Making the move from journalism to marketing communications is a route that many journalists consider at some stage of their careers, and it’s a journey I have been on since last summer after I joined AD Communications as Senior Account Executive.
In some ways this transition was easier than it could otherwise have been, as my background – I previously worked as a Senior Reporter at industry magazine Print Week – meant that the technology and other solutions manufactured by some of our clients was already familiar.
This, combined with my journalism skills, meant that I was able to hit the ground running when it came to producing news releases and features, which we submit to a range of B2B publications in different sectors.
Of course, there is so much more to marcoms & Media Relations than the writing side of things, and it is this variety that attracted me and convinced me to take the plunge.
Other aspects of the job that I enjoy include building relationships with our clients and learning about their business strategies, the products they want to promote and the industries that they have identified as their target sectors.
This gives us the opportunity to think creatively about how we plan to target these sectors, which could be via in-house publications, online tools including social media and of course via media relations – where we pitch ideas to editors for different articles that may be of interest to their publication, which help our clients to further their strategic objectives.
It is a great feeling when you speak to an editor or journalist and they are interested in using the feature you have produced. Or when you send out a press release and it starts to get picked up by many different outlets.
It can also be exciting when there is a relevant news item or event discussed on Twitter or on the daily bulletins we receive, which gives you the opportunity to think quickly to produce a reactive piece that will help to position your client as an authority in that particular field.
Other aspects of the job have been completely different from my previous roles and I have had to learn completely from scratch – such as the trail of document processing we need to keep and the production of meeting documentation. There is also the transition from being a journalist – and therefore someone that lots of companies want to talk to – to becoming a service provider, which can mean that people are less enthusiastic about giving you their attention! Thankfully though, the industries we operate in are pretty friendly and welcoming both in terms of the manufacturers and the publications.
Based on my experiences at AD Communications so far, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend working in marketing communications and PR to anyone who is contemplating a career change. It is a great place for people who have good communication skills and those that like variety and the opportunity to be creative in getting across messages that support their client’s objectives.