My love affair with newspapers and the writing bug
I have always had a love affair with newspapers.
It began in the early 80’s when I worked at The Sydney Morning Herald as a Telephone Sales Rep selling advertising to businesses. Every morning the thud of that broadsheet newspaper would hit my desk, and I’d devour it from cover to cover. I even became adept at reading it on the train without losing the lot on the floor, or whacking the person next to me in the head!
When I think about it, it probably goes back even earlier than that. Mum and dad would send my brother and I on a 20 minute walk to the local newsagent every Sunday morning. We’d pick up a copy of The Sun-Herald and Sunday Telegraph, and twenty cents worth of mixed lollies each (You got two for 1c in those days), then make our way back with our bounty. They were happy times.
The transition from advertising to editorial
Over the years my passion for press grew. I worked across the Fairfax newspaper empire in various advertising roles, but I wanted to try my hand at writing instead. I really liked the thought of investigating an issue and creating a story around it.
I enrolled in a Freelance Journalism course, (Simon Townsend from Simon Townsend’s Wonderworld was my tutor, remember him?) But alas, I never completed the course. What I did discover however, was that you didn’t have to be journalist to get material published. It turned out than many of the contributors to The Sydney Morning Herald, and other Fairfax publications including magazines were simply that. Contributors with a passion for something. Like travel. Or food. Or health.
Be a contributor!
When I finally went into business for myself, I knew I could become a contributor too. Using press to leverage our health business seemed a natural progression, and we used it regularly to build our profile. When I ventured into my marketing business, press became a fundamental way of promoting clients, and I also began to teach the art of writing, and blogging, and still do this today. I believe writing is the new marketing currency, a brilliant way to slash your marketing budget to next to nothing. Invest in this skill, and it will reward you generously for years to come.