Hack Turned Flack: Former Journalist Explains the Transition

Some in the media world are under the impression that journalism and PR are basically much one and the same. While that’s obviously not true, the two disciplines require some of the same skill sets, so the differences are well worth noting—especially if you’re a journalist looking to make the transition or a PR pro who wants a better understanding of the journalist’s perspective.

In a recent post on Contently‘s Content Strategist blog, former journalist and current director of content and media strategy at Bateman Group Elinor Mills explains those differences in greater detail. It’s well worth a read, but we’ve picked some highlights:

Press releases are yesterday. Google changed the industry in that way; instead of press releases [clients] do blog posts and those filter out, and if you’re a journalist and you’re paying attention you’ll see it and you have a news story.

But PR companies still do [press releases] because they do get picked up and they get good SEO, and its just another way to sort of distribute information. What we like to do is work with clients and say, “OK, you’ve got this news, or this business or this service or this product, what thoughts do you have that we can share — about the industry that we can do a thought leadership bylined article, or what kind of content or data are you creating, that we can get news stories out of or create an index that will generate stories and analysis on trends in the industry.”

Yes, some of this may be filed under Things We Already Knew. But again, the interview is worth a read to get a (former) outsider’s perspective on the matter. Also: we don’t much care for the word “utilize” either. Any synonymous suggestions?