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Hack turned flack

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):

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

‘Making the Leap’ and the Importance of PR Education

The cast of 'St. Elmo's Fire' in their caps and gowns.

Mary Elin Arch was laid off from The Richmond Times-Dispatch and decided to become a publicist. Sounds like the path taken by many journalists. However, the New York Times took a closer look at Arch’s journey to “the other side” and shows how a stop at Virginia Commonwealth University helped her reach her destination.

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Glover Park Hires AP Chief White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven

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Associated Press Chief White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven joins the powerful Washington DC firm Glover Park Group as managing director in its public affairs practice after 18 years at the newswire.

Loven joined the AP in 1992 as an editorial assistant, and has since worked a number of regions and beats before covering the White House during the Bush and Obama administrations. After getting promoted to Chief in 2008, she also became president of the White House Correspondents Association where she “shepherded relations between the incoming Obama administration and the press corps,” according to Glover Park’s press release.

Loven carries the same managing director title as Alex Mistri, who also joined the firm this month. Mistri was previously at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

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AdAge‘s Beer Reporter Joins MillerCoors’ PR Firm

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Advertising Age‘s beer, alcohol and sports reporter Jeremy Mullman is joining Dig Communications in the newly created position of senior editor. He will work on a number of accounts at the boutique firm, including one of its biggest, MillerCoors.

According to a note sent to friends and family on Facebook, Mullman joined to try something different and wasn’t laid off. “Those of you who know me best know I wouldn’t walk away from journalism for just any job. I’ve worked with (and, I suppose, occasionally against) the people at Dig for years. They’re exceptional at what they do, and they understand that, as a former editor of mine once put it, ‘PR helps you communicate something demonstrably true,’” he wrote.

Mullman is also known in the media business for breaking the Conrad Black story in April 2003 while at Crain’s Chicago Business. Black was the third biggest newspaper publishing magnate in the world at that time, and was convicted of diverting Hollinger funds into his own accounts — a crime that earned him 78 months in Federal prison.

Mediaweek Editor-in-Chief Michael Burgi Joins Canoe Ventures as VP, PR

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After 17 years at Mediaweek, Michael Burgi is leaving his editor-in-chief post for an internal PR job. Burgi accepted a position as VP of communications at Canoe Ventures, a consortium of cable operators attempting to set standards for audience targeting, interactivity and measurement in multiplatform advertising.

Mediaweek was one of five magazines Nielsen Business Media sold to e5 Global Media earlier this year. Burghi told The Wrap his move had nothing to do with the shakeup, including e5′s hiring of Condé Nast publishing vet Richard Beckman (known as “Mad dog”). “It was just time for a change. I wasn’t fired,” he said.

Executive editor Jim Cooper is expected to move up to editor-in-chief.

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