Former journalists dispute agency owner’s claim of a skills gap between the professions
As an economic vise continues squeezing news editors, reporters and producers into new careers, many emerge in the public relations area of the communications field. Aside from any initial hesitation about “going to the dark side,” it can be a smooth glide from one form of information delivery to another.
That was my experience after three decades on editing desks in New York, New Jersey and Michigan—and I’m hardly an exception. “I was hired for my first PR position many years ago because of my journalism experience, and I know many others who have made a successful transition,” says Christopher Trela, an independent practitioner in Costa Mesa, Calif.
But one veteran PR executive in Washington, D.C., thinks we’re generally ill-prepared for the profession. Richard Mintz, owner and managing director of The Harbour Group in Washington, D.C., boldly waves a red flag at PR aspirants whose first career involved bylines and the Five W’s.