TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Hack turned flack

Hack Turned Flack: Former NYT Editor/Current PR Pro Weighs In

Get the scoop, see?

Here’s something we wish we’d found earlier. For the past 11 months Gorkana, provider of database and analytics services designed for both sides of the PR/media equation, has run a series on its company blog called “Moving to the Darkside” in which media professionals describe making the transition into public relations. A month ago they featured our own contributor Lindsay Goldwert, and for their most recent post they spoke to former New York Times assistant metro editor Nicole Collins Bronzan.

This one is particularly interesting because Bronzan previously represented gay rights group Freedom to Marry and now works as director of communications for non-profit investigative journalism organization ProPublica, whose revealing stories about corporate misdeeds feel designed to make PR people sweat.

Here’s a key quote about journalists considering a career change:

…many people turn to PR as an easy out – and give the profession a bad name – without really considering whether some whole other career would make more sense for them. In a nutshell: If you see PR as a “way out,” take a little time and think more deeply about it.

Don’t hear that point made often, do you? The whole series is well worth a look.

Time‘s Rick Stengel Named America’s New Publicist

Time magazine managing editor Rick Stengel is leaving journalism for a job at the State Department. The very likely title is Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, one we’ve characterized before as “America’s Publicist“. Stengel, the oft-face of magazine on shows such as Morning Joe, and nominee of many National Magazine Awards (including a win for Magazine of the Year in 2012)  has the following job description:

The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs leads America’s public diplomacy outreach, which includes communications with international audiences, cultural programming, academic grants, educational exchanges, international visitor programs, and U.S. Government efforts to confront ideological support for terrorism. The Under Secretary oversees the bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs, well as the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, and participates in foreign policy development.

Stengel replaces Tara Sonenshine, who served under both Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. The position has been occupied by a number of big names in recent history including James K. Glassman, Karen Hughes, and Judith McHale.

[h/t Capital New York]

Hack Turned Flack: Former Journalist Explains the Transition


Some in the media world are under the impression that journalism and PR are basically much one and the same. While that’s obviously not true, the two disciplines require some of the same skill sets, so the differences are well worth noting—especially if you’re a journalist looking to make the transition or a PR pro who wants a better understanding of the journalist’s perspective.

In a recent post on Contently‘s Content Strategist blog, former journalist and current director of content and media strategy at Bateman Group Elinor Mills explains those differences in greater detail. It’s well worth a read, but we’ve picked some highlights:

Read more

Let’s Make June ‘Be Kind to a Journalist’ Month

Hack to Flack is a monthly column by Lindsay Goldwert, a senior program executive at Hotwire, a global tech PR firm. Before she leapt to the dark side, Lindsay worked at the New York Daily News, ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, CourtTV, Glamour and Redbook.

If there’s any profession that deserves a little TLC this month, it’s the print and online news business. Pink slips flew at the New York Daily News, buyouts reigned at the Post and the Village Voice imploded. The DOJ is breathing down the AP’s neck. Rumors are flying about layoffs at ESPN. I doubt there’s more than handful of newsrooms in the country where reporters and editors feel confident that their jobs, as they know them, will be there in 2014.

There’s been more than a few things written about how the PR industry needs to change in the face of the shrinking newsroom. But in a field that’s supposed to be built on “relationships,” I haven’t seen much empathy for the laid-off journalists. Strange, since we rely on their news judgment, good moods and spare moments to consider our stories and ideas for publication.

Consider what journalists do: They make it known that they’re interested in hearing about, say, new fitness apps. Then they get a deluge of emails from PR people who pitch them everything from fitness water, to fitness DVDs, to fitness instructors. “Maybe for a future story,” we say. That’s like you emailing your friends seeking a good housepainter and getting hundreds of responses for floor guys, electricians, roofers and custom closet makers “just in case.” That’s not good work — that’s telemarketing.

We all talk about “cutting through the noise.” Hail Mary pitches that only push your client’s agenda and don’t propose any real value to a reporter or editor are noise.

Here are some ways to make lives easier for journalists that can only benefit you and your clients in the end:

Read more

Hack to Flack: How Being a Good Journalist Will Make You a Better PR Pro

Today we’re very glad to bring you another guest post by Lindsay Goldwert, a senior program executive at Hotwire PR who jumped into the field after performing editorial duties for New York Daily News, ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, CourtTV, Glamour and Redbook. Here’s her previous post on writing better pitches.

