Joining the Dark Side? Or helping shine a light?
Nearly twenty years ago I decided to give up being a television reporter to move back home to Minneapolis and join a PR firm.
Switching careers was a big decision driven by a wide variety of factors. I had worked hard to follow my dream as a journalist so it was admittedly difficult to make that choice and follow a new path.
When I told my newsroom about my new job I heard countless jokes about how I was joining “the dark side.” I laughed. I understood the perception. We had all worked with PR people who tried to sell us on stories that were really not stories. But deep down I hoped and believed this career move would not be a move to the dark, but rather a continuation of what always drove me… a desire to find and tell great stories. Thankfully, that’s been the case.
My first rule of communications is simple: tell the truth. “Spin” is a dirty word, and one that drives most communications professionals crazy. If you have integrity and try to do the right thing, spin is not necessary.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have a perspective. You can still work to spotlight your client’s best selling points or attributes. You’re not a journalist anymore. But any communications strategy aimed at selling inauthenticity is doomed to eventual failure.
I’ve had the opportunity to tell amazing stories as a communications professional, just as I did when I was a reporter. I have always been driven to find a way to put a human face on issues and tell stories that will get people to stop, think, and hopefully engage.
Whether I was working to highlight the importance of math and science education for girls, helping explain the digital television conversion to justifiably confused consumers, or showing how targeted therapies are changing the landscape for cancer care, I have been able to find interesting and personal angles to educate people about topics important to their lives.
Now, with True Voice Communications, I get to continue on this path. Far from the “dark side,” I look forward to working with incredible organizations to shine a light on the great things happening in our community.