The 2016 NABJ/NAHJ Annual Convention and Career Fair is happening in only 37 more days. In order to have a successful convention, you need to be prepared. Below are 10 things you need to do now to be on your game in Washington, D.C.
- Buy your plane ticket. The closer you get to the convention date, the more expensive that airfare will be. I’ll be driving to D.C. from Baltimore, but I bought my ticket for #NABJ15 in Minneapolis in February. The closer it gets to the convention the more your ticket will cost. I tweet airline fare sales regularly at @NABJDigital or @AvQueenBenet. Also, set a fare alert on Airfarewatchdog.com to be informed about the lowest fares.
- Business cards. Get them now. Vistaprint has a great selection of templates so you can have cards that stand out. Click here for two specials that expire on June 30: $1.99 for 100 no-frills cards or $9.99 for standard business cards (minus shipping). I’m also a big fan of Moo cards, which come in different shapes and sizes, and allows you to highlight photos or copy on the back. Mine shows off my aviation pictures from around the world. They cost more than Vistaprint (starting at $19.99 for 50 cards), but I feel it’s worth the investment.
- Resume/online portfolio. Now is the time to make sure your resume and online portfolio are completed so you can impress recruiters at the convention. Need help? Check out the DJTF webinars covering online portfolios and resumes. They’re free to watch, but you must register. And in a shameless plug for my new Resumes By Benét business, I can help you get ready for the convention or your next career move at very reasonable rates.
- Check your social media profile. Google yourself and see what comes up. Check your Facebook profile and Twitter timeline and make sure there are no embarrassing photos or posts because potential employers will be checking.
- Look at the convention schedule and list of exhibitors. Work out a plan on what workshops you want to attend and create a schedule on your smartphone. Prioritize who are the must-see employers on your list, start making appointments and get a jump start on the crowds.
- Start making a list of all the people you want to see in D.C. The schedules of those attending the conference are very tight. Start now to create that list of must-see people and map out appointments, interviews and chat times. And consider breakfast meetings, since schedules tend to slip as the day goes by.
- Find ways to save money. Going to the convention is not cheap, but you can do it and not break the bank. Find folks to share a hotel room at the NABJ Convention Roommate Bureau. If you’re checking a bag, tuck in some non-perishable snacks and water. Reach out on NABJ’s listserves and social media channels for ride shares to and from the airport or take the Metro subway, which stops right in front of the Marriott Wardman Park at the Woodley Park station on the Red Line. Check out sites like Yelp and Zomato to find places in the hotel’s Woodley Park neighborhood and around the city to eat that are less expensive than the hotel’s offerings. Search Hotwire and Priceline for nearby hotel deals.
- Check your wardrobe. See what clothes fit and what don’t. See what needs to be cleaned or altered. And if you need to buy things, do it now. Consider thrift shops like Savers.com or Goodwill, where you can find real bargains, especially on designer labels. See this suit I wore in Minneapolis last year? It’s a designer Elie Tahari suit I bought at Savers for $10.99. My dress for Salute to Excellence? $12.00.
- Check yourself. Our convention is all about fun and family, but it’s also a professional event. You never know who will be watching. So enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it.
- Hang out with your friends now. The convention is the time to meet new people and grow your network. It is not the time to hang with the same group of people that you do at home. As much as you love them, they are not going to get you a job, so break away and expand your horizons.
The Digital Journalism Task Force is doing its annual convention preparation TweetChat on Tuesday, June 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET. NABJ convention veterans will offer great tips and advice to get ready for D.C., and they’ll also answer your questions and share stories. Follow along using the #NABJNAHJ16 hashtag.
Benét J. Wilson is the vice president-digital on the NABJ board. She is a long-time member of the Digital Journalism Task Force and is secretary of the Online News Association board. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Aviation Queen LLC, a freelance writing company.
With the 40th Annual NABJ Convention and Career Fair only 42 days away, the Digital Journalism Task Force, in partnership with AllDigitocracy.org, held its annual TweetChat to get folks ready for the event.
