From Journalism Student to PR Intern
As an intern at Orangefiery this past summer, I had the opportunity to apply my journalism major
to a new field. Comparing my experience at Orangefiery with my internship for a local news
website the previous summer, I noted a number of similarities between the two industries.
Effectively Reaching Target Audiences
An anchor of my work both in journalism and PR is the goal of making sure people are informed
in an effective way with content that is tailored to the target audience.
In journalism, we’re delivering the most important news in a way that appeals to the main
interests of the publication’s audience. In public relations, we’re communicating about a brand
by sharing content they care about.
For both, it’s important to be thorough and contextualize. Public relations is also very strategic in
terms of how you tell a brand story. Both industries often work with social media as an essential
tool to this process, given how important social platforms are to how people get their information
Developing Trusting Relationships
Both industries work hard to develop a trusting relationship with their target audiences and the
Journalists work to make sure they have good practices and are transparent so the public can
trust that they are a reliable source. Especially in the era of fake news, there is a lot of emphasis
on making sure both sides of a story are addressed. Similarly, corporate brands are developed
and activated in a way that focuses on building trust.A successful brand can hold significant
meaning to its publics and the PR team is responsible for communicating that meaning in an
authentic and consistent way, developing trust and familiarity amongst its audiences.
Writing For Impact
Writing strategically is also critical to both industries. The pyramid structure of journalistic writing
with the simultaneous goal of keeping stories entertaining and placing the readers in the scene
with color is not dissimilar to writing press releases, social posts and pitches.
Keeping Pace With A Fast-Moving World
Finally, both jobs require staying on top of issues and breaking news and pivoting quickly when
it is needed. Being first on a major story in journalism and responding to an issue quickly in PR
are one of a journalist’s and PR practitioners’ most important duties. In both industries, we put
processes in place to help us keep track of issues and conversations as they evolve.
A Day In The Life: Journalism and PR
My day to day experience at each job also had a lot of similarities. I worked with social media
graphics, captions and metrics. I analyzed data to inform content decisions. I I made sure
content was consistent with the brand and effectively informed target audiences with tailored
In both jobs, I conducted landscape and background research on various communities and
industries to inform my work. Knowing the context and “bigger picture” allowed me to have an
accurate perspective of the industries and issues associated with my work. While interning for
local news, making myself aware of the community’s culture and events before creating content
was essential to providing content my readers would value. In PR, doing landscape research for
clients provided similar insights to inform strategic approaches and content development.
For both jobs, I kept a close eye on the issues being discussed in mainstream and social media.
As a journalism intern, I also kept an eye on local organizations and leaders via social media
each day to make sure I was aware of important happenings in the community. Even if I did not
end up covering those stories, they provided insights into what the community cared about.
In both jobs, reaching out to strangers for stories was a norm. It’s important to know how to
relate to people and make a good impression. In turn, helping people understand the vision and
the story you’re sharing is important. Relationships between sources and writers are important
on both sides.
Working with Orangefiery this summer was a great experience and taught me to adapt. I am so
thankful to my supervisors for helping me navigate the industry and am grateful for the many
new skills and experiences I will apply in my career.