Monday, January 31, 2011

Creating your own brand

You've probably heard the term "branding" around your station. It basically means your station has a style, a reputation, that is associated with its name, or the name of its newscast. For instance, when I hear a horribly dated term like "Action News" I can only assume the newscast follows that brand... one of scanner chasing crime filled news.

But people can have a brand as well. For years, Mike Wallace was basically his own brand; you knew that when he did a story it was going to be a take-no-prisoners piece and he was going to get confrontational and ask the really tough questions. Charles Kuralt was a brand; he was a master at turning a phrase, a storyteller who found the little things that drew you in.

The best reporters have been able to create their own brands. We know some reporters will always have good political scoops, others will offer great consumer tips, and so on.

And when you put your resume tape together, you're basically creating your own brand. Problem is, these days the average brand seems to be a generic one. Stories all seem to follow the same formula, standups aren't anything special, editing lacks any creativity.

If you want to stand out, you must create your own brand. You must show a News Director that if he hires you, he'll be getting something unique.

Be different and you'll stand out. If you keep sending out tapes with boilerplate stories that aren't any different than the average reporter, you don't have a brand.

Find your own brand and run with it.


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