We had a stellar panel of NABJ convention veterans — Kelley Carter, Kirstin Garriss, Marissa Evans, Merdie Nzanga, Sarah Glover, Cindy George, Kathy Chaney, Marcus Vanderberg, Michael Feeney, Marshall Latimore, Marlon Walker, Marc Willis Marissa Evans and Ashleigh Atwell — who shared their best tips and tricks for navigating the convention. I also want to thank all the #NABJ family members who chimed in with their own convention experiences.
Click here to see the Storify of the event. And don’t forget to register for the convention, Aug. 5-9, 2015, in Minneapolis. See you there!
Dr. Sybril Bennett is chairing this workshop at this year’s NABJ convention in Minneapolis. She held a TweetChat with her panelists to get the conversation started. Click here to see our Storify of the discussion. And join us in Minneapolis for the workshop!
The 2015 NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair is coming up fast. In order to have a successful convention, you need to be prepared. Below are 10 things you need to do now to be on your game in Minneapolis.
- Buy your plane ticket. The closer you get to the convention date, the more expensive that air fare will be. I bought my Baltimore-Minneapolis ticket in February on Southwest Airlines, and it still cost me $324 roundtrip. NABJ members get a discount at United Airlines. I tweet fare sales regularly at @NABJDigital or @AvQueenBenet. Also set a fare alert on Airfarewatchdog.com to be informed about the lowest fares.
- Business cards. Get them now. Vistaprint has a great selection and you can get 500 for as little as $10. You can even get free cards (minus shipping costs) that sport an ad on the back.
- Resume/online portfolio. Now is the time to tighten up that resume and freshen up or create an online portfolio to impress recruiters at the convention. Need help? Check out the DJTF webinars covering online portfolios and resumes. They’re free to watch, but you must register.
- Find ways to save money. Going to the convention is not cheap, but you can do it and not break the bank. Find folks to share a hotel room at the NABJ Convention Roommate Bureau. If you’re checking a bag, tuck some non-perishable snacks and water. Reach out on NABJ’s listserves and social media channels for ride shares to and from the airport. Check out sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon to find nearby places to eat that are less expensive than the hotel. And search Hotwire and Priceline for nearby hotel deals.
- Look at the convention schedule. Work out a plan on what workshops you want to attend and create a schedule.
- Check out the exhibitors and recruiters (not posted yet, but here’s who attended in 2014). See who will be in Minneapolis and start prioritizing who are the must-see employers on your list.
- Start making a list of people you want to see in Minneapolis. The schedules of those attending the conference are very tight. Start now to create that list of must-see people and map out appointments, interviews and chat times. And consider breakfast meetings, since schedules tend to slip as the day goes by.
- Check your wardrobe. See what clothes fit and what don’t. See what needs to be cleaned or altered. And if you need to buy things, do it now.
- Check your social media profile. Google yourself and see what comes up. Check your Facebook profile and make sure there are no embarrassing photos or posts because potential employers will be checking.
- Hang out with your friends now. The convention is the time to meet new people and grow your network. It is not the time to hang with the same group of people you do at home. As much as you love them, they are not going to get you a job.
The Digital Journalism Task Force will do its annual convention preparation TweetChat in May, which will offer great tips and advice from NABJ veterans. Hope to “see” you there!
Benét J. Wilson is the vice president of education for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force. She also serves on the board of the Online News Association and is the owner/founder of Aviation Queen LLC, a freelance writing and social media consulting company.
It’s a new year, and it’s not too late to add a work-related resolution — learn new digital skills. Don’t be afraid. We’ve compiled this list of 10 simple things to get you started!
- Hold and record a Google Hangout.
- Step up your game on Twitter.
- Record and upload a story on Soundcloud.
- Create an embeddable map using Google Fusion Tables.
- Try your hand at coding – for free!
- Test out these alternatives to a PowerPoint presentation.
- Learn how to make infographics.
- Take a Skillcrush class on becoming a WordPress developer.
- Whip up an embeddable timeline using Timeline JS.
- Learn Google Analytics with a free online course.
- The 2015 Southeast Journalism Conference will be hosted by Georgia State University at its Student*University Center and the Ramada Plaza Capitol Park Atlanta on Feb. 26-28, 2015. Members and non-members alike are invited to attend this fantastic learning opportunity for journalism students across the southeast.
