After years of juggling career ideas and training in journalism, I have finally taken the leap into the world of PR. There is something refreshing about creating the news of tomorrow rather than reporting on it.
Two sides of the same coin
There is undoubtedly a mutually dependent relationship between the media and PR. PR professionals rely on the media to get coverage and journalists rely on PR professionals to highlight newsworthy stories. Neither can exist without each other and largely have the same principles – communication and storytelling.
I strongly believe my experience in journalism puts me at a great advantage as a PR professional. I know what makes journalists tick and understand the demands they are under. Journalism has taught me many things – how to spot a strong story with an engaging hook, picking up the phone and speaking to just about anyone and thinking on my feet.
Inevitably, the world of PR is generally more positive than journalism. At XL Communcations, the focus is less on tragic deaths and local campaigns and more on promoting new innovations or launching new products. However, that is not to say PR is in anyway detached from the news agenda. On the contrary, successful PR campaigns respond to current affairs and events around the world.
One of the biggest misconceptions people have about PR is that it is all about fancy lunches and drinking endlessly with clients. That may have been the case back in the day, but it most definitely is a myth in modern public relations. Building solid relationships with relevant contacts is fundamental to get by in PR. The difference is in PR you have the advantage of time because the deadlines are not so tight, allowing you to build relationships with clients, potential clients and journalists.
Critics may say PR is easier than journalism. However, I can already say that is most definitely not true. PR requires creativity, perseverance, social skills and extensive knowledge. There is no doubt PR allows me to use more of my creativity far more than journalism. You have the freedom to think outside the box much more and do not have the pressure of churning out multiple stories or interviews daily.
There is a running joke in the newsroom that crossing from journalism to PR is like moving to the ‘dark side’ but I certainly see a very bright future in PR.