Help me transition from journalism to government PR and/or corporate communications
March 3, 2009 2:57 PM Subscribe
Due to a raft of factors beyond my control, I have to give up my awesome but poorly paid and very demanding job as a reporter and seek a more 9-5 employment, with better pay. AskMe, can you help me identify my selling points for PR and communications jobs?
posted by t0astie to Work & Money (4 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I worked as reporter and photographer at a daily newspaper, running an office remote from the paper's main headquarters. I loved it. But I got sick. Too sick to live in the middle of nowhere with poor health care, work from 5am-9pm, deal with extreme heat, no breaks and conditions best be described as, uh, somewhat adversarial. Thankfully, I will eventually recover completely and am currently well enough to hold down a regular 9am-5pm job. So, I've moved back to the main city in the (Australian) state where I grew up and I'm gearing up to apply for jobs in PR and communications, mainly in government.
Apart from writing skills and knowledge of how the media works, I'm a bit vague about why a government department would hire a former journo instead of someone with a specific PR background. Other than better pay and working conditions, I'm also at a bit of a loss for positive reasons to seek out a career in PR. While ''I need to do something that doesn't suck the marrow from my bones and pays above the poverty line'' is true, it won't win me any gold interview or cover letter stars, I'm sure. Moreover, it's not a *personally* satisfying reason for making the change. I'd really like, in my own mind, to have sorted out some positive reasons for embracing my new career other than brutal necessity.
I have an MA in journalism and communications; three years reporting experience, a couple of awards and fellowships, and five years prior technical communications experience. I do NOT want to go back to tech writing. While I look for a job, I am volunteering as a migrant English tutor two mornings a week and have also been considering some volunteer PR work to put on my resume.
AskMe PR and communications peeps, can you enlighten me?
i) Why do you love your PR job?
ii) What strengths would a former journo bring to the table in a PR role?
iii) What weaknesses would a former journo need to compensate for when applying for PR and communications jobs?
iv) Is there anything I haven't thought of about this transition that I should know?