Traditional PRs face boardroom challenges

June 5, 2009

It appears that American PRs are facing a challenge for corporate work from journalists, according to this today.

With many more thousands of US media being forced to leave the newsrooms than ever before, the post by David Walker highlights interesting developments for the Press there; and also for British journalism, if old-school print English hacks are willing to follow the lead of our entrepreneurial American media cousins. Journalists make excellent PRs, as we have seen.

The loss of journalism jobs, as in purely editorially-based jobs, has been immense and devastating in the USA: in recent months, the effects of global recession have hit the USA’s media far harder and quicker than anywhere else. Many have moved into PR.

But the speed of enterprise and sourcing alternative work has also been staggering, as Walker’s post highlights. Journalists are moving into corporate-land, producing content, films and blogs, delivering outstanding editorial to the Media on behalf of Mr CEO. Our redundant British journalists could learn a lesson from this. And it will wake up our fluffy London-centric PRs.

Whilst corporate comms has been seen as a no-go area for a trained journalist, it represents rich pickings: as Brian Storm, founder of US-based MediaStorm, points out: “A PR message has no authenticity. It won’t go viral. Organizations are looking for a new way to get their message out, and journalists can play a role in that.”

I know if I was looking to work in a stable, financially-rewarding and challenging commercial environment, the choice of an over-worked, under-paid, massively non-appreciated media firm would hold far less appeal than a contemporary, profitable and engaging boardroom scenario for me. That would be the case for either an experienced PR or a journalist, I imagine.

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