There’s something terribly addictive and slightly unhealthy about being a digital journalist, especially in the “news” sphere.
You’re always on alert for breaking news because you want to be first to share it and snatch the most clicks on your site.
As a booze news writer I’m constantly hunting for stories that might grab my readers’ attention. It’s an ecclectic readership – everyone from suppliers to distributors to the people running the bottle shops and pubs.
I edit two daily news sites – one for suppliers, the other focussed on trade – in addition to being the corporate communications manager for The Drinks Association. And I do it all solo. Fortunately I’m a VERY fast writer.
I’ve also become extremely versatile since the days when I was a magazine editor. Not only do I write and sub-edit stories, I design newsletters and advertisements and invitations, take photographs, write press releases and schedule stories on social media.
I’ve been sick for the past few days, but the websites and their associated social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram – remain hungry, so I get up every morning and wearily feed them. I went to the office on Wednesday because I needed to use a program called InDesign to finish the monthly newsletter I was compiling for the Association’s members.
I felt too crook to go to the office yesterday, so I worked from home. A weekly newsletter needed to be written and scheduled for 6am this morning.
I was blithely tap-tap-tapping away at it when I realised it was 8.45am and I hadn’t checked my work emails.
I opened them up and almost fell off my chair – there was an announcement that Accolade Wines had been sold for $1billion. It had arrived in my inbox at 8.15am and I’d lost 30 precious minutes getting the news up on our sites …
Cue a “Breaking News” EDM (that’s short for an electronic direct mail). I’d been meaning to pop a few Nurofen, but I didn’t need to after the EDM went out because I had so much adrenaline surging through me.
Then I went back to the newsletter … until another email came through with more “Breaking News”.
In this case, you might not understand the excitement, but the booze crowd are into this sort of thing – Swift + Moore is now distributing Archie Rose.
Cue another EDM.
I was all out of adrenaline by that point, so I finally popped those Nurofen.
“Breaking News” EDMs usually happen once every month or two, not twice in one day … and what’s my luck to get them both on a day when I’m poorly?
But I love the rush of excitement when I publish a story before the competition or something starts going a tiny bit viral on social media.
I just wish I could let it go when I’m not 100%. But I can’t, because my work is a reflection of me and I want those numbers to keep rising.
Though I’m kinda hoping the world of booze news goes really quiet today so I can have a rest.
I am so, so tired and snotty.
Song of the day: Donna Summer “She works hard for the money”