I represent probably the most common background for a PR professional in the financial field: over 15 years in financial journalism with a passion for high-quality written content and outstanding communications.
But I am also aware that not every PR specialist has years of work and experience in journalism in their portfolio. This Insider will come in handy for such professionals. Here, I want to share 5 journalistic qualities that help me daily in my PR work and will certainly serve you the same purpose.
5 Journalistic Skills for PR Pros
1. Gathering a News Digest on a Daily Basis
Inside joke: journalist’s morning doesn’t start with coffee; it starts with reading the current e agenda and gathering a digest while identifying the hottest topics worth covering. And it should be the same for a PR professional. This tool will help you and your PR team regularly stay up-to-date with market news, be aware of current events and even enhance your work with clients and use newsjacking properly.
2. Making Pitches That Journalists Want to Open (and Read)
Every PR pro knows that there is no such thing as a perfect pitch. They depend on the purpose of your letter to a journalist, the proposed format, and even geography. But what works ten out of ten times is brevity. Your pitch should be concise and coherent while answering 3 main questions: what, where, and when. Tier-1 journalists receive at least 50-70 letters per hour, so don’t waste their time — get straight to the point. Grab attention with catchy headings and use the power of dynamic storytelling.
3. Knowing Your Market
Every journalist specialises in a certain topic and has extensive knowledge in certain markets – insurance, finance, or medicine. Often, journalists switch to PR for companies specialising in niche industries. Experience, expertise, and the ability to quickly grasp the topic are amazing journalistic skills that can be applied in PR to effectively incorporate the client’s message into a certain media.
4. Multitasking and Respecting Deadlines
Multitasking and respecting deadlines is a journalistic set of skills that will be of everyday use for a PR specialist as their job is not solely pitching. PR today is an intersection between content, building trustworthy relationships with journalists and clients, brand management, and adaptation to SEO and digital media formats. Thus, a PR specialist that respects the time and effort of others can go a long way.
5. Working on Your Stress Resistance
Following the previous point, surviving without mastering a journalistic ability to work under constant pressure and short deadlines is impossible. PR is a complex field where you always need to be ready to tackle unforeseen circumstances — and the best way to succeed here is to keep your head cool. Besides, working on your stress resistance will gradually help to prevent burnout at work.
Summing up, I would like to note that there’s a widely accepted misconception that PR today only requires pitching. A PR professional must learn and incorporate multiple skills from journalists, brand managers, content creators, editors, and even digital marketers to be in demand and think like clients and media.