At the heart of any great Public Relations and Communications strategy is the creation of great content and loads of it. This does not mean that quantity wins over quality, but that in the digital world today content is king. What is driving this shift is the variety of platforms available which has created the need to develop a variety of different types of content – in written and multimedia form. Today people want to consume media in pictures, infographics, video, audio and the written word – and they are doing so through a variety of digital platforms.
If Public Relations is to live up to its name, one of our key roles becomes helping businesses to find and create differentiating content that is engaging, informative and interesting. Then helping the company to spread the word and engage appropriately with all its target audiences.
And who better to do this than great writers – our journalists! Yet many journalists frown at the idea of entering the PR world and we as an industry continually suffer.
If I was in journalism today I would get skilled in graphic design and multimedia creation so that I could combine my written skills with the creative realm. Journalism today is about creating all sorts of content from the pictorial to the written and the multimedia format. Here’s to the rise of multimedia journalists! If you are one already please send us your CV!
Why are journalists ideal in the PR realm?
Despite what many journos think, there are great PR companies who understand that it is not all about hype, but telling the clients story in a compelling yet truthful way. The consumer out there today is savvy enough to see through the hype. They want authenticity, honesty and they want to understand the value the company or brand has to them. Who better to get to this realness than a journalist who knows how to reveal a true story.
Journalists are really skilled at succinct storytelling, they have the ability to be relevant and engaging and why not transform this into the visual and multimedia realm. There are huge opportunities for journalists to become written, visual and multimedia communicators in the PR field and make some moolah at the same time doing something they love!
Our industry needs journalists who can cut through the BS and advise our clients on what is really interesting. Often companies and brands get lost in their own message that they forget what would be of interest to their target market.
The trend internationally and locally is for journalism degrees to include multimedia journalism and so PR firms and in-house communications departments will very soon be able to find journalists who are skilled in all mediums.
Finally, journalists are highly creative and often love photography or video and have built these skills up over time playing with the technology on hand. Now convincing them to traverse over to the “dark side” may need our powers of persuasion, but the way I see it is that they can do something they love and get paid well for it. If you are prepared to accept that they know what they are talking about and take their advice then the PR industry and our clients can only benefit.