I was a young reporter two years into my first major, regular and well-paying gig. After winning a few awards and carving a bit of a name for myself, I decided to move to the dark-side of public relations.
Not long after, I discovered that this side isn’t as dark as they say. It’s creative, challenging, strategic and incredibly rewarding. It’s been an interesting journey over the past several months and I’ve got to say, there are many misconceptions about PR.
Here are a few things I have discovered about the job so far:
- It is not all parties, champagne and air kisses. In fact, there is less drinking and fewer perks than I enjoyed on the other side of the fence. Ironic, huh?
- We plan parties – we don’t often go to them. When we do, we’re probably entertaining a client or meeting journalists to catch up… therefore, working.
- The letters R, S, V and P have very little meaning. No reply, late replies, no-shows, surprise attendances, showing up with several mates…
- Sometimes, for reasons you can’t control, it just doesn’t matter how good you are at your job.
- Despite the perception, the days are often longer and the work just as stressful as media. We get public holidays off, though – that’s awesome.
- When frustrated or upset, you’ve got to keep composed and calm. From what I recall, this wasn’t the case on the other side. I mean, try calling a journalist on deadline to pitch a story…
- The client is always right.
Every former journalist I know who has jumped the fence believes media professionals should spend at least six months in our shoes. I agree, and reckon the relationship would be a lot different with a little bit of insight. And most would probably love the experience!