Branding on the Web 101 for Working Journalists

savingsChicago journalists, join me for a conversation about practical ways to move your journalism career online by building a personal brand and using the social Web.
The first step to getting found on the Web is knowing who you are and what you have to offer that is unique to you. These days, this expression of our identity, this knowing who you are, is called our “personal brand.” It’s basically how the world experiences us. Visit our event page on Facebook. 

About Working Journalists

Working Journalists is a start up by the Chicago Newspaper Guild. Membership is Continue reading

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The future of news is a rainbow

Here’s a link to a WTTW clip from March 2009. Yeah – it’s almost five years old. In it, I, Owen Youngman, the Knight chair at Medill, and Geoff Dougherty, then the founder of Chi-Town Daily News, discuss the future of news. Owen is still teaching at Medill and is busy doing what tenured professors do – teaching, researching and advancing knowledge in his area of expertise. It looks like Geoff is successfully pivoting  into the world of science. His linked in says, “I’m a social epidemiologist and PhD student in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins, with research interests in neighborhood-level determinants of cardiovascular disease, systems- and agent-based modeling and application of GIS to public health questions.”

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Shop Local Chicago 2014

IMG_2815Shop Local Chicago is gaining steam so I am reposting special events here with an active link for Unwrap Chicago this holiday season in support. Here’s a post I wrote in 2011 about the Buy Local movement and not much has changed except we need our local businesses more than ever and I share local information every day through my @ChiNeighbors Twitter feed and Chicago Community Showcase Facebook page.  This Continue reading

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Your network is your life — Part 1

The way we appear to the world is an expression of our identity that some call our “personal brand.” Our brand is how the world experiences us. IMG_3136When we show up for a job interview it’s important that we present ourselves in a professional, appropriate manner. The same is true of our online identity. If we don’t show people who we are by what we say and do, they’ll make up a story about who we seem to be – that story could be way off from who you are.

The story of you

Both online and in real life, its important to express positive universal values while telling the true story of who you are. This is especially true online because your online presence will create a global  impression that can last for a very long time.

In my first session talking with soon-to-be  health care grads of Rush University here in Chicago, I discussed the concept of personal branding. A simple approach to this is to choose one word that expresses a trait that tells the world something important and positive about you. Because graduates in  health care  have very specific knowledge and use particular technologies, keywords in a resume or LinkedIn profile tend to be identifiable and universal. Although you want to make sure that you capture the correct keywords, an added way to stand out is to deeply understand your values and  choose a word that embodies what you admire and aspire to professionally.

This will take some reflection and self exploration. In your professional life, remember your word, whatever it is, be it “compassionate,” “efficient,” “friendly” or all three and adhere to its standards as best you can as you go through your every day life.

Our brand is how the world experiences us.

Just as Starbucks IS good coffee. You ARE what you ARE to people.  This has everything to do with the impression you leave people with. It is deeper than image. It emerges from your core. To understand the story of you, explore these “W’s.”

Who are you as you know you?  What happened to bring you to this work — it can involve professional and personal inspiration. Where are you from and how did that affect your choices? What do you most look forward to experiencing in your new work?

The answers you come up with are unique to you. Understanding that story  has nothing to do with being phony or deceitful and everything to do with knowing your strengths and working to them.

In recently considering my personal branding word, I asked a friend. She said “I see you as an Illuminator.” I liked that. So here’s my draft story of Sally as the Illuminator.

“I’m an illuminator. All of my life, my curiosity has taken me behind the scenes to learn and more deeply understand how things work. I am also drawn to understand solutions so that I can be part of making the world a better place. My findings often feel golden to me, so I am greatly motivated to share my happy discoveries with the world. I share through writings, photographs and multimedia. As important, I learn and share perspectives and insights through personal meetings.”

Once you’ve found your word or words, it’s time to combine that with your resume and create a  branded profile online and use it for building your career. The first step is to understand and build your network. For this, I favor LinkedIn. As your network of professionals, it is the hub in a wheel of your career search. In my next post, I’ll explore how to use Linked In.

Useful Links about online privacy
An article from Wired about LinkedIn’s recruiter program
How online social behavior can work against your career
Links from the Wall Street Journal on online privacy.
Nothing is private online, especially messaging apps.

Learn more about personal branding
Google “personal branding”
The brand called you by Tom Peters
Career Distinction
Build your own life brand by Stedman Graham
Promote Yourself by Dan Shawbel

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Social network privacy is selling point for NextDoor

NextDoor is the new kid on the social network block and I’m betting that they’ve intensely studied existing social networks to pick up what works and throw out what doesn’t so they can hit critical mass quickly and gather up the laggards who have been holding back from getting social on the Internet.

NextDoor hopes to do this by tapping into the power of “the neighborhood.”

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My historic story — Government subsidy of Big Money in “education reform”

Historic story: Reporting is in the weeds on gov't subsidy of big money's goal of replacing public schools with charters, schools run as for-profits.

[Sally Duros Photo] Where’s the public dialogue? While cutbacks in schools nationwide send parents and teachers onto the streets to protest, our politicians and public officials are mum on the big picture of how they are working with big money on education reform.

In his blog today, Steve Buttry asks

“What are today’s historic stories that we will look back on and say that we missed the real story or the importance of the story?”

Buttry  cites  Robert G. Kaiser’s  story in the Washington Post Sunday: The Post nearly ignored Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech and his historic “I have a dream …” theme in its coverage of the march on Washington 50 years ago.

My answer to a big historic story we’re missing? The death of the public schools. Reporting is in the weeds on government subsidy of big money’s goal of replacing public schools with charters and schools run as for-profit businesses.  A story here, a story there is lifting the veil on the role of big money  —  businesses like Pearson and philanthropies like the Broad Foundation — in “education reform.” There’s plenty of  string to follow in the blogs of Diane Ravitch and countless others and articles like this one by Joanne Barkan that follows private philantropies involvment in K-12 education:

Hundreds of private philanthropies together spend almost $4 billion annually to support or transform K–12 education, most of it directed to schools that serve low-income children (only religious organizations receive more money). But three funders—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad (rhymes with road) Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation—working in sync, command the field.

And in this one by Lee Fang for The Nation, which is a good primer on the online learning industry:

“(Investment banker Michael) Moe ticked through the various reasons education is the next big “undercapitalized” sector of the economy, like healthcare in the 1990s, he also read through a list of notable venture investment firms that recently completed deals relating to the education-technology sector, including Sequoia and Benchmark Capital. Kleiner Perkins, a major venture capital firm and one of the first to back Amazon.com and Google, is now investing in education technology, Moe noted.

Like the subprime mortgage/Wall Street CDO scam, this Big Money story is complicated, serpentine systemic effort that could use an army of full-time reporters working it.

The big question for me is: Where’s the public dialogue? While cutbacks in schools nationwide send parents and teachers onto the streets to protest, our politicians and public officials are mum on the big picture of how they are working with big money on education reform.

It’s big stories like these that are so expensive to follow and to report  that we are missing and will continue to miss until we find a way to pay more reporters a living wage telling the stories that are at the core of our Democracy. It won’t be historic until we look back and say, “Gee! Where did the public schools go?”

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