I won’t lie — the first two months at my new job were an adjustment.

After spending twelve years as a working journalist, I simply did not know how to operate on the other side. The PR industry’s language confused me; I felt like I was starting over, and it was a scary, unsettling feeling. Most painfully, I was mourning the loss of a career path. It hadn’t treated me all that well but, frankly, it was was all I knew.

Then again, I hadn’t been doing much real journalism lately. Wasn’t that why I quit in the first place?

I turned a corner a few weeks ago and, for the first time in many years, I’m experiencing the warm glow of possibility. It’s a good feeling to leave a shrinking, scrambling, panicking field for one that’s growing, experimenting and writing its own rules for success. Ideas are valued. Insight is appreciated. Your time is money. Industry knowledge is gold.

For others who are contemplating a career shift, I offer these reasons why you may feel extremely valued in the PR field (and not just for your media contacts):

Read more

Hack to Flack: A Former Journalist’s Guide to Better PR Pitches

Today we’re happy to bring you a guest post by Lindsay Goldwert, a senior program executive at a global tech PR firm. Before she leapt to the dark side, Lindsay worked at the New York Daily News, ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, CourtTV, Glamour and Redbook. In her spare time, she writes short stories.

As a communications vet who’s worn both the “journalism” and “PR” hats, she provides us with a very unique take on the delicate dance that we call “media relations.” Enjoy!

I have a confession: until very recently I was a working journalist–and I was very cruel to PR people.

Who could blame me? Tasked with writing and producing “life & style” content for the New York Daily News’s bustling website, I could not be bothered with endless email pitches that had nothing to do with my beat. I got snippy when people called to ask me if I had received their e-mail, yet every time I cleared my inbox it managed to fill up again within the hour.

By mid-morning every day, I already had a slate of content to work on–most of it stories that bounced off the day’s news. Yet PR people still called me (always when I was on deadline) to ask whether I might have time for a desk-side client interview or a three-hour lunch event.

Didn’t they know that, as a digital reporter, I never left my desk? Soon, I didn’t just ignore emails from PR people — I deleted them en masse without reading them. Eventually, I got so frustrated with the ill-timed telephone calls that I just stopped picking up my phone altogether.

Sound familiar?

Read more

Tips for Journalists-Turned-Publicists, From Other Publicists

After MSLGroup SVP Mike Huckman offered up his five tips for journalists making the transition to PR, we thought we’d open up the forum to others. After all, there are plenty of reporters making the switch and, as we’ve seen on certain occasions, a couple of thoughts about how best to handle the new career may be in order.

We put it out there for PR pros and asked for your advice for your new PR colleagues. After the jump, read what we got. What do you think? Share your thoughts (and your tips) in the comments section.

Read more

ABC EP Neufeld Joins Fenton

Victor Neufeld, longtime executive producer with ABC’s news program 20/20, has joined Fenton as the firm’s first executive producer. In this role, Neufeld will help the public interest firm’s clients create content.

Neufeld’s career spans 25 years, including 15 spent as EP at 20/20. He has also worked on Paula Zahn Tonight, the CBS Early Show, and ABC World News Tonight. His work has earned him a number of industry awards including Emmy and Gracie awards.

Read more

Five Things To Prepare For As You Move from Journalist to Publicist

The move from journalist to publicist is a common, but dramatic one. Although PR pros and reporters have a symbiotic relationship, going from one profession to the other is a tremendous career change.

In today’s guest post, Mike Huckman, SVP and director of media strategy at MSLGroup, offers five areas of PR life that a transitioning journalist should be prepared for. Speaking from experience, the move might not be as easy as it looks.

Click through to read on.

Read more

Former ‘NotW’ Employees Turning to PR

PRWeek UK reports that former News of the World reporters have been seeking new jobs in PR. The newspaper’s closure left 200 staffers out of work.

Edelman‘s European CEO Robert Phillips is among those saying that former NotW reporters have been in touch for a job. But some say that a market rife with candidates, particularly ex-journalists, will make it difficult for these reporters to find public relations employment.

“It’s a saturated market already. It’s unlikely that PR agencies will be falling over themselves for a News of the World journalist,” said one unnamed recruitment specialist.

Also out of a job: Les Hinton, Dow Jones CEO who resigned late yesterday afternoon. Hinton was head of News International, the group that publishes the British newspapers, from 1995 to 2007. His resignation letter as well as Rupert Murdoch’s response, are here.

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>