Jens and Parker in the News

Jens Schroeder, our occasional contributor on the topic of video games, was recently interviewed by the Australian division of Kotaku about whether or not industry-specific schools led to actual careers at video game companies:

To an extent Jens Schroeder, Campus Academic Coordinator at Qantm, sympathises with both.

“I think you’ll always get this contrast in any institution and admittedly I can sort of see where some of the students are coming from,” he says.

“During orientation I’m always trying to make clear to students that this is a pathway. Parents come in for open days and they ask, ‘will our children find a job?’ It’s a fair question. The spiel I give them is probably yes — if they work really hard, show the right attitude and entertain possibilities outside of the more hardcore side of things. You have to think outside the box — games for health, games that rehabilitate old people through dance mats! You know?

“A lot of the students still find it difficult to get used to the idea that they might not be working on the nextCall of Duty.”

You get the sense that Jens struggles with the naïveté of some students, the sense of entitlement.

“No one is waiting to recognise their inherent genius,” laughs Jens, “which is what I think a lot of students believe. One of the things I’m really trying to encourage is to get students to attend networking events — like the IGDA stuff. You ask them to attend, and you go there and it’s the same five people! I’m like really? Those are some of the basic skills you have to learn. That can be a little disheartening.

“Maybe it’s an age thing — some of them come directly out of high school. They just want to make games, they don’t realise the effort needed to succeed.”

And while I wasn't necessarily quoted or mentioned by name, Business Insider used a photo of me from my trip to Puerto Rico for their article on "Crazy Ad Agency Office Perks That Make Us Think We Chose The Wrong Job." 




Who Wrote That News Story?

A few days ago, a friend of mine mentioned that a news release she had written and issued to the media was re-posted on a news website by a journalist verbatim, without credit to my friend or her organization for writing the release, as if it were a story that person had written. My friend wasn't happy with it, and seemed to suggest that it was laziness on the part of the journalist. My response?

We spend hours drafting news releases, making sure that key messages and all the right information is in there. This is to make sure that a journalist has all the info they need to write their story.

When a journalist does report on a story, and gets the facts wrong, we'll throw up our hands and say, "Oh, they just didn't get what I was trying to say! If only they'd read the briefing material or news release more closely!"

So to my friend who had her news release reprinted: I think this is the best possible situation. Your client's news got into the media without any distortion. Your news release was written well enough that he didn't find a need to rewrite it, and that was probably one of the reasons it got published. If the journalist had needed to rewrite it, he might not have had the time and it might not have gotten published.

Being a communicator is a job without a lot of glory. When things go well (as in this case), no one really notices. If you want to get your name out there, become an author or a journalist. Communicators work in the background.

What do you think, readers? Have you ever had someone publish a news release that you've written without credit to you? How do you feel about the fact that this is happening?


PS: When I wrote this post, I purposely didn't read the post that my aforementioned friend, Bonnie Dean, wrote about it. I'm going to go read it now to get her perspective, and you should too: You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth.

Wacky News Week?

I don't know what it was about this week, but for somereason wacky news just kept coming up. First there was the report of a sixth human foot found washed up on a stretch of shoreline in BC in a span of less than a year, but this was later revealed to be a hoax.

Then there was the reports of a teen-pregnancy pact in Massechussets, complete with a 24 year-old homeless man as one of the fathers.

Just two days ago, someone sent me this link about a woman that had been dead for 42 years in front of her television before anyone found her.

The week even started out pretty wild with stories of Taliban attackers freeing anywhere from 250-400 of their comrades from a prison in Afghanistan.

I don't even want to know what next week will bring.