5 tips for transitioning from journalism to PR

Lots of PR pros are former newshounds who could switch careers because of a range of skills. If you’re considering a move to communications, consider honing these abilities.

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One big challenge many journalists face in their transition to PR is limited exposure to the business side of things.

For journalists switching careers, there’s often a steep learning curve, as it takes more than strong reporting, writing and editing skills to help clients and organizations succeed.

To aid with the transition, here are five areas in which to focus your efforts:

1. New business development

Journalists are not salespeople and are not used to persuading audiences to pay for their services. In publishing, this is typically handled by sales and circulation.

To succeed at an agency, you must think about client service, business opportunities, community and corporate partnerships. Collaboration is essential, and it sometimes takes a bit of salesmanship.

2. Return on investment

From veteran editors to newbie reporters, most journalists understand that business is about generating revenue, adhering to budgets and making a profit. This is essentially what ROI stands for and what the marketing world is all about. Return on investment means everything; learn to love this term.

3. Strategic thinking

Most journalists are used to having control over their own stories, delivery and time management.

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