Tuesday Buzz: The Divide Between Journalism and Public Relations

Journalists and PR folks air out their differences on Twitter and in blog posts. Plus: Some wicked-cool project management apps you should check out.

Perhaps they each need a day in the other’s shoes.

This week, journalists and publicists alike are speaking up about their frustrations with the other side of the coin, suggesting that there are a ton of misconceptions between the two fields.

Kim Kleman, the editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer, fired the first shots by writing a column titled “Dear PR Professional,” suggesting in the piece that it’s “as if some PR folks don’t understand that the job of a reporter is different from that of a publicist.”

Referring to issues she’s had in the past, Kleman expressed frustration that some PR people don’t understand the ethics of journalism. She wanted to make it clear the publication would only take pitches that were newsworthy and relevant. Other frustrations for journalists lie in PR folks not understanding the standards behind not allowing those outside the newsroom to see stories or approve quotes before publishing.

On the other side of things, GroundFloor Media’s Gil Rudawsky, a former Rocky Mountain News reporter, highlighted that journalists also have misunderstandings of what PR reps do.

There are deadlines and long hours, just as in journalism, Rudawsky noted in his Denver Business Journal piece. The stress level is just as high, if not higher, as PR workers juggle a lot of roles. The belief that PR is just spin is unfair, Rudawsky says; it’s “about getting newsworthy information to audiences.”

For associations—some of which have both journalists and advocacy staffers on their payrolls—the debate is worth understanding.

Ultimately, Rudawsky notes, there may be more similarities between the two fields than differences: “The line between a journalist and a PR person is very close in terms of skills,” Rudawsky says. “I’ve seen both worlds and I know first-hand that many of my PR colleagues would make top-notch journalists.”

Apps of The Day

Doesn’t that graphic bring out your inner geek? There are some unrecognized and underappreciated apps out there that can greatly improve your project management work, and Jane Hurst at brings eight of them to you.

We’ve all heard of Evernote and Basecamp. But there’s also collaborative task-completion platform Trello, flowchart formulation app Casual, and more. Check it out!

Other Superb Links of the Day

The Internet of Things is coming to you sooner than you think. Erika Morphy of CMSWire reports of a rise in integration technology—offering benefits of privacy, security, and access.

“Your business blog is a failure.” Right to the point. Ann Smarty, after that opening, shares a strong list of tips for your organization to boost your blog to greatness.


Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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