Love him or hate him (and there are plenty of both out there), Andrew Ross Sorkin has paved the way for modern journalism — build a personal brand, and be everywhere.
The 32-year-old financial journalist at the New York Times is a bit of an oddity in the newspaper world; he is his own creation. I won’t get into the accusations leveled against him, I’ll leave that to his recent writeup in New York Magazine. But what is worth pointing out is how he built that personal brand, which most ‘classical’ journalists detest (‘It’s about the news, not the messenger’).
At a time when the newspaper is cutting jobs, Sorkin has already demonstrated that he is capable of delivering a profitable business with DealBook on the web. The blog was one of the NYT’s most ambitious online ventures when it launched in March 2006. Sorkin’s goal was in fact an online newsletter that he would email Wall Street execs every morning — with the hope that it would enhance the paper’s ability to break news. It was a paradigm shift for the NYT. Since then, he’s made multiple appearances on CNBC and of course, you’ll also find him on Twitter (73,000 followers) and Facebook. And oh, he has a book to sell you. Sorkin everywhere.
Here we are 3 years later. Are journalism students and professionals still arguing about the need to build a personal brand? Ultimately, the best way to protect your job in journalism is to build that name online.
What is your brand?