It’s pretty obvious that quite a few journalists eventually end up switching to public relations. I’m sure they have their reasons, and that’s fine for them. But I can tell you one thing for sure — If I ever (God forbid) went into public relations, I would be the worst PR person. Ever.
First of all, I wouldn’t stonewall journalists. If they needed to talk to a high up exec for a big story, I’d give them as much contact information as possible. I wouldn’t be the barrier between the “important people” and the journalists, I’d be the journalist’s enabler. If the situation came up, I could honestly see myself giving out contact information that I’m not supposed to, with a “You didn’t get this from me” type of comment attached. Also, I would make it a point to pester whoever necessary about returning phone calls, emphasizing deadlines.
But the biggest reason, I don’t think I could ever see myself being forced to hinder the reporting process for someone else. It’s extremely frustrating when that happens, when you’re sent from PR person to PR person and, most of the times, you don’t even hear back from them until after deadline — if they even get back to you at all. I know not all PR gigs are like that. Most of the PR people I worked with in college and work with now on a regular basis are great. They do everything they can to meet requests, coordinate interviews, etc.
Like in every profession, it’s the few bad ones that frustrate people so much. But then again, depending on what perspective you’re looking at, the “bad ones” could be the “good ones.” And I never want to be in that kind of position.
I’m a journalist through and through. A transition to public relations for me would be like turning my back on my beliefs — like Captain Malcom Reynolds joining the Alliance. (Points to those of you who get that reference, by the way.) And if I ever did that, it’d be a gorram shame.