Personal Branding as a Journalist

Finally, it’s time for me to tap into the lifestyle aspect of my fashion and lifestyle blog. Usually fashion is a part of your lifestyle, or adjusts your lifestyle like how ‘Like a Glove‘ leggings do, but now I’m talking explicitly about the lifestyle of celebs.

As Neiman Lab documents, in the increasingly technological word, it is highly important for journalists to develop their name, voice, and personality while still preserving the product: news. Journalists need to become like your neighbor or dentist; they need to develop that personal one-to-one environment in a platform that is one-to-many. They are still part of the bigger brand, but their voice is now unique to that of of company in entirety.

In the Colombia Journalism Review, many pros and cons are cited to developing a personal brand. While a single hire with a great personal brand can instantly garner more followers of the journalistic outlet, that same journalist will also take that following from one journalistic outlet to another by the switch of a job title.

Regardless, as the Internet becomes the main resource for news and following journalistic outlet, companies are aspiring to find ways for their employees to develop a brand.

And the way to do this successfully? Social Media.

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing a journalist who previously worked at Buzzfeed and now is an entertainment writer and editor for Elite Daily.

Here is some background on Katie Corvino (KC): she had a fellowship at Buzzfeed following her graduation from the University of Michigan in 2015, is an entertainment writer, and quite possibly one of the funniest people. Her abilities span from having the capacity to conduct interviews from a serious standpoint to bringing the laughs to any topic.

Because she is an entertainment writer, her articles sometimes (but not always) have comical twists, but usually cover the lifestyles and news of celebrities. Here are some of her articles:Here’s What Kylie Jenner Looks Like With 12 Other Celebrities’ Lips“, “Move Over, Kylie: Kendall Jenner Is Breaking Into The Beauty Product World“, and “Here’s What It’s Really Like To Work For Kanye West“.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 1.37.37 PMMonday, I was able to contact her via email with a few questions about her personal brand and how it helps her as a journalist. 

My questions are in the blue with her responses in the purple.


Did your time at BuzzFeed help you establish your brand first and did it stay the same as it is now with Elite Daily? Or did your change in position/culture alter your brand as well?

KC: My time at BuzzFeed definitely helped me establish my brand. It made me become aware of my voice as a writer and it highlighted my strengths. It also encouraged me to promote my professional work through my personal brand, and build them up together. I really think my brand is basically the same as it was at BuzzFeed, except because I strictly cover celebrity and entertainment news now, I have built up my personal brand more around that kind of content. I have carried the same voice and the same personality through both jobs…BuzzFeed also taught me how to make the best of social media platforms I never really used that much, like Tumblr for example. They taught me how to use these sites to my advantage and gain a following on each of them. 

What is your favorite social media to use with your job? Does Instagram or Twitter better help you represent your personal brand and get your point across? Why?

KC: I would definitely say Twitter, but I have worked to develop my brand in both. I think Twitter allows me to make commentary about trending issues and it lets me interact with other writers and media companies more so than Instagram. I think my sense of humor and wit comes across more in 140 characters of writing than a photo. At the same time, however, I think it’s easier to gain a following on Instagram because I think it’s easier to please people and grab their attention with visuals. But for Twitter, when you get a point right or say something that others appreciate it, it has more potential to go viral. I value a retweet more than an Instagram like, that’s for sure. 

Below is one of the more popular tweets Corvino has had that circulated the Internet. It speaks highly to her personal brand of humor while utilizing the strategy she’ll discuss later of using popular hashtags.

Do you find that your digital interaction with people and your brand help the popularity/success of the pieces you write?

KC: Yup! I actually just started a Facebook page for my writing because I have gained a following from my work and from my personal brand…a lot of the people who follow me for my Tweets are also interested in my stories. Because I’m also verified on Twitter, I’m established as a more credible source so people choose to follow me just for that reason. The second I was verified, I gained about 200 followers. 

Do you find that your presence on social media has been useful for your career and networking?

KC: Yes, for sure. I am able to network so much through social media. I’ve made connections just through Tweeting at other media writers, too. It’s really a smart move to build up your personal and professional brand together. If people like your personal brand, they’re more likely to check out your writing. If people like your writing, they’re more likely to check out your personal brand…There’s a person behind the pen, and for me, social media let’s my followers and other professionals see who that person is.

For all of those doubtful about pursuing journalism, I feel I should also disclose that Corvino was asked to fly to California to cover the Oscars on the red carpet. Yes, the red carpet.

She is the second one from the left of the photo.

She was given control of the EliteDaily official snapchat, which is pretty amazing.

Can’t wait to see where Corvino goes in the future! Looks like her personal brand is bringing her everywhere in life.

This is a great reference to a successful business model utilizing personal brands to their advantage.


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