- The Society of Professional Journalists’ Spring Conferences are day-long professional development meetings bringing area journalists, students and journalism educators together in one place to hear from industry experts on topics ranging from improving writing to leveraging technology in today’s new media climate. Networking opportunities at the conferences allow participants to build relationships that can lead to the sharing of the best practices in newsrooms. Enhance yourself and your journalism career by attending a Spring Conference in your area. For more information, click here.
- The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will host the Region III conference March 5-8, 2015, aboard the Carnival cruise line to the Bahamas. This conference will feature diverse programming for freelance and transitioning journalists, public relations practitioners, entrepreneurs and students.
- Join Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting for its annual conference devoted to computer-assisted reporting in Atlanta March 5-8, 2015. Come and learn about tools you need to dig deeper into stories and give your audience the information they want.
- Journalists, media and communication professionals and students are invited to participate in the 2015 National Association of Black Journalists Region VI Conference, March 13-14,2015, in Oakland, California. The event – which takes place at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland’s Jack London Square – will begin with a Friday night mixer reception at Lungamore’s @ Jack London Square followed by a full day of workshops, which will offer information and discussion on the impact and future of technology in the media and communications industries. Saturday’s sessions will end with a dinner/dance open to all participants.
- The Center for Journalism Ethics will address ethics in sports journalism at its seventh annual conference, Fair or Foul: Ethics and Sports Journalism, April 10, 2015, at Union South on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The conference will feature Robert Lipsyte, veteran sports journalist, author and current ombudsman for ESPN, as keynote speaker. The program will include panels on privacy, editorial independence in a world of sponsorship and rights fees, representation of minorities, and the bounds of civil discourse in a sporting context.
- Journalists will gather for two days of training sessions, awards ceremonies and networking April 10-11, 2015 for the Midwest Journalism Conference at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis International Airport Hotel and Suites at 34th Avenue South and American Boulevard in Bloomington, Minnesota. Planning is under way for the 2015 conference and we welcome your suggestions for speakers, sessions and events.
- Join hundreds of journalism colleagues in California’s Silicon Valley — an intersection of health and technology, and home to Health Journalism 2015. Register to visit area sites during field trips, hear from world-class health experts and journalists during panels, take part in skill-building workshops, and more. The conference will help reporters, editors and producers cover the latest in medical research, health technology, public health issues, the business of health care, health policy matters and journalism. The conference kickoff speaker will be Stanford University physician and bestselling author Abraham Verghese.
- The Missouri School of Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute will host Journalism Interactive, the conference on journalism education and digital media April 24-25, 2015. The keynote speaker will be Vivian Schiller, who was most recently global chair of news at Twitter. Her address, “Beyond the Buzzwords: What It Means to Be a News Organization in the Digital Age,” will focus on the impact of emerging technologies on both the practice of journalism and the business viability of news media companies.
- The Global Investigative Journalism Conference is the world’s largest international gathering of investigative reporters. It will hold its next conference in October in Lillehammer, Norway. The conference will be hosted by Association for Critical and Investigative Press (SKUP), Norway’s investigative journalism association.
If you have items you wish to include, please email them to me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM. Thanks!!
It’s 2015, and yes, we’re all making our New Year’s resolutions. One of yours should be to step up your digital journalism skills to keep you relevant in your current newsroom or help you become a star in a new one.
To that end, NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force and the Diverse Social Media Editors and Digital Journalists Facebook group will host a free series of webinars — New Year, New You, Part 2 — in January, all designed to boost your digital skills in 2015. Click here to see what we did in 2014.
First up, on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at 8:30 p.m. ET, is “Tech & Tools Journalists Can Use,” a free hour-long webinar where panelist will share and demonstrate their favorite tools, websites, apps and technology that help them do their jobs smarter and better. We’ll leave time for questions after the presentation, which will be recorded. Our media partner for this event is AllDigitocracy.org.
Watch this space for other webinars we’ll be holding this month to boost your skills. And if there are webinars you want to see, let us know. Here’s to a great 2015!