about his prowess at such a young age as an indoor rock climber; My husband about how obsessed he is with neat and orderly that he mowed the neighbor's lawn.

Later this morning I got to thinking about how true it is that everyone has a news story in them, even if it's just a profile or interesting angle about their lives. I had lunch yesterday with a journalist friend, and when the subject came around to my career questing, I asked her if she thinks about leaving journalism to join 'the dark side" and work in public relations, a move many, many of us PR types have made. Her answer was that she wasn't ready to give up reporting yet, because there are too many great stories out there to tell.

I've worked in PR for most of my career, but from time to time I do take journalism work, just to keep my hand in. And while it never pays well, and is never glamorous stuff (my last assignment was a profile of a machining shop, for example), it's fun to find the story in every person, company or situation.

I guess that's what I do in PR as well. I help clients find their stories, tell their stories, and get their stories told by the media and their customers. And I do it well, I think. It's one of my favourite parts about my work. I should remember that when the time comes to make any career changes.

What's your story?

1 comment:

GenXpert said...

I also used to be a journalist. I am now doing marketing for an international association. The interesting thing about journalism, it isn't always the best place for writers. My current job has actually brought me back to writing. Often, the journalism world is about getting the scoop and not writing the story. That is clear in the US media. Not sure if you are seeing the same thing un north.