Missouri’s new governor will be sworn in tomorrow and, as part of the transition, about 150 people working at state jobs under the previous administration were terminated. This happens with every four or eight years.
A few days before the state ax fell, I had a routine meeting with the chief public information officer for one of the state departments. Like many in that line of work, he had –I believe– started in radio or spent a number of years in broadcasting. The years of consolidation in that industry had left this person weary from new owners, pay cuts, job elimination… and happy to have a more stable job in state government. Two days later the person is, once again, looking for a job.
It’s only a rumor but I’ve heard many of these communications positions will be filled by attorneys under the new administration. Our new governor was formerly attorney general, but I’m not sure why one would want/need a lawyer in these positions. As I said, that’s just rumor.
All of which reminded me of the dozen years I spent working in local radio. They were more fun than I can describe. Whatever skills I acquired during that time (talking on the radio (??); writing commercials; covering a news story (sort of) seem so… irrelevant now. Okay, it’s a quarter of a century later, so why should this surprise me?
If I had stayed in radio, what would I be doing now? Programming a “cluster” of stations? Managing? (unlikely) And what would those years have prepared me to do?
I have no idea why so many radio people go into public relations or become PIO’s for some association or state agency. I always suspected they were hired for their communications skills. Comfortable in an on-air interview; familiar with writing news releases (?); good voice?
Still a useful skill set. But what else do you need to know how to do in 2009? Blogging? Podcasting? YouTube? Social media? Couldn’t hurt.
I hope everyone that lost their jobs last week finds new ones. And better ones. Free advice every morning from 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. at the Jefferson City Coffee Zone.