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From journalism to PR: The other side of the fence…

In a world of web-based news sources, iPad magazine editions and social media – where a news story is broken on Twitter rather than the front page of a tabloid – everyone has had to adapt.

And that is what I had to do. I qualified as a video journalist, moved into commercial editorial to reflect the demands of the business, and became an avid blogger, Tweeter, Facebooker for the titles I worked on.

But after eight years working in regional newspapers, along with a stint on a women’s glossy magazine, I was ready for a completely fresh start – and moving to a PR agency presented the perfect challenge.

I’m not the first journalist to move into PR, and I certainly won’t be the last. The marketing world is not a million miles away from the press, and I’d been told my skills and expertise would be welcomed into the industry. I’d had a taste of writing for clients and I built up a brilliant rapport with many PR executives and consultants, but I wondered … what it was going to be like working with them?

It’s been almost three months since I became a PR consultant and it’s probably been my best career move. It combines my writing and creative skills with a corporate environment, and there’s still that fast-pace I always loved in the newsroom. You still get that rush in PR as you do in journalism, but it’s different. I used to feel excited when a feature I’d slaved over made it into the Daily Mail, or when I’d helped share someone’s life-changing story. Now, I get that buzz when I see the great coverage on that same national playing field, from a news release I wrote, resulting in a good impact on my client’s business.

In fact, moving across two industries that work in tandem and complement each other has its benefits. For example, I know what journalists want, so I can tailor press releases to their needs. And I still have that “news sense” that’s been instilled in me since I was an 18-year-old newsroom junior, so I can steer my clients in the right direction to maximise coverage.

It’s also opened my eyes to a variety of businesses, and I’m relishing the opportunity to learn more about all of my clients and their industries – whether it’s state-of-the-art mobility equipment, or the latest developments in pig production. Working with a close-knit team means I’m also honing my skills in other areas, such as pitching, invoicing and learning how SEO works. Oh, and I’ve been immortalised into a little Scandanavian hybrid toy figure, too.

I’m broadening my knowledge all of the time and my role is ever-changing – much like when I used to be a journalist, but this time, I’m on the other side of the fence …

By Laura Greendale, PR consultant at Bluestorm

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