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Why journos don’t want to work in PR

28th October 2014


This week we’ve got another guest post from a Hacked Off Journalist.

I have just interviewed a smooth PR man in his luxurious office in the centre of town. As I accepted a delicious freshly made coffee and tucked into a buttery pastry in the spotless boardroom, I did have a moment of hankering for the good life.

Have you ever seen where us journalists work? “Tatty” is the most flattering word you can apply to my office.

At the end of the interview, Mr Smooth asked me if I knew any journalists who may be interested in joining his firm, as he is hiring. This is a question I get asked fairly regularly, and it’s good to know that if I ever got desperate, there is another option.

But no matter how desperate I get, I can’t imagine ever working in PR.

Here’s why:

I don’t want to sell

I don’t want to write press releases that put a good spin on stories, ones that find a great story about a product, business or person, but don’t mention the bad bits. I like the bad bits. They make for great editorial.

I don’t want to dress up

You can be dead scruffy as a journalist. That suits me.

I don’t want to pitch

Okay, I have to pitch stories to my editor, but that’s a whole different ball game to pitching to win a new client. Who has also, no doubt, asked at least ten other PR agencies to pitch too.

I am not right wing

I think it helps in PR to be focused on money. I have never heard PR people ranting about socialism like journalists often do. Left-wing political rants can be tedious, but it’s nice to work with people who have a passion to change society.

I can’t be doing with office politics

Of course, you can’t get away from it in any office, but I get the feeling it’s a lot worse in PR.

So I told Mr Smooth PR that I couldn’t think of any journalists, off the top of my head, who would be interested.

I didn’t tell him that even if I lost this job, I would rather stack shelves than work in PR.



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