Bring Professional & Personal Business Cards to Journalism Conventions

Q. I need to order business cards before the AAJA convention in Los Angeles in August, but I'm not quite sure how to go about that.

In your opinion, what do you think I should do: Go with the company business cards, or make my own? I feel like it's kind of awkward to order company cards because it's not quite the same as a reporter handing out cards. And plus, with my own, I can get really creative with them. Any input would help.

Deal Me In

A. Good question and, with two months to go before the convention, good timing.

I'd pack both.

You are new in your job and not looking to move. The official company cards will make a nice professional impression. I recommend that everyone have a business card -- even non-reporters -- specifically for events like conventions.

There are all kinds of digital calling cards, but the paper kind work with almost everyone and they are the kind that people usually ask for. Your employer should pay for a box without griping because they are low-cost and help you spread the company's name and message.

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Also, make your own cards. I suggest you begin thinking in entrepreneurial ways and that you develop a secondary income stream and brand to cushion yourself from disruptions in your day job. Your reasoning that you can make a statement and show your design talent is solid.

While at the convention, you can see whether it feels more appropriate to hand out the employer card, your personal card or both.

Do you have a career question? E-mail Joe for an answer.

  • Joe Grimm

    Joe Grimm is a visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism. He runs the JobsPage Website.


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