It started off with Mike Keliher saying,
After reading “Why journalism schools should get rid of PR,” I couldn’t help but respond. That post by Bob Conrad offers ten reasons why PR is better suited for a business school, and I’m going to attempt a point-by-point response from the opposite perspective. . . .read the rest hereAfter about 10 comments, Bill Sledzik said,
What exactly is the difference between journalism and PR? Journalists tell stories. PR people solve problems. Sometimes we tell stories as part of the package, but there’s a lot more to it. We counsel management and influence organizational policy as a means of building relationships. We listen to stakeholders and report back. We assess public opinion and forecast public behaviorThen I said,
It's a bit like graphic designer or commercial artist. The job description and the job are starting to part company in the google-mart economy.
But there is a long tradition of journalists solving problems. Some of the greatest newspapers were the crusading heroes to solve important public problems.
Perhaps one of the reasons that journalism has lost it’s way is that they drank the cool aid that they are the “objective” and just “tell stories.” Objective in this context often just means safe. Safe means often means “don’t upset someone because you will lose access or status.
I think going forward journalists may turn out to do PR for the public.
Consider your words with just a little search and replace:
We counsel community leaders and influence organizational policy as a means of building vibrant local communities. We listen to citizens and report their concerns. We assess public opinion and forecast public behavior, in the interest of trying to understand what kind of information they need to make better decisions.
So…I’m going with "PR for the Public" and replacing the whole sometimes very sanctimonious journalists.
It might be interesting to define exactly what is meant by "a journalist" and a "PR person" going forward.