So, here we go.
I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Boston, and clearing the mental decks for a big change. One week from now, I’ll be joining the Boston Foundation as their Director of Public Relations.
If you’re like many people, your first reaction will fall somewhere between “That’s great!” and “What is the Boston Foundation?” Or both.
The Boston Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the country, doling out about $80 million each year in grants – a mix of funds allocated by donors for their favorite causes and money controlled by the Foundation at its discretion. The Foundation has a very active community piece, and also a more and more active role shaping research and policy in the Greater Boston area, to tackle tiny little issues like education, housing and health care.
When people asked me what I wanted my next job to be, my sort of snarky answer was that it didn’t matter exactly what it was, as long as it was communications/media related and I had to care about the content. TBF fits on both those levels like a glove.
Of course, there is a lot I don’t know. I haven’t spent that much time “on the other side of the ball”, to use a quality football analogy. And I haven’t spent that much time working with people who type for a living, as NECN reporter/Boston Globe expat Peter Howe puts it. That is creating the healthy tension for me between excitement and terror that is healthy in any new position. It tells me I know just enough to realize I’m going to grow like kudzu to keep up.
But I can’t think of a place in Boston with more stories to tell than the Foundation, and they are important stories, based in research and reality. There will be some sleepless nights for me, but I’m hopeful and confident that this brave new world will be a beautiful place to hang my hat.
And after two decades in windowless corners of newsrooms… I finally
get might get an office with a window. (Or near a window. See the comments. Still a step up.)
Feel free to share your advice in the comments. What’s the most important thing I should know and do as I cross over to the other side?