my break up with the news

This post may not seem especially relevant to a lot of folks, but to those who can appreciate it, this is for you.

I’ve worked in communications and public relations for a number of years. My areas of alleged expertise have ranged from flash floods to underage drinking to copper mining and kitty litter. Through it all, I’ve had the tumultuous pleasure of working with the news media. I’ve been subjected to on-camera interviews, quoted in a load of publications and done my fair share of radio commentary. I’ve even been quoted talking about dog poop (if you’re curious, I’ll show you).

I must admit that although this line of work once seemed glamorous, the rose colored glasses came off the first time a reporter called me honey and asked for a cup of coffee at a 4 a.m. shoot.

My experiences in this arena taught me a ton. I learned a lot of lessons (mostly the hard way) and really learned the meaning of not saying anything at all if I had nothing nice to say.

As a survival tactic, I made a personal decision to give up watching local news last year. Too mind numbing. We officially broke up in late 2009 and things have been touchy ever since. I occasionally flirt with the Today Show but it’s nothing serious.

But…my reason for reflecting on this is that I recently started a job where my focus has switched to internal communication as opposed to external. That’s right. I talk to employees, no more media.

It was a dramatic switch to no longer be on-call 24 hours a day, but so far I feel I’m adjusting quite well. Part of me misses the drama and the laughs, but for now, I’m relishing my reprieve. I also have the pleasure of sitting next to our external affairs department. Any time I feel too forlorn I can listen to one of their calls and be shocked back to sanity.

I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had for anything, and am pretty darn grateful for the knowledge. But just when I feel myself getting nostalgic, I see headlines like the ones below that remind it’s good to have some distance…

2 women charged in kindergarten graduation brawl

Really?

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3 thoughts on “my break up with the news

  1. I joined that club several years ago. Poor news judgment, shallow reporting, shameless self-promotion and incompetent reporters were just a few of the reasons.

    My best working-with-the-media moment: A local TV reporter and her camera person both got into the small, glass revolving door at our corporate office as I was waiting inside to be interviewed. Unfortunately, the camera person had her camera and tripod with her and the two of them could barely maneuver. Very funny. Second best: one of the local stations sent its satellite van and reporter out to do a story where some of our linemen were working. As they telescoped the satellite into the air, they put it right into the high-voltage power lines, toasting the satellite and the vehicle. That didn’t make the news…

  2. What have I been telling you?!

    My amazing colleague, you have a gift with PR. I wish I had your talent. But, I have to say that Internal Comm is where my heart is at. It’s deeply satisfying to see communication make a difference for a company, and using the power of words to inspire hearts and minds.

    You’re in for an awesome experience, and I know your writing panache will bring you great success as it has so far.

    Enjoy. 🙂

    Now break up with TV, you’ll be amazed.

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