This past semester, I had the opportunity to intern at the newspaper Metro. I have always had an interest in journalism, so when I got an email announcing that Metro was hiring interns, I figured, “what the heck” and sent my resume in. After an interview at the office, I was hired and began the following week.
I always knew that journalism and PR had close links, but I never realized how close, until this experience.
Towards the end of my time at Metro, I was assigned to do a story on Philadelphia Bike-Sharing, which is sort of like car-sharing except with bikes, instead of cars. I took a look at the bike-sharing group’s website and found contact information. I called and left a message for their spokesperson, hoping they would get back to me before deadline. Sure enough, less than an hour later I received a phone call. I got some great quotes, and information, and set about writing my story.
The next day I received an e-mail from the man I had spoken to the day before thanking me for my article, and asking for a link to it on the internet, so he could place it on his website, with all of his other media hits.
Then it hit me. This is exactly what PR is. This is what we do at PRowl Public Relations. I understood the man’s excitement that a publication had covered his story, and his eagerness to call me back to make sure I got the correct information.
It’s interesting to think that I have been on both sides of the sphere. I’ve been on the journalism side, trying to get information, hoping that someone will call me back, and writing the story. But, I’ve also been on the PR side, sending out press releases, hoping someone will cover the story, and making follow-up calls to the media.
It’s important to remember that the relationship between a PR practitioner and a journalist is a close one, and both need to treat each other with respect, because they are very closely related and can make or break a career.