If you can’t see it, you can’t be it!

by Olivia Crellin, PressPad Founder

This week we officially launched our ambassadors’ programme. Here’s why –

Mentoring – good, useful mentoring – is at the core of everything we do at PressPad. It’s why we don’t just rent rooms with random people across the country but go searching for successful, brilliant journalists for our interns to room with. It’s also why we’ve recruited our first batch of PressPad Ambassadors.

PressPad Ambassadors are young journalists who probably don’t have their own spare room but who help our mission of diversifying the media by acting as inspiration, guides and an example to new, aspiring journalists.The PressPad Ambassador scheme is meant to add another layer of mentoring to our work. Not everyone who wants to help will have a spare room – younger, bad-ass journalists, already doing so much to make the media more inclusive can also help.

From the very beginning at PressPad we set up an ambassador scheme. It didn’t do much at first largely because I didn’t know exactly what we wanted from it. A year on, a year older, and a year wiser, PressPad does know what it wants from its ambassadors and is more convinced than ever that they will become an integral and important part of fulfilling our mission in the years to come. 

Our PressPad ambassadors range from journalism students to mid-career journalists. We look for ambassadors who established enough in the profession to help others with advice or whose path to their current success is an example to others of who we’re missing in our industry. 

The mission: Firstly to inspire; As Gloria Steinem said, “If you can’t see it you can’t be it” so we want to amplify the representative voices we have already. Secondly to provide relevant advice.

Why are the Ambassadors important to our mission?

There are a lot of great mentoring schemes in our profession but we’ve found they often involve high profile and much older journalists who perhaps don’t understand the struggles of getting into the industry right now or the opportunities and support that exists as they were doing all this hustling DECADES ago.

There is definitely a place for all the wisdom and experience they bring but they’re busy people, as are their contacts. Someone a little closer in age, background, career progression and attitude definitely offers something different as well as contributing to another mission at PressPad: to rewire networks and help support all talented colleagues and journalists – not just those who went to the right schools or universities.

What do we ask?

Not too much – as we know the burden placed on those working to diversify their industries and also fight to launch their careers. We do, however, want to include them in the culture-changing we’re engaged in at PressPad and that means dialogue and interaction.

For that reason – as well as dragging them along to our various workshops, events, launch parties and supper clubs we’ve got planned – we’ve asked each of them, in the course of the coming year to write two blogs about their experience and/or their views on diversity and representation in the media; host a live twitter or instagram Q&A and takeover all our social media for a week.

All our ambassadors are paid for their time unless they have chosen not to be. PressPad does not endorse unpaid work of any description.

Who are the PressPad Ambassadors?

We’ve currently got 23 amazing, brilliant, wonderful young journalists and media-people signed up as PressPad Ambassadors. Here’s just a selection of our team!

So… how can you best make use of the Ambassadors?

Ask, ask and ask again! All of their names, details and social handles are available on our website and they have agreed to be PressPad Ambassadors because they have specific experience of what we’re fighting to change AND want to help us make things better.

Ask them anything from how they feel their identity was relevant in their workplace or work culture; how to leverage or create contacts and networks from scratch; how to write a good CV or find your niche; whether a journalism masters is necessary; what their favourite current writers or podcasts are!

Some of those questions will come during our monthly social media Q&As or their social media takeovers. Others might be answered when you request us to commission a blog on a topic. We want you all to feel like you have access to a tribe of like-minded, ambitious young media professionals who have your back and can inspire you!

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