Changing careers from journalism to marketing is a shift, not a switch

Jan 17, 2016Original Thinking

When you change careers from journalism to marketing, your former colleagues will inevitably ask you what you do in your new role. Increasingly, the answer has become, “A lot of what I did as a journalist.”

That’s a surprising answer to editors and reporters, who often know little about what marketing professionals do on a day-to-day basis. The traditional view is that reporters and marketers are opposing forces, the light side vs. the dark side.

This might be true in some cases, especially in the classic media relations role that entirely interfaces with reporters. Some PR reps are genuinely interested in facilitating journalists’ requests, tracking down sources and digging up information, but others operate as if their entire mission is to block the release of information.

However, with the rise of content marketing, even PR reps are increasingly creating their own stories, explainers, profiles and research reports. In a true content marketing role, the difference between a marketer and journalist is often indistinguishable.

This means that rather than viewing marketing and journalism as diametrically opposed careers, they’re more like different points along a spectrum. More and more, it’s not a career switch, but a shift.