By Kristina Houck, Research and Online Content Specialist
Thinking about leaving the newsroom for the PR world?
Many reporters successfully make the transition into public relations. (Several of us on the (W)right On team have a journalism background.) To do so, you’ll need to learn about the field and obtain new skills. Still, you will find more than a few journalism skills useful in your new career. Here are the top four:
Although you will be doing much more than writing as a public relations professional, you’ll still depend on your excellent writing skills to succeed. As a reporter, you’ve likely received a number of news releases that read like sales pitches or user manuals. Because of your writing and editing experience, you will know how to present the facts without the frills while making sure your client’s message is compelling, but also accurate and clear.
Your interview skills will come in handy in the PR world, which actually requires a lot of time listening to clients as you come up to speed on their industries, business models and products or services. Instead of speaking with sources on the phone, you will pitch to media. To get your client’s message across, you will need to know how to communicate effectively with others.
As a reporter, you’ve had years of experience pitching story ideas to your editor. You’ve also received countless phone calls and emails from PR pros looking to get their stories published. Therefore, you understand what gets published and what doesn’t. You also understand what makes the front page and what receives a brief mention. Understanding newsworthiness can help you relate a client’s message to a current events story or a larger trend piece so your story gets picked up.
Work on deadlines
Reporters know a thing or two about deadlines. You’ll need to manage your time as a PR professional, too. Instead of working on multiple stories with different deadlines, you will work on multiple accounts with different expectations. Many PR firms require account executives to document the time they spend on each account, so be sure you use your time wisely.
Happy job hunting! Oh, and if you’re actively seeking a new opportunity, check out ours at (W)right On Communications: http://www.wrightoncomm.com/careers.htm