Kristen Bantin's Blog

PR and Journalism.. what’s the difference? September 19, 2011

Filed under: PRCA 2330 — kbantin @ 2:34 pm

Many people think that Public Relations and Journalism are pretty much the same thing. There is the assumption that if you are a journalist, you can work in PR, but this is not true. While PR and journalism are the same, they are also different.

Public Relations and journalism have a mutual relationship, meaning that PR needs the press and the press needs PR. Journalists rely on PR for stories, because many times they go to PR professionals to get the information they need to write a story. PR professionals rely on journalist in return to write a good story about an organization, person, or event. They rely on journalists also because journalism is one of the biggest media outlets out there. Both are hesitant with each other because they have to trust one another to give accurate information.

I think this video: offers a good look at the relationship between PR and journalism.

I think the reliance of PR is getting smaller, though has not been eliminated yet, due to newspapers dying off. Newspapers are not as popular as they use to be so PR professionals are having to rely on other forms of media and such to relay their messages and stories. PR is turning to social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. These social media sights are popular today but one day these too will die off and PR will have to look at another way to spread their word.


3 Responses to “PR and Journalism.. what’s the difference?”

  1. Thanks to the link to PR Conversations and for tackling this topic on your blog (always good to see new young practitioners writing online). I think it can be a mistake to see PR and journalism as mutually dependent as I feel they fulfil different roles. Good journalism should be about informing and engaging the public (or increasingly in commercial terms, contributing to the reputation and sales of the relevant title). It should be objective, informed, trusted and investigative.

    Public relations is broader than media relations – indeed, broader than simply communications or gaining third-party endorsement to contribute towards reputation. It has a complex relationship with media – seeing it partly as a communications channel, partly as lower cost method of publicity than advertising etc, partly as an adversary (eg in crisis scenarios), partly as the voice of society and lots of other things too.

    Where we get into trouble is if we see journalists as gate-keepers of space that we are entitled to use for coverage and if they see us as freeloaders looking for cheap advertising or blockers to stories.

    If we take that same approach with social media or other influencers, then we just compound a misconception about PR spreading the word rather than engaging in a public arena to build relationships, manage reputation and play a responsible role.

  2. jraz447 Says:

    Before this class I never really knew PR and Journalism were even related. This could be because I never really cared to know in the first place. Though its mainly that I always thought they were two different branches of media. But youre right, they do need each other. PR practitioners and Journalists need each other, and not just to do their job but to survive. Journalism is a dying art and it really makes me wonder if they go hand in hand what would happen to PR when or if journalism dies. It is an interesting thought.

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