It seems like just about every time the discussion of the PR program in the Cronkite school comes up, I hear the same basic complaint: not enough PR experience. And truthfully, I can’t say I disagree. From the moment we began our journey through the school, we were on a journalism path. History of journalism, business of journalism, future of journalism, but where’s the PR? Thankfully, we get a crash course in 415 and 417, but I often hear people asking, is that enough?
Cindy Kim of The Marketing Journalist thinks so. In a recent post she discussed how journalists can transfer their skills into a successful PR career. She discussed how the basic elements of journalism directly translate into the PR world, and having those insights puts you at an immediate advantage in the industry.
The more I read, the more it all made sense to me. Studying journalism, we get to learn exactly what gets covered. In the past few years, I’ve had internships with a couple different publications, and in each of them I had to sift through press releases and make decisions about coverage. After a while, it becomes pretty easy to decipher when a release is worth it, and when it should be pushed to the side. Not only based on content, but often because of the writing style and tone of the statement.
Personally, I’ve never had an issue with the journalism-heavy nature of the program, but that stemmed largely from my indecisiveness. It took me a really long time to decide what I wanted to do, and having a degree that essentially translated into two areas of expertise was just fine with me. Now, though, I’m beginning to realize just how important the combination of studies is.
So what do you think? Is the journalism-PR hybrid the best educational route? Or are there other areas of study that should be more incorporated? I’ve heard of marketing and PR programs, as well as PR programs within a communications school. Color me biased, but I think Cronkite has the right idea.