Last Updated Jun 24, 2008 10:17 AM EDT
I was at a PR party recently where there were several mainstream journalists in attendance, and I swear, they all seemed to be scoping out job opportunities. What really struck me was that in place of the usual snickering about PR, they seemed to be on their best and most respectful behavior.
So I was not surprised when I opened the latest issue of PRWeek and found this Page One headline: "An Unstable Media Landscape Has Journalists Seeking PR Positions."
Here's an excerpt:
In the greater Atlanta region, journalists seeking PR jobs are becoming so common that Diane Lore, VP of digital media at GCI Group and former Atlanta Journal-Constitution features project editor, helps to administer a "second life club," producing educational e-mails and organizing regular gatherings to inform ex-reporters, editors, and those who are contemplating a career switch, about the opportunities in PR.I have one question: what good is it to be a "senior media relations strategist" if all the mainstream media people come over to PR. Who will we pitch?
A fourth-generation journalist who jokes about "the stages of grief of leaving journalism," Lore said she was encouraged to leave by her father, a newspaper employee for three decades.
"The money is not there, and because of the constant filing for the online presence now, the pressure is so much higher," she said, adding that 50 to 60 people are on the journalist group's e-mail list and about 20 attend meetings. "No one goes into journalism for the money, but you do expect it to be fun. So if you're not having fun and not making money, then why do it?"
Of the former reporters and editors interviewed, including former member of Hearst's Washington bureau, Eric Rosenberg, now Ogilvy VP and senior media relations strategist, nearly all said that staff layoffs, buyouts, or restructurings weighed considerably on their decision to leave journalism. Many former journalists, including Christa Segalini, SAE at Beckerman PR, formerly of New Jersey's Courier News, also cited better pay, steadier hours, and a more attractive career path, as reasons to seek PR jobs.