By: Mandy Mitchell
I meet a lot of young people in the business who are hoping to make a good impression in a new newsroom. They are often worried about how they dress and how they perform in the specifics of the job whether that be on the air or behind the scenes. All of that is very important, but there are some simple things you can do to stand out.
1- Be early.
If the morning meeting starts at 9, don’t be out of breath trying to hold your coffee in one hand and your keys in the other while trying to dig out your phone to see the notes you made about the story ideas you have. Pretend the meeting starts at 8:50 and be in your seat with your notebook out and ready at 8:55.
I am amazed at how many people in our business are always “running late” or “a bit behind today.”
Make it a habit to show up 5 minutes early to everything you do. I promise you will stand out as a rare person who values the time of others.
2- Say thank you.
It’s still OK to write handwritten notes for people to thank them for doing something nice for you. Someone help you in your first few days in town? Maybe helped with an apartment? Maybe asked you to share a meal? Give them a note.
Maybe someone has been a mentor to you. The holidays are a great time to show appreciation. A nice card will do the trick. It’s usually unexpected and shows you are thoughtful. That’s something missing in an e-mail driven world.
3- Take responsibility for mistakes.
I’ve found young people in this business can be very very defensive if a mistake happens on air. The best in this business are willing, and eager, to step up and say “that was my fault.”
Don’t get in the habit of over-explaining a mistake. We all make errors and we all have another newscast to prepare for. Take responsibility, say you will fix it and do better in the next newscast.