Jumping from journalist to social media marketer? 5 things to know

If you’re thinking of making the transition (or already have), someone who’s already crossed the breach offers advice to make the move easier—and more successful.

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Where do they go once they’ve had enough?

I’m sure we all know several reporters and editors who’ve jumped to public relations. I know of a few former colleagues who went back to school to earn law degrees or MBAs. Some are waiters who freelance.

I migrated from journalism to social media marketing, creating Facebook and Twitter content for a handful of brands that is seen (potentially, anyway) by millions every day.

Now, I can’t necessarily give a prescriptive step-by-step on how to land yourself in this kind of work. I left my job as an editor at Fox Sports in Los Angeles for a position at Imagination Publishing in Chicago in September 2010. Though it has the word “publishing” in the name, our client list is varied, and the content we produce is incredibly diverse—from print magazines to Web content, social media, and several ventures in between.

I started at Imagination as a print/online editor for one of our association clients and eventually trickled over to the social media side to work with one of our consumer goods clients. I had some familiarity with social media from my previous work in media, but nothing quite like what I’m doing now.

For any journalists who have wondered whether getting into social media might be a path for them, here are five things you should know:

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