Let’s get real. Journalists leaving for PR happens all the time. This is nothing new to the recession: we’ve always been underpaid compared to our
sellout more marketing-oriented counterparts.
And if you’re going to make the jump, you might as well do it right. Jilted Journalists, a new web site by an ex-journalist that helps newspapermen and women make sense of their new futures, has a feature up today about hacks turned flacks. Ignoring the absolutely terrible layout (sorry guys), the piece contains some useful information besides the usual “journalists are valued in other professions because they know how to write” stuff you hear all the time.
John Yocca was a reporter at three newspapers before he moved to Stern + Associates. “What we bring to Stern is a respect for journalists, Yocca said. “Communications majors who focus on PR never really understand both sides of the coin. We’re bound to the client but we have to respect the journalists just as much. Without respect, we won’t get clients into the media.”
And having that experience on the other side of the coin is valuable when meeting with journalists: “It seems to disarm journalists,” said Laura Moss, an account executive at Stern who calls the news business “a dead end.” (ouch!)
The hardest part about transitioning to PR? Learning to manage clients. Yocca “said he got a crash course on balancing clients’ needs with media needs and learned not to give more than the client wants to give.” (Oops!)
So, are you a jilted journalist thinking of turning to public relations? Tell us in the comments.