It’s been two months since I left the broadcast TV news world, and it has been a welcomed change. I started my career as a news producer for stations in Richmond, Va. and Nashville, Tenn. For those that don’t know, a news producer selects, writes and orders the stories that go in each show, in addition to selecting video, coordinating reporters and live crews and then, on top of all that, keeping the show on track while on air. Because the news “never sleeps,” I bounced between various sleep schedules (think overnight and weekends) and, by nature of the job, there’s constantly news about death and destruction. After four years, I decided I needed a change. Enter the Bradford Group.
Because of the demand for similar skill sets, many news professionals make the switch to PR and marketing. Since taking the plunge, I’ve noticed three major differences between the industries.
1. Company Culture
During my time in the news industry, company culture was not a term I heard very often at all. I was vaguely aware that other industries offered company building or team bonding activities. In my experience, while there are certainly inadvertent bonding times, such as continuous storm coverage, there was no deliberate effort to foster company culture in the news industry.
To better our company culture, the Bradford Group offers several initiatives, including flex space, which allows you to leave the office to get work done at home, a coffee shop, or maybe even a pool when it gets a little warmer! We also celebrate hitting our quarterly goals with company outings, like painting pottery and go-cart racing, and on Fridays we stop work at 4 p.m. to have a drink and celebrate the end of a hard workweek.
Going from an industry where company culture isn’t even really a “thing” to one where it is alive and well, I’ve noticed what a dramatic difference it makes in the overall attitude of the company and each individual person.
2. Daily Workflow
My workflow has certainly changed. One of my favorite parts of being a producer was having a daily deadline. That way, when the newscast was done, I could hang up my hat, so to speak, and go home with a clear mind. Now, because there isn’t always a hard deadline, I find myself constantly entertaining the tasks I’ve completed and the ones that are still on my revolving to-do list. While it may seem cumbersome, it comes with the territory of working in a creative industry and I fully embrace it.
I recently read the book The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice (Thanks, Avery!). The book explains that the primary tool at a creative’s disposal is his or her mind. Because your mind is with you everywhere you go, you can’t easily turn it off, which I’ve found to be true since entering the PR/Marketing world. But, it’s not a bad thing. Anything I read or see outside of work, I can file away to use another day.
Also, the number of spinning plates has increased. While there were several moving components to a newscast, I’ve found there are more tasks to juggle on a daily basis in the PR world. In news, you may have to coordinate two live shots, but on any given day in the agency world you’re juggling multiple assignments for multiple clients. I enjoy staying busy and how no two days are alike! It makes work fun.
3. Writing skills
While writing is the crux of both public relations and news, the style of writing is different. When I first became a producer, I was told my writing was too formal for TV; I needed to loosen it up, become more conversational. So, that’s what I did. Then when I joined the Bradford Group, I had to revert back to more formal writing. It’s been a tad bit tricky shaking old habits, but thanks to my fellow groupies, I’m moving right along.
Overall, my switch to the PR/marketing world has been one of the best decisions I’ve made and I’m so happy to have landed at an agency with such talented groupies. While my time in the news industry has come to an end, I am thankful for the lessons learned that I can now apply to my new job.