After years practicing in media I have decided made the move to what my colleagues and I used to call “the other side”. This term derives from the relationship between the media and public relations agencies which can be somewhat love-hate at times. In my view this can be attributed to both sides having objectives and goals that are the same to some extent, but very different in approach. The fact of the matter is that neither industry can achieve its objectives without the other.
The key to optimising the relationship between the newsroom and public relations professionals is finding synergy. It also helps immensely if both parties can truly appreciate and understand the other so that they can work together in an efficient and mutually beneficial manner.
I wanted to move to this industry because I felt that I have something valuable to offer in terms of my skills gained in print and broadcast media. Through the years I have come to know what it is that the media want...which stories get published and which don’t. Surely, I can use this to my advantage when working in public relations and establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the two parties concerned here.
Other than that, I have also been drawn to public relations for the organising and management aspect of it. I like to make things happen and I love it when I succeed. Finding suitable media outlets for clients that speak to the right audience seems like something that could be challenging, but highly enjoyable at the same time, especially when you get a hang of it.
I have further come to realise that the marketing/media/communication sphere has become one that is very much focused on personal angles and stories, consumers and/or readers do not want statistics or technical jargon that bores them, they want to find out about the people behind that information, because that is what they relate to...the ground-level impact. My aim therefore is to take advantage of this trend to maximise exposure for my clients.
In addition, public relations has the pressure of conforming to the global trend of moving towards a visual style of communication, particularly in terms of using video. This is the result of consumers’ increasingly high-paced lifestyles that have created a culture of seeking satisfaction as quick as possible, in other words, it’s important to get to the point as in NOW, otherwise you lose your audience. Instead of reading a five-paragraph article, people would rather watch a 20 second video communicating the exact same information, but in a quicker way. I have learnt to master this during my time as a television producer and plan to apply it in my new position as content manager at At That Point to achieve the best results possible.
Communication and getting the right information out there is something I value highly. With this career shift I hope to learn precisely how to create the above-mentioned sustainable synergies between my clients and the media by getting out of my comfort zone and learning everything I can about my clients’ various industries and then targeting appropriate media.