PR practitioners make more money than journalists: Is this fair?

In some cases, junior PR professionals earn higher salaries than experienced reporters. Does this fuel animosity towards the public relations profession?

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Every reporter and PR person knows there exists a love/hate relationship between the two factions.

Public relations people annoy reporters with impersonal, spammy, spray-and-pray pitches. Journalists don’t like PR professionals paid to peddle people and products. Cutesy alliteration grates on their nerves.

PR folks, on the other hand, sometimes find reporters rude, unresponsive, and occasionally sneaky, such as when they agree to a client briefing based on topic X, and immediately pivot to topic Y once the PR lead makes the intros. Classic sandbagging. Then there’s the whole problem of embargoes—as in, they’re rarely honored anymore, as most PR agencies have learned (and been burned) the hard way.

But there may be something more to the bad blood, perhaps unconsciously, on the part of reporters. This new wrinkle hadn’t occurred to me until my recent tweet got a reaction from a business/tech reporter that gave me pause.

Here’s the exchange I had with a reporter named Celeste:

Public Relations. A job your parents don’t understand, your clients need, and reporters love to hate.

— Parry Headrick (@pheadrick) March 13, 2013

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