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P.R. folks as freelancers...where's the line?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by cyclingwriter, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    Questions for those of you still hiring freelancers...do you use p.r. people to write for you? And if so, in what capacity?

    I spent a little more than a decade in newspapers. Did a lot of magazine writing to supplement my income. Switched to public relations a few years ago as a way to not being laid off at age 40 with no other job options. A big part of my company's clientele is my ability to pitch stories to traditional media and get strong coverage because I am able to contact old bosses and associates.

    Recently, several of the editors have asked me to just write the pieces. I was a little reluctant, but my clients were ok with it because it was still coverage and didn't care if my byline was on there.

    However, I am not a big fan of it because.

    A. I am a fucking p.r. guy now....I don't care how many awards I won your paper a decade ago...I am going to peddle my shit with no mention of integrity.

    B. I am not getting paid by the paper...yes, I am getting paid by a client, but I am essentially writing more for free.

    C. I am essentially taking money out of freelancers pockets because I am writing for free for the mags/papers.

    Thoughts? Are any of you doing this? Is this a sign of the end of journalism? Or just another change?
  2. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    This is pretty much what PR does.

    I would ask your byline to be removed if they do any editing to the story, though.

    The goal of any press release is to be typed word for word in the paper.
  3. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    True...goal is positive coverage...but legit positive coverage.
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    It's not your job to worry if the editor is doing their job or not.
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Honest question ... what's the difference?
  6. SoCalScribe

    SoCalScribe Member

    Be happy, buddy, sounds like you're doing what you left the industry to do.

    If we look at, say, press releases. An effective press release can be repurposed in just a few minutes to run in a newspaper or on a website. So, really, you're always writing it for them, aren't you?
  7. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    Thanks guys. Also I consider legit is a story without my name on it :)
  8. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    For me, a press release is raw copy, just like anything else.

    I cannot imagine using it word for word.
  9. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I can write a PR story on Ben Roethlisberger, for example, but the words "Georgia," "bar," "police," and "rape..." will never be in the story. Many times the PR people know much more than they let out in stories, as well.
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