Sunday Mail Columnist, Frances Whiting, started her adult life as a Primary School Teacher. While living in the East End of London, she taught underprivileged kids and built a strong “trust” with the children and their parents in her year long stint. So much so, that the parents would often visit her bearing illegal gifts.
On her return to Australia, Frances found she had lost her passion for teaching and at the age of twenty eight, commenced her studies in journalism at The University of Queensland. After 6 years of study, Francis, “learnt the ropes” at a regional North Coast paper. Then, The Sunday Mail offered her a one off story about “the ekka”.
Sixteen years later, Frances holds the record for the longest held position as Columnist for The Sunday Mail. She says that the intimate form of writing has opened up many lines of communication. For example, “You have put on a bit of weight.” Nevertheless, both the readers and Frances feel they have an insight into each other’s worlds.
Her newly appointed role as a Feature Writer for Q Weekend is to inform. “You get the opportunity to do things properly,” said Frances. She says that it gives you a real chance to meet great people (like, One Direction and Steve Irwin) and it is quite often not the famous you remember (the optimistic and happy Sophie Delazio).
On the difference between her two positions, she explains; that while her columns may appear personal they are not intimate, her columns are tailored to a specific audience, and that feature article are extended versions of hard news.
Frances Whiting’s hot tips for budding Communication Experts:
- Do what you love, follow your passion.
- Create your own job
- Your most important asset is your contacts
- Be everywhere
- Follow-up always
- Find a way to do it your way
- Find your own voice
- Love what you do
- Don’t forget the basics
- Be professional