I still remember my first few lectures at university. As a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 22 year-old studying journalism, I was ready to conquer the world with a pen being my weapon of choice.
One of the first things we were taught was that as a journalist, the world of public relations was a dark place which we would do well to avoid contact with unless absolutely necessary think of that scene in the Lion King when Simba is learning about the shadowy place and you’re well on the way. They had, we were told, hidden agendas and as a writer, we were the perfect, albeit unwilling accomplice.
Fast forward almost four years and having graduated, I’m back doing a masters in the dark arts, or public relations as it’s actually known. And do you know what? It’s not such a dark secretive world after all.
There are no secret handshakes or meetings at midnight at all. In fact, during my three years with JAM Marketing, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Journalists are incredibly handy in the day-to-day workings of PR especially for me writing press releases and editorials.
And it could even be argued that PR would not work without them. But in the same way, journalists are often governed by tight deadlines and a set amount of copy something I also learned in my undergraduate course and are thankful for good, well-written copy which can be published almost as it is.
As for me, it’s been more than interesting to see both sides of the coin and how the two not only benefit each other, but can also work together to achieve both their goals. I couldn’t have done it without the opportunity at JAM, which initially started as a voluntary role. A massive thanks has to go to Jackie, Ayesha and all the Jammy Dodgers from me for the chance to improve my copy writing, editing and proofing skills.
These days you will find me working on written content both online and in print website editing and everything in-between as JAM’s PR Assistant. It’s not a job I saw myself in when I started in journalism, but now, it’s something I can really see a career in and what’s more, there’s not a shady figure to be seen.