Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Three years on...

It was my anniversary last week - marking three years since I made the move from journalism to PR. Despite the fact that, as a member of the Creative Media Services team at LEWIS I haven't quite gone all the way, the more time I spend here the deeper in I get. And so far, it's been great.

There seem to be quite a few journos making the transition at the moment. I don't know if it's a reflection of the crunch or changes in the media or just coincidence... But for all you journalists considering the move into PR or about to make the leap, or agencies looking to hire journalists, or graduates choosing their first job, I thought I'd share my experiences in a handy 'top tips' format...

Making the move - tips for journalists looking to make it in PR

1. Always express things in a handy 'ten top tips' format. It's a compact and inoffensive vehicle for expressing your feelings.
2. Get used to a new kind of deadline. I've worked on monthly, weekly and daily publications, but multiple half-hourly ones took some getting used to.
3. State the obvious. Make sure you tell everyone what you're doing all the time and CC everyone (otherwise they'll think you're not doing it).
4. Move forwards. Say 'moving forwards' at the end of every sentence moving forwards.
5. Prepare never to read news the same way again. Things look very different from the other side of the glass. Which reminds me...
6. Make stuff up. The first thing all journalists find out when they move into PR is that the quotes in press releases are made up. Made up!
7. Stay in touch with your journo mates. The more they tell you that you've sold out, the sharper you'll stay.
8. Keep your hand in. Write stuff for people, even if it's for free. (And even if it's for your crappy blog that nobody reads.)
9. Never admit that you're not a journalist any more. I find 'in-house journalist' works. And stay a member of the NUJ - unbelievably, it's allowed.
10. Learn to spell. There aren't any subs here. Actually, there are - you.

As I'm feeling sentimental (OK, drunk), a big thanks to all the people that I've learnt so much from in the last three years. You know who you are!