Trust me, I’m a Journalist!

All the Presidents Men

Trust me, I’m a journalist!

Well, I used to be, not so long ago, until I made the not-so-giant leap to the “dark side”.

With one swift sidestep I moved from a deadline-driven, fast-paced environment of harangued editors desperately trying to feed the beast against a backdrop of plunging revenue, head-spinning advancements in technology and a crashing economy into.. well a deadline-driven, fast-paced environment and the rest…

It is a different world, there is no doubt about that, but it is also a very similar beast.

It was once very much frowned upon for a journalist to move into PR. It was considered a sell-out, an easy option. The few who did felt ridiculed and sniggered at.

But over the past number of years there has been a discernible influx of some top class journalists into PR.

So, why is this?

Of course, the newspaper industry is in serious peril, the concept of a full-time job in print now seems prehistoric and sadly every other day you hear about more journalists out of work.

But, is this the only driver behind this sudden transition?

It could be down to the fact that PR itself is no longer considered a dirty word.

In these challenging times of increasingly straitened resources but ever increasing demands, journalists are under more pressure than ever. These days a call from a PR professional with a worthwhile story, far from being considered an unwelcome interruption can actually provide a welcome lifeline.

As a reporter my job was to find interesting and relevant stories which would pique the interest of the most mercurial of newspaper editors and deliver day-in day-out, which is pretty much my current job description.

I made the move to PR two months ago and I haven’t looked back since, partly because I am too busy to do so, but mostly because it is a fun, challenging  job with opportunity and longevity.

It was essential to me to go somewhere, which shared my values and where I would be able to put my skill sets to the best use – Fuzion fit the bill.

I won’t lie, possessing a well-honed, journalistic instinct is a huge advantage – the ability to cast a trained eye through a press release littered with trivia and find the news angle and then sell it to your trusted former colleagues and friends is critical.

The difficult part is trying to convince your clients that the angle they believe to be the most relevant sometimes belongs at the bottom of the release or possibly in the trash!

But I just take a deep breath and tell them “Trust me, I’m a journalist” and thankfully, for the most part, they do..

Edel O’Connell is a Senior Account Manager with Fuzion PR working from the Dublin office.

Fuzion are a PR firm in Ireland with offices in Dublin and Cork

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