How My Experience in Journalism Prepped Me for My PR Internship

August 5, 2021

How My Experience in Journalism Prepped Me for My PR Internship

August 5, 2021

GG intern Melanie Taylor finds parallels between her previous journalism roles and current PR internship.

Starting as an intern at Group Gordon this summer, I was unsure of how my prior experience in journalism would translate to a stint in PR. Quickly, though, I realized that journalism and PR are two sides of the same coin and that my newsroom skills would be highly transferable.  

PR professionals point reporters toward topics and stories their audiences care about. Journalists provide a platform to amplify these stories and keep communities up to date on happenings that affect them. As someone who has experienced both perspectives, the symbiotic relationship between PR and journalism is strengthened when professionals from both industries recognize the common traits and goals they share. Over the course of my PR internship, I’ve learned that PR professionals adhere to many of the same principles as the journalists with whom they collaborate. 

1. Fast Turnaround

The ability to adhere to deadlines is a valuable skill for any working professional but even more so in the fast-paced media industry. At Group Gordon, we recognize that stories move quickly in the 24-hour news cycle. By anticipating the next big story, offering up experts for journalists to speak with, and working with our clients to submit insightful op-eds that inform the public, we collaborate with our media counterparts to get news out. Everyone is working together to fill the page, segment, Twitter feed, etc. — but that can’t happen if we miss deadlines. This is the cardinal rule for PR and journalism alike. 

2. People Skills

Both journalism and PR require an astute understanding of people. In journalism, your sources are everything; without them, the story cannot exist. Because of this reality, journalists develop a skill for seeking out and interacting with experts, community members, and others outside the media world.  In PR, you are balancing the priorities of clients, journalists, and the public, which don’t always align completely. Without understanding the needs of each of these groups, you won’t be able to approach them in a way that gets the best outcome for your client. 

3. Collaboration

PR internship
VHargyono (WMF), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

With so many tasks to be done efficiently and effectually, both PR and journalism default to collaborative workspaces. In the newsroom, sections work together to research, write, edit, publish, and promote a story. In PR, teams are successful when they collaborate not only with their clients but also internally to learn from colleagues, brainstorm creative ideas, and delegate responsibilities. Both industries have a lot of moving parts, which fosters a culture of cooperation, with each individual strengthening the whole. 

During my PR internship, it’s become clear that PR professionals and journalists are kindred spirits, even if they don’t always recognize the parallels between the two industries.  They are working towards your same outcome, albeit from different angles.