3 Things I’ve Learned After a Year in PR

One year ago this month, I made a fairly common career move in the media world: I jumped from an editorial role at a news organization to a PR agency. As I tell my boss every chance I get, it was a terrific decision and I haven’t looked back. However, “changing teams” can be a culture shock for some. If you’re thinking of making a similar switch, here are three things that might surprise you:

1) PR types aren’t journalists’ natural enemies. In some circles, PR professionals are looked down upon as mere flacks who hound journalists for favorable coverage of their clients. But we actually work in tandem with members of the media, in some ways making their lives easier while also widening the breadth of their coverage. At kglobal, we spend a ton of time thinking about our main audience (typically journalists, writers, and other media professionals) and how we can get our message across to them in a way that’s easy to digest and respectful of their busy schedules. If done right, everyone benefits from this approach.

2) Creativity is king. In my former life as an editor, I was on receiving end of so many brutal media pitches that I just assumed mindless repetition was the industry standard. But I’ve learned that success in PR comes from creativity, not simply doing it the way it’s always been done. So how can you promote creative thinking? At kglobal, we believe that diverse experiences foster diverse ideas. Few if any of our employees have spent their entire careers within agencies; some have bounced between PR and political campaigns, nonprofits, journalism, or the government, while for others this is their first agency job. Having a variety of life experiences and points of view in the room is one of the keys to success.

3) We need you, and you’ll be good at this. Today’s journalist isn’t just a scribe like in the olden days. They write, research, edit, investigate, explain, tweet, shoot, livestream, host, and much more. And that variety of experiences is perfect training for a PR job. After all, we’ve changed too. Our firm doesn’t just do traditional media relations for clients; we run digital and social campaigns, brainstorm marketing strategies, protect our clients’ brands, develop strategic plans, and create websites, infographics, and other “digital-first” media. In our fast-paced, multifaceted media world, flexibility is a virtue.

So, my journalistically-minded friends, what are you waiting for? Come on over to the dark side – the water’s fine 🙂

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