Where Did All the Journalists Go?

2022-06-29T12:58:07-05:00October 8, 2021|Opinion|

Here’s a real-world business scenario: You’re an HR director or a senior-level executive VP. You both need a hired gun to write—a professional to create strategic, resonant content—first-rate communications that compel action, engage users, and forge connections with the right prospects and stakeholders. You’re on the hunt for high-quality expertise and a quickly accessible workforce to craft your brand’s multi-channel story across all client touchpoints.

Finding authoritative writers—well-educated word wizards who know right from wrong, who care about accuracy and are trained to work quickly as deadlines require—is the natural extension of the resources you’ve already devoted to market research and strategic positioning that gets the word out to the appropriate eyes and ears.

The best writers are customer-service rock stars. They’re well-seasoned and immediately grasp how to get your message center stage because they know what it takes to accurately convey a brand’s comprehensive tone of voice. They’re quick studies when it comes to communicating a brand’s value system and creatively describing a company’s story. Sometimes this may mean use of customer personas as the communication storytelling vehicle. Other times it may mean shaping fast, concise, demographically specific messaging that speaks directly to well-understood buying patterns at precise socioeconomic levels. 

So where do these polished writers come from? They come directly out of the fast-moving gig economy—an increasingly popular labor market. The gig economy is defined by a profusion of freelance-driven, short-term contract work galvanized by “content entrepreneurs” and the HR directors and senior-level VPs in need of writers’ skill sets for their content outsourcing requirements.

Another central question: How do HR directors and similar professionals find great talent? Enter the agent of change, the intermediary, known as the PowerPublish platform designed expressly to connect untapped resources—writers turned “brand journalists”—with heretofore unmet need.

PowerPublish is the definitive environment for locating champion writers. The platform streamlines and facilitates well-made matches between people looking to hire and the pool of highly skilled journalists who cross over into the universe of branded products and services and characterized by their expert writing backgrounds. 

“It’s a whole new gig-driven arena out here. PowerPublish marries businesses looking to outsource content creation with an accessible workforce of smart, strategic writers eager to ply their professional skills. This is a resource that meets broad-based needs,” says Dan Curran, founder and CEO of PowerPublish, a talent network offering brand marketers access to writers and brand journalists.  

In fact, the referenced “pool” of available talent is misleading. The number of journalists out there is more aptly described as a large hydrosphere. According to careerexplorer.com, “there are currently an estimated 44,700 journalists in the United States.” Worryingly, the site also prognosticates that “job growth for journalists is projected to be negligible through 2024.” The Pew Research Center corroborates this. “Newsroom employment in the United States has dropped by 26% since 2008,” says Pew, adding, “In 2008, there were about 114,000 total newsroom employees—reporters, editors, photographers and videographers—in five industries that produce news: newspaperradiobroadcast televisioncable and “other information services” (the best match for digital news publishers). By 2020, that number had declined to about 85,000, a loss of about 30,000 jobs.”

But there is a silver lining, says careerexplorer.com. Despite news correspondents and analysts taking on more story coverage, and “improving technology allow[ing] working journalists to be more efficient and take on more assignments,”—particularly as advertising revenues shrink and publishing and broadcasting double-down through consolidation and mergers—“Aspiring journalists with new media skills and specialized knowledge in science, technology, and economics, or politics are likely to more easily find employment.” 

This employment opening also broadly applies to the wide-open field known as branded content or branded products and service. And marketers looking to hire talent to produce content is another prime space for journalists in search of paid work. In particular, according to industry surveys, global spending on branded content was $7 billion in 2018 and could top $20 billion in 2021. 

The PowerPublish platform is especially relevant given this context. The site is a repository of incredibly well-skilled writers trained to get the job done. Their skills are highly transferable in the context of the evolving and significant universe of branded content. And in equal measure, PowerPublish creates a hiring mecca for HR directors and executive VPs looking to outsource their content creation.

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