My foray into the public relations world was a fairly recent one. After six years of being a journalist, I decided to try something new and join the “dark side of journalism”.
That’s right! I moved into the public relations industry, filling my world with press release drafting, media launches, and the constant worry whether journalists will cover the story.
But the more I learned about public relations industry, the more I realised that there are a number of common skills that overlaps across the two fields.
Here are the eight journalism skills that proved to be extremely useful in the public relations world.
TELL A STORY
Similarly to journalism, in public relations content is king. It is essential to craft a compelling and newsworthy press release or news pitch or else nobody is going to pick up the story. Like any good article, come up with an engaging lead and make the reader want to read more!
In journalism, we are taught to research and to ALWAYS double check facts and numbers. The same rule applies to public relations. It is important to make sure that you are presenting accurate information to the media and public through your public relations activities. There’s nothing worse than issuing a correction after you have sent out a press release. So be sure to always double check names, facts and numbers!
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!
Networking is important in both journalism and public relations. Whether you are hunting down your next exclusive or searching for a new client, connections and a large social network would serve you well!
DEALING WITH DEADLINES
Deadlines are the bane of any journalist’s existence. The public relations world is not that different! Rather than story deadlines, you are instead fielded with deadlines for pitches, press releases, reports… you get the idea!
Instead of following up for a quote or statement for a story, a PR practitioner will be calling to follow up with journalists about that press release or pitch we sent over! Hmmm… Is that why public relations is considered the dark side of journalism?
PAY ATTENTION AND LISTEN
Listen… really listen… Journalists will perk up at certain parts of the interview at the “that’s my lead” or “that’s a good quote” moment. They know to ask follow-up questions and prod for more information. Similarly, a PR practitioner should listen to their client to find out what services they are looking for, what their goals are, and what they feel is lacking in their business so we can do our best to assist them.
STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE
A seasoned journalist will know how to steer an interview and get their interviewee to give them the quote they want for their story. This foresight and intuition is a skill that will make a good PR practitioner and prevent any unnecessary PR crisis!
Isn’t this the most important part? Journalists certain know how to have fun and let loose after a hard day in the newsroom. And the team at Mutant does exactly that! We work hard and play hard! That is one of the reasons why we have been awarded the Best Mid-Sized Agency To Work For APAC by Holmes Report (Woohoo!).
Join the Mutant family by saying “hi” at firstname.lastname@example.org.