Sunday, November 17, 2013

The New Kid

Being a journalism major, I’ve heard for years how closely journalism and public relations are related. This was one of the reasons why I decided to apply to be in PRowl this semester. It was something different. I wanted to see how close it really was to journalism. I wanted to see if some of the things I’d heard were true.

One major difference that I’ve noticed between public relations and journalism is the audience. Journalists are generally trained to appeal to a mass audience. In public relations, everything revolves around the client that you’re working with. One criticism of PR that I’ve found talking to some aspiring journalists is that they’re always trying to “spin a story.”  This semester, I’ve learned that is a misconception. As a public relations professional, it’s not about “spinning a story.” Rather, it’s about acting in the best interest of your client at all times. If your client is happy, then you’ve done a great job.

Another difference that I’ve noticed is that PR can be so specific at times. Your ideas, pitches, written work and presentations all depend on what the client wants. What the client wants can also change at any time. In that regard, it’s always great to be prepared with a variety of ideas. You never know when you have to pitch something new. That was tough for me to grasp at first.   But, after a few weeks, I caught on.

Even with the differences, the two go hand in hand. Both require great communication skills and some creativity. The ability to think on your feet is also a great asset.  At the end of the day, whether you are a journalist or PR person, we’re communicators. The ability to communicate a message clearly and effectively is a talent within itself. As a result, everyone needs us. Our methods of choice are just different.  The skills we’ve learned ultimately help us to create powerful messages. I’m so thankful to be a part of PRowl and can’t wait to see what next semester holds. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Jasmine Barnes.

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