A former PR colleague from the Boston area recently sent me a job listing for a marketing writer. The job title and description seemed absolutely perfect… except it was for health care. I wrote him back and said, “Thanks, but why send this to me? Health care isn’t my specialty.”

He replied, “Health care is the “it” industry right now. Besides, you can emphasize your tech experience since healthcare tech is pretty similar.”

I suppose that is true. I mean what is an x-ray machine besides a really big document camera? (I’m sure that analogy is totally wrong, which is why I shouldn’t ever work in healthcare marketing.) But it got me thinking… Do people outside our industry think most of us are just hanging out here until the economy gets better and we can go do something other than AV? Is AV just a way station to other industries like IT or healthcare? I sure hope not since I’ve been “hanging out” here for almost 10 years and plan to stick around much longer.

The AV industry does many things well, and one of them is talking to ourselves. InfoComm sponsors AV Week once a year (usually in October) to emphasize the importance of our industry, but what about the other 51 weeks of the year? Let’s see…

  • Our trade magazine market is chock full of publications, 90% of which are targeted to AV consultants or integrators (in other words, targeted to us!) And articles are written in such a way that a casual observer may not understand what they are reading.
  • Our industry associations are invested in continual training and education for its members, all of whom are already working in the AV industry and are sold on the awesomeness of what we do.
  • Many of our integration and consulting firms are hiring, but want people with previous experience. Those who are hiring entry-level positions often don’t provide a clear career path, thus squashing any enthusiasm for a newcomer to stick with AV as a career.
  • And looking at the market of freelance writers: I’ve seen the same names alongside mine for most of the past decade. Very rarely does our industry take the time to train a writer on how to write about AV. I was very, very lucky that two editors showed me to the ropes when I transitioned from pro audio manufacturer PR to editorial writing. (Thank you, Keith Clark and Mark Mayfield.) I’m not sure those same opportunities exist today.

So, will AV ever be the “it” industry? Perhaps with a little help and nudging in the right direction. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section of the blog.

As always, thanks for reading.