Text pixels: meet the recession. The recession, text pixels.

March 8, 2010

When I started this blog it was going to be like the wonderful blogs a few of my friends write, all about amusing and interesting aspects of Life in the World of Communications. Instructional. Inspiring. Energising. Funny.

I wanted to write about technical aspects of the work I do, in which I am – in my own small way – intensely interested. About social and cultural aspects of my work, because it involves people and a company’s relationships with them. Human aspects, because I am intensely interested in how we relate to one another, and in how organisations function as social organisms. Theoretical aspects, because I am always thinking and learning. About day-to-day aspects, because they are always interesting.

As it happens, poor Text Pixels has been hobbling along. It’s been hard to keep up the momentum. I even lost the vision of what it was supposed to be for, couldn’t remember who I was writing it to or what I was saying. I mean, I knew it was about work, but my relationship with work has been so disrupted that I lost track of my position was within it.

In fact, my contact with the actual content of my professional world has recently become increasingly theoretical, meta, post-modern. In the year since I had the idea for Text Pixels I have spent far more time trying to get paid work than actually doing any.

I have been applying my PR expertise to myself. My marketing campaigns have been about getting clients, or students, or agents. The main thing I have written for work purposes this year has been about five versions of my CV. I’ve rewritten my website pretty comprehensively, too. And my Linked-In profile. I spent most of weekend-before-last filling in an eight-page application form for a job that was only expected to last a few months, and for which I didn’t get an interview, despite being hand-picked by an agency.

My attitude is, as always, solution-focused and pro-active. Any employer or high-profile client would have appreciated it. I’ve been positive, even bouncy. Energetic, driven and tenacious. I’ve even kept my sense of humour. (Sometimes black humour, okay, but a laugh is a laugh, innit?) But however pluckily I have kept going, the truth is that in the past year the story has changed.

We are in the worst recession since the Great Depression. When I got made redundant it was only a Credit Crunch, and mainly far away in the cornlands of America where people had been taking out ill-advised mortgages. I don’t even have a credit card, let alone a mortgage! Well: guess what.

So this is where my little workaday blog gets serious. I am now blogging about how one stays afloat or survives professionally. I will try to post more often. And more fearlessly. Not sure if confessional work blogging is really the sensible way to go, but it strikes me that I’ve been doing something I would tell any blogger, or writer, not to do. I’ve been writing what I think people want to see.

In doing that, I’ve forgotten the truth about what PR really is. That any real audience is those who want to read what you have to say. You can’t fake a brand. If I were an employer I wouldn’t want to hire someone who writes falsely and, in pandering to the audience, forgets them.

I am making this up as I go along. But we all are, whether we admit it or not. The most professional people right now are going to be the ones who can keep re-applying their knowledge, re-interpreting what they see around them, and working out new ways of doing things. I have no idea what those new ways are or if they even exist, but I can tell you the old ways aren’t working.

Text Pixels is now the drawing board I’m going back to.

Watch this space, and see me try to figure it out in real time.

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