Is Jumping From Journalism To PR and Communications A Good Idea?

Is Jumping From Journalism To PR and Communications A Good Idea?

Written by Lois Lane
🕒 December 01, 2021

The holidays are often a time of self-reflection for those of us in the news industry.

When we’re asked to work Christmas, while our families gather around the dinner table hundreds of miles away, you may question if it’s worth listening to the police scanner all night. If you’re tired of missing out on Aunt Tina’s famous pot pie, Public Relations or Communications and Marketing might be worth considering. 

It might seem like the skills you developed in news are specific to a nightly newscast, but in reality that’s not true. Remember, as a journalist you’re a master at gathering information, writing concisely, recording video, speaking clearly and posting to the web or social media. Those skills are exactly what you need to work in PR or Communications, making you a highly desirable candidate.  

Instead of only thinking of specific stories you’ve told, or events you’ve covered, consider the skills it required to tell those stories. 

All of that makes for a winning resume, one that will catch the eye of any new employer looking for a strong writer and storyteller.

Storytelling is a prized skill in the world of PR and Communications, where consultants are now preaching person-first advertising and outreach. 

Nobody wants to read a sales pitch for the sake of the pitch. But, presenting a product through the lens of a human interest story can make the sale. Most importantly, your experience reaching out to strangers, and sharing their story, sets you apart.

Now for the benefits. Scan the different job openings for PR and Communications positions, and you’ll find they likely pay double what you make in news.

Even nonprofit positions pay better, and, because they’re funded through state and federal dollars, you’ll likely see good health benefits, too. Days off are much more reliable, and regular bank holidays are almost a given.

You won’t receive a 2 a.m. call from your boss at the humane society. You won’t be assigned a 12-hour shift from your manager at the bank. Consistency and flexibility are qualities of these industries that attract many disgruntled news employees.

The opportunity is out there. So consider a swap if you’re tired of news. Journalism is an ever-evolving industry that now demands more for less pay. It’s certainly an important job. However, for those who want to build a family, or spend time developing other passions, maybe a career pivot is worthy of consideration.

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