What’s going on with PR and journalism?
Public relations and journalism are two professions that always bump into each other, it is inevitable. It is hard to say whether they could exist on their own, without each other, but we can for sure say they help each other in what they do. Sometimes they make it easier, sometimes they make it harder on each other. It is definitely interesting to study their love-hate relationship.
Public relations practitioners goal is to inform and educate their targeted public and audience about their client (organizations, groups, people plus and their products or services). Besides that, there are a lot of other goals and functions of PR. They aim to build and manage a positive reputation, build and nurture relationships which are important for and to their client. Everything they do they do through communication which should be their best skill.
Journalist’s goal is to inform and educate the public about everything that concerns them and the public interest. Everything they write, say or show should be true, fair and objective as much as possible. They are always in a search for truth. They try to discover things, good or bad, that are hidden from the public eye.
We are talking about two different professions but they sure do have some similarities. Being a newbie in both professions there is a small amount of them you can notice. As you progress in your career you will notice a lot more things, for sure.
Two most important things they have in common is writing and truth factor. No matter if you work on the radio, TV or in the newspapers as a journalist you will never stop writing and that will be your passion. You will write in many different formats but you will always aim to write fair, objective as much you can and truthful. Now the main thing people question about PR written text is the truth factor. But don’t forget there is no lying in PR! Yes, as a PR practitioner you will also never stop writing. Besides sending out standard PR press releases, now and then, you will have to write an article or do an interview. Everything you write must be true or you will lose your credibility and that is something you really don’t want to happen. There is no spaces for lying in PR.
The main difference is that PR texts necessarily don’t need to be objective. Most of the time they are not, they contain only positive information. If you want your press release to go well then your goal should be to write it by journalistic standards which means it should contain newsworthy information and you should go easy on the superlatives.
No matter what anyone thinks, these two professions need each other. Journalist needs PR pros to get the news or stories and PR pros need journalist to get their messages out in the media. They should learn more about each other and their practices so they can build better relationships and work well together not against each other. Yes, they will always get on each other’s nerves now and then, but that is something they have to live with.