Crossing Over

Many see it as a sell out or crossing over to the dark side. As I write this blog watching the Proteas play Pakistan, wishing I was there covering the match, I begin to realise that all is not lost especially with the era of social media and blogging.

Yes indeed I am that sports girl looking to commentate and analyse the latest sports coverage; yet, now I work in the world of PR.

What has drawn me to PR and how has it been so far? PR is evolving and it looks more opportune than journalism.

As a journalist who is now in PR, there are a lot of skills to learn. I now find myself fully immersed in the world of budgets, profits and competitors. I have also realised how carefully clients follow what is said about them in the media and how quickly they jump to conclusions about the media when something was said that they didn’t like. Or when the media says something generally disagreeable, or when they are left out of stories.

The eye opening experience is of course emailing and calling journalists and asking them to do stories on clients. Now I know what it feels like to be on the other end of the line pitching what I think is a decent story, only to be ignored, hung up on and not paid attention to.

Of course, there will always be the journalist in me that say’s “this is not a story”, but then I remind myself this is what client wants.

I have been on both sides of this, and although a short time in PR, I understand the frustration of the media getting pitched irrelevant stories by people who have no clue how newsrooms function. This has created an environment in which many journalists view all PR people with suspicion and annoyance.

Despite the fact that PR seems to be much better and monetarily rewarding, it doesn’t mean it’s easy for journalists to make the switch to the other side. I still have my days when I wish I was back on the other side covering the big stories.

The rush and the thrill of getting that story will always be within me, but I believe with social media and technology at the tip of my fingers I will be able to write and tell the story that needs to be told.


Written by Avashnee Moodley