Calling all PR professionals and journalists: do you know where your job is headed?
We love when our subscribers and readers reach out and share their tips, tricks, and content they love, so I was quite excited to see an email in my inbox about a piece of content discussing the convergence of PR and journalism from Software Advice.
As a PR pro who spends most of my waking hours trying to figure out the most effective way to get my clients’ stories heard, I was intrigued. It was then a no-brainer to share the gist of the article with our readers, with my own personal take on the future of PR and journalism.
Journalism is Changing
Journalism as a career is changing. Much like technology and the internet has changed our world so significantly in the last twenty years, the power of internet-based publications have thrown the concept of journalism a speedy curve ball. Yes, journalists and writers for newspapers and magazines still exist in the traditional sense but it should come as no surprise that many seasoned journalists have made the jump from daily editorials in print to writing high-quality content for blogs and websites.
And they’re not afraid to jump around when an even better opportunity presents itself. I’ve noticed in my own experience how quickly and easily writers can hop from media outlet to media outlet. Great content is paramore and great journalists know how to deliver. It should come as no surprise that companies are willing to invest, heavily, in their talent.
Enter Public Relations
PR professionals tend to get a bad rep from journalists but at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to do our job. In fact, in a world where content is king, us PR pros have a lot of value to add and can provide that extra momentum that really ensures the content journalists create goes the extra mile. When content is created, it’s important to ensure that it appears in the right places, be shared extensively on social media, and that it achieves the kind of exposure that has other content writers wanting to mention it in future posts.
The wider the reach, the more powerful the content.
Not only are PR professionals great at pitching journalists to get media attention for their clients; we’re quite good at promoting content too. Which is one of the reasons I was immediately drawn to the concept of the article shared with me. If content is king, I’d argue PR is its queen.
Is This the End to Journalism?
According to the article shared, “Content is King and You Can Be Too: The Convergence of PR and Journalism” the number of journalism jobs have decreased by 25 percent since 2000. It’s expected they’ll drop by another six percent between 2010 and 2020. Jobs in the PR space on the other hand, rose by nearly 63 percent between 2000 and 2010. It’s expected that there will be another 21 percent increase between 2010 and 2020.
Are these numbers shocking? I’d argue not. After all, print is nearly dead and PR was recently found to be one of the happiest career choices. But it raises an interesting point – what does this mean for the fate of journalism?
According to Software Advice, the drop in journalism positions coincides with a rise in PR, Marketing, and Advertising positions for a reason. Ultimately, the lines dividing the two have become blurred. “Marketing and PR departments are starting to function like newsrooms, and journalists are being recruited to these new, ‘hybrid’ roles,” explains Software Advice. “Journalists and PR people are being reborn as content marketers.”
Meet the Content Marketer
What I thought was particularly interesting about Software Advice’s piece, was that most journalism graduates as well as PR graduates are both being hired as Content Marketers. As Taylor Aldredge from Grasshopper explained, “Your job is to come up with the material as a resource expert, then promote it as if you were public relations specialist.”
Afterall, doesn’t great content all come down to your ability to tell and share a great story?
This is where social media comes into play. While the telephone and rolodex were once a publicist’s best friend; they’ve since been replaced by social networks. I’ve had just as much success connecting with journalists through Twitter and LinkedIn as I have with email.
So What Do We Call Ourselves?
If anything, this article really made me think of my career as a tech publicist – is it really all PR? Or could I be mistaken by some as a Content Marketer in disguise? The truth is, it’s quite easy for me to think of myself as a little bit of both.
While I’m lucky to work with an incredible team who write great content, I know that my ability to tell a great story too is crucial to my own success. If I can’t create the perfect pitch, the ultimate angle, or a lasting story about my client or their product, no one wins. I need to research my clients’ industries. Be an expert on each. But does that make me a journalist? Not exactly.
At the end of the day, I still consider myself a public relations professional. But yes, I can write a pretty great story too. As Taylor Aldredge says, “It doesn’t matter what your role is – journalist, content marketer or PR specialist. You NEED to produce awesome stuff.”
Worry less about what you call yourself and just be an amazing storyteller.
Want to read more on the convergence of PR and journalism? Check out Software Advice’s article and let us know what you think! Is journalism dead? Have PR and journalism really combined forces? We’d love to hear your thoughts!