Making a move from PR to journalism

The core skills you learn and use in PR transfer well to the newsroom. They include:   Writing abilities A…
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The core skills you learn and use in PR transfer well to the newsroom. They include:


  1. Writing abilities

A large part of the PR day involves writing, including a tonne of documents across press releases, photo captions and blog articles.

Companies hiring for a journalism position will probably ask for writing samples, and so having a massive back catalogue of ‘hits’ is useful (especially in securing well-paid freelance for candidates in the interim).


  1. Editorial judgment

Editors in a PR firm know how to determine what’s important to their audience and plan their communication accordingly. It’s much easier to do this when you’ve already been on the other side, having to editorialize PR releases that make silly claims and use childish hyperbole (which is most press releases).


  1. Ability to meet deadlines

News by its nature has to be absorbed, edited and distributed very quickly, and working in PR is no different.  Delays client side often mean long delays in feedback, and managing this is the job of the PR consultant. Strong managers work with clients and coach them how to deliver what they need quickly. When this doesn’t happen, jobs get rushed and quality is poor.


  1. Multimedia experience

Most reporters now are responsible for creating multiple digital media assets for their stories, including photos, videos, infographics and social media promotion. This translates directly to the sorts of skills required in PR, because in essence, the two fields represent the light and dark halves of the same ying-yang. It all goes in the portfolio too, and video is impressive for potential employers.


  1. Media relations

Both media and PR are very much relationship businesses, and the bond between top media outlets and good PR firms cannot be over-emphasized. This is basically what builds PR companies and what they sell to clients. Media always needs content, of course, so it’s in the interest of both parties that this works well, both long-term and strategically.


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