I’m looking to transition into conservation communication,
I’ve been working as a retouch manager for 6 years, after graduating my Wildlife Photography degree which included science modules (but is a B.Arts). I was wondering what would be more useful short-term: a journalism short course or a marketing short course?
I’m also assuming my degree is a little weak if I want to interview alongside people with scientific degrees. What would be my best option if returning to degree-level education?
Nice to hear from you again!
For the first question, the answer may lie in whether you wish to work in communications or marketing? Sounds like a silly question, but these two roles (although often combined) are different. Communications aims to raise awareness, Marketing seeks to deliver support. Communications is publicity, Marketing is selling. Communications is press releases, news stories and videos, Marketing is events, memberships schemes, email marketing, legacy brochures etc. There are large cross-overs as they both often use similar channels (e.g. they’ll both use social media, emails, website etc) but their fundamental goal is different. Which speaks most to your heart? This might help to focus your direction.
For the second question, have you looked at our communications careers advice articles here? http://www.conservation-careers.com/tag/communications/ There’s a wealth of really relavent advice for you in here from professional communicators working in conservation today. Education is important (you don’t always need a BSc) but in communications experience counts for a lot too. It’s also one of the areas where you can showcase your talent by writing, getting published, running your own blog etc. You can share your writing, images and videos and get yourself known.
A good exmaple of this is http://www.jamesborrell.com/. He’s made a huge name himself off the back of his excellent blog. I’m aware of your website, great artwork and photography. Add to this with some great examples of your writing and get it in front of potential employers (and broadcast using social media) might really help.
I hope this helps a bit.