Despite a freelance reporter recently telling us he had more fun at the PRNewser holiday party than he does at most media gatherings, we still think “turning to their PR contacts” is not high on the list of a laid off journalist’s potential job search tactics.
Westwind Communications President Scott Lorenz doesn’t necessarily agree. “In discussions with my many media contacts, I advise them to be prepared for the worst and to be proactive while still working. If a reporter, writer or editor does end up getting laid off one of the most important assets they will want to use in finding a new job is their PR contacts. Yes, that’s right; the same people who send you press releases may be able to assist you in finding new work or a freelance gig,” he wrote in an open letter on his agency’s blog.
We asked some journalists what they thought. One editor told us, “Yeah, it’s not at all unheard of in the enthusiast (gaming, gadgets) press. But generally once you go to the dark side, you can’t easily return to working as a reporter.”
“That said, I did advise a young college grad friend of mine to take a job in a PR firm as his first post-J-school gig, because it would be a good opportunity to meet the people who work at various publications. He ended up landing a job with a paper a few months later,” he said. PR pros, have you helped a reporter get a gig? Let us know.