Journalism by Trade, PR by Nature

By: Precious Little

At the PRSSA National Conference I noticed that most of the schools there were much like the IU School of Journalism in that we are journalists by trade but a lot of us veer off at some point and focus more on public relations. This conference really allowed to me to further see why having a journalism background is almost necessary in the public relations professions.

  1. You need to know how to write. Period.
  2. You need to know how to write like a journalist
  3. You need to know what turns them off and on about a story

Actually, most of the professionals who spoke at the sessions started off with a journalism tract and somehow ended up in public relations. This was mainly because public relations were not an enhanced degree program then, as it is now. So consider yourselves lucky!

Two of my favorite sessions were Scoring with the Fans, which was about sports public relations, and Meeting the Living Legends of Public Relations. The speakers for the Scoring with the Fans session were Joel Glass, the VP of Communications for the Orlando Magic and Darrell Fry the Sports Media Director for Disney Destinations. Both men really emphasized their backgrounds in journalism and how important it was to their current careers.  In Meeting the Living Legends of Public Relations, the speakers underlined the reasons why PR people need to know a little bit about everything and be an expert in their industry.

I beat myself up sometimes because I just want to be involved in everything and learn about everything. No kidding, sometimes I imagine myself getting a degree in every major possible. Listening to these professionals made me realize that it’s just the PR in me!


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