Posts Tagged ‘branding’

Guide for freelance journalists debuts at EIJ12

Updated, 9/28: A year’s worth of work by SPJ’s Freelance Committee debuted at Excellence In Journalism 2012 with the introduction of On Your Own: A Guide to Freelance Journalism, the committee’s first effort to consolidate the collected wisdom of its members.

The 77-page guide, available only in digital form, addresses a broad range of questions common among new and aspiring freelancers — from bookkeeping to business licenses to branding — soon will be made available to SPJ members in good standing. Later this fall, it will be sold as an e-book for a nominal fee, with the proceeds going toward committee programming.

Incoming chairman Michael Fitzgerald says the committee plans to update the guide on a regular basis, and include more personal experiences from freelancers to reflect changes and trends in the marketplace. SPJ also encourages freelance writers and editors not yet affiliated with the society to join and add their input to the guide.

Comments, suggestions and criticisms are welcome and should be made to David Sheets, the guide’s editor, by email at, or through Twitter at @DKSheets or LinkedIn.

David Sheets, a freelance journalist and former content editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is Region 7 director and past-president of SPJ’s St. Louis Pro chapter.

Take a look: Web resources

As freelancers, we know a little about a lot. And one of the things we do (or should be doing) is keeping an eye on the newest technology to make our jobs, and those of our clients, a little easier. Here’s a quick list of some of my personal favorites. Didn’t see something you love? Comment and add it!

Know ‘Em

Whether you’re a beginning freelancer or an old pro, you should know how important a brand is. Keeping that brand similar in the realm of thousands of social networks can be next to impossible. No worries, use Know ‘Em. They’ll scour all the networks for you and provide information about whether your handle or tag or username is already taken. From there, you can rebrand, sign up or switch it out.


Meeting a source somewhere? An old friend? If they’re far away, it’s always harder to dig out the map, find a town halfway, then select a location that isn’t sleazy or unpleasant. Mezzoman will find a meeting point somewhere in the middle at a business of your choosing – coffee shop, Italian restaurant, book store, park. With apps for phones, it’s easy on the go as well.


Looking for a new way to present things? Want to run a cool graphic countdown on your website? Present something to an editor? Jux might just be the way to do it. Lay large graphics or photos behind a countdown, blocks or information or simple titles. The fullscreen view makes a distinct impression and it couldn’t be any easier to use.


With all of the tagging, following, friending and frolicking on social networks, it’s hard to keep things straight. Did you thank that person for the follow? If you connected with someone on LinkedIn, did you already friend them on Facebook? Or Twitter? Ifttt, which stands for “If This Then That,” gives you the ability to have action and reaction. Use their many channels to set up an “if this,” (someone friends you on Facebook) and “then that,” (message them Hello). If it rains in the designated zip code, they’ll call you, or text you, or post to your Facebook. The possibilities are endless and this one is my personal favorite.

There’s a quick taste of some new web resources. Stay tuned for more.


Tara Puckey is a freelance journalist based in Indianapolis, Ind. She focuses on military reporting and social media, helping clients navigate the digital world. Puckey has served on the national board, founded a local campus chapter and remains active in the freelance and membership committees. When she isn’t writing, typing or browsing, she’s spending time with her husband, Bryan, and their two daughters, Alexa and Brooklyn.


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