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Transitioning from Editor to Publicist

As told by Sam Coley, Publicity Assistant at HSC

Before starting with #TeamHSC, I was an editorial assistant with a media company that owned several magazines. Not only did I edit and fact-check stories across the publications, but I also wrote posts for the main entertainment website.

Making the transition from editor to publicist came with some challenges. Here are some of the obstacles I was faced with:

Focusing on clients vs. readers

When you’re writing for a publication, your main focus is on the reader. While you have some freedom in what you write, you need to write in categories that your readers are interested in. In public relations, your client is your main focus. You have to concentrate on what their story is and how they want to be portrayed. When you know those things, you can properly pitch them to outlets.

Understanding the importance of building relationships

In editorial, you need to work well with your coworkers, of course, but there isn’t as much of an emphasis on building relationships as there is in PR. Building relationships with editors is essential because they will be more likely to write about your clients if they know you personally.

Writing style

The writing style in editorial and PR couldn’t be more different. When writing for a magazine, the pieces need to be objective and are usually longer. When you’re writing pitches for clients, you need to make sure you’re giving editors all the information they would need to write a story and give them a reason to want to write about your clients. You don’t want to sound like a salesperson, but you do need to be a put more persuasive than with editorial writing.

As I continue working in PR, I continue improving and adapting my skills to overcome these obstacles. Making the change from editorial to PR has been such an exciting change, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

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