Before we immerse ourselves in this discussion, it’s imperative to clarify that our intention is not to stoke the flames of the Journalist vs. PR debate or cast doubt on The Economic Times’ editorial choices. With that in mind, let’s embark on this journey of understanding.
The author, seemingly rooted in an earlier era when PR in India heavily relied on media coverage, might have overlooked the transformative paths that both professions have traversed in recent years.
PR has gracefully evolved, distancing itself from its once-dominant reliance on media coverage (now, perhaps hovering around 20-25%). Simultaneously, journalism has grappled with financial pressures, giving rise to practices like paid PR, advertorials, and branded content to boost readership. Could this mutual adaptation be a form of complementarity?
PR Professionals continue to engage with their media counterparts for brainstorming sessions, story ideas, and more. Likewise, journalists seek out PR for valuable information. These parallel efforts reinforce the idea of a symbiotic relationship.
The author’s recommendation to fellow journalists to “run” at the scent of public relations may be somewhat one-sided. If the roles were reversed, what would happen to those pressing deadlines? PR professionals don’t abide by holidays, weekends, or late hours – we’re merely a message or phone call away, 24/7. This is our way of contributing to the power of journalism.
While you, as journalists, are bound by deadlines and expectations, we have our own set of responsibilities. Our organizations are not charitable entities; they are businesses, and we have Key Result Areas (KRAs) to fulfill.
The assertion that “PR is becoming torturous for journos” calls for a closer look. In today’s digital age, a single tweet has the potential to drive media coverage, prompting the entire journalism community to collaborate with PR. Does this notion hold water then? We firmly believe in nurturing trust within our symbiotic relationships with journalists.
Observe your surroundings, and you’ll see that PR has evolved beyond being mere “Press Relations” or “Press Releases.” The profession thrives on the principles of “Public Relations.”
On behalf of the PR community, we offer this counter-perspective, as we seldom have the chance to share our side of the story. We hope the author receives it in the same spirit as the caption suggests: “JUST IN JEST.” 📰🤝
– By Charu Joshi