Will Journalists Flock to PR? We Can Only Hope.

More and more journalists are working on their resumes instead of articles these days. Just glance at the business section of the newspapers they used to work for and you’ll see headlines about more media downsizing and publications closing their doors. It’s a sad reality of the evolving media climate. While media organizations struggle with what business model will work best for the future, many journalists are finding themselves figuring out what’s next for them.

Personally, I’d like to see more journalists on the PR side of the equation. Some of the best PR people I’ve worked with have been reporters in their past lives. While many journalists might view making the transition to PR as crossing over to the darkside, I think it could be one of the best things for PR today. Here are a few reasons why journalists make better PR people:

  • Journalists know how to write well (and edit)
  • Journalists work well under pressure
  • Journalists love deadlines (and meet them)
  • Journalists don’t mind working long hours (or at off-peak times)
  • Journalists know how to find the story behind the story
  • Journalists know what journalists want
  • Journalists know how to not piss off other journalists
  • Journalists have existing relationships in the media

I could go on an on about this topic, but I’ve made my point. I can’t think of a client that wouldn’t want a journalist working on their account. A journalist brings far more credibility to the account team (and the agency) than many other PR professionals. The smart agencies (and corporations for that matter) should be monitoring media layoffs closely, they just might find their next best hire.

Are you a journalist contemplating a move to PR? Have you already made the switch? Let us know.

About Jeremy Porter 214 Articles
Jeremy Porter has been passionate about the intersection of public relations and journalism since studying both Public Relations and Journalism at Utica College of Syracuse University in the late 90s. Porter launched Journalistics in 2009 to share his ideas and insights around both professions and how trends and developments in modern day marketing, communications, and technology impact those working in these fields. Porter also values the traditions and history of both professions and regularly shares his perspective in these areas - and related topics geared toward the next generation of journalism and public relations professionals.

3 Comments

  1. I “went to the other side” about 20 years ago, when newspaper journalism was still very much alive and kicking and journalism jobs were plentiful. I took lots of flack from my journalism peers, many of whom wrote me off saying I had sold out. To this day I never looked back. I am fantastic at what I do. I am proud of the news and information I share with reporters. I have never once “pitched” a reporter. When I call them, it is to provide them with real trends, reliable expert sources and to share news. I remember being pitched by bad PR people, and I vowed to never become one of “those kind” of publicists. When my clients want me to get coverage of something that is not truly newsworthy, I am honest with them. I work with them to make it newsworthy. Both reporters and clients have learned to respect me as a result. Today I am in charge of hiring at my PR agency. We have several reporters on staff who are our top results generators because they get it, just like I do. So I say, bring them on! Send me your resumes!

  2. I made the switch about a year ago. I was nervous about it but am happy with my decision. I do miss the daily grind of knowing what will be in the newspaper tomorrow before it gets printed but I believe I made a good choice.

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