In public relations, you make more money, but you have to put your neck on the line. In journalism, you get to hold the sword. But you definitely drive the worse car.
After our discussion on journalists’ pet peeves about PR pros, we had a reader reach out to us. They currently work in PR but spent 15 years in journalism. They wanted to share their own experiences working in both fields, but for professional reasons, were concerned about doing so publicly. So here is their tale — told anonymously.
My first inkling that there was a rift between PR and journalism occurred when I got a journalism degree with a specialty in public relations.
Being young and ambitious but also saddled with a desire to actually make some money during my career, I thought perhaps PR was a viable way to keep writing, which was the thing that came easy to me, and not be financially stressed. My dad was a print journalist during his entire professional career, starting in sports and ending in news, and I saw that even after 30 years in the business, he didn’t make jack squat — even as a respected print guy.
Now, I didn’t grow up in a big city, so that does have something to do with salary. But even as I’ve gone to big metro areas, I’ve learned that print folks do hard work for not much coin.
I did figure out one major difference between these two intertwined professions in college — in public relations, you make more money, but you have to put your neck on the line. In journalism, you get to hold the sword. But you definitely drive the worse car.