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Should PR people be from journalism?

This is one of the most debated question in the PR circle, some strongly believe that ex-journos add value to the PR business, while some believe that they lack management skills and are very rigid in their opinions, which makes them very averse in accepting changes.

Being a journalist myself I think that a PR person who has been a reporter, have a broader view of an industry than is available from within one organization. They have probably spoken to all of the key players in the space, as well as some smaller ones. They’ve watched trends evolve over time impartially, and they know how each company or product in the field is perceived by the public.

What Makes a Good Story: Journalists have a well-honed sense of what is newsworthy and what is not. This will help any company or group determine the value of their news.

Investigative Skills: A fundamental part of their job as a reporter is to use all available resources to get the information they need in an accurate and timely way. This can help solve many issues and challenges in ways you’ve never considered.

How to Work with Journalists: Finally, having been a working journalist, a reporter will know intuitively how to present information to reporters and what approaches are more likely to be well received, as well as how to respect timelines and deadlines.

Having said that there are large number of PR pros, who are very successful in their chosen career, inspite of not coming from the journalism background.

What is your view on the above? Should PR Companies look at only ex-journos or there should be a right mix of journalists as well as professionals from pure PR background?


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