By Roberta Kavanagh

As technology advances, bringing more and more digital platforms, the PR industry continues to expand and create new employment opportunities.

Throughout the PR program at Sheridan, our professors mentioned that journalists were leaving their careers and transitioning into the PR field.

Why is that? Why are journalists leaving the newsroom and what makes them viable candidates for PR roles?

Why they are leaving.

Traditional print media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) are said to be dying due to the rise of digital platforms. Falling newspaper revenues lead to staff cuts in the newsroom; experienced journalists must then seek ways to increase their earning potential using the skills they have. PR has higher average salaries than journalism, making the field appealing.

Why they are being hired.

One possible explanation for PR agencies hiring journalists is they possess skills necessary for the industry. Journalists have advanced writing capabilities and they know how to create newsworthy stories, which is crucial for PR. They come with solid media relationships, giving them an advantage when pitching stories. Journalists are also equipped with the strategies involved in knowing how to pitch their stories and ideas.  Finally, they often possess skills such as design, photography and editing, and they understand the newsroom environment.  

Where they fall short.

Although journalists have a lot to offer, dedicated PR professionals should not be underestimated. A career in PR requires a wide range of skills, such as communications strategies development, event planning, crisis management and promotional content creation. Journalists will still need to enhance and broaden their abilities if they choose to go into PR.

With this in mind, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for journalism curricula in post-secondary schools to address the potential role of PR with their students.

For more on the subject, check out the Media Update report.



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