Smart PR execs should tap journalists looking for jobs

Carl Icahn is known for making news. Every announcement he makes seems to become a headline, and most recently it was reported that he hired Thomson Reuters reporter Dane Hamilton to help write his blog, The Icahn Report - a smart move.

Carl Icahn is known for making news. Every announcement he makes seems to become a headline, and most recently it was reported that he hired Thomson Reuters reporter Dane Hamilton to help write his blog, The Icahn Report - a smart move.

In PRWeek's media pages, we continue to report on the mass exodus from newspapers and other print publications by journalists looking for opportunities they hope will last; opportunities in an industry on the rise, rather than in the midst of a downward spiral. The smart executive in the PR industry - agency and corporate side - will use the shrinking newsroom to their advantage, as Icahn did.

Not only did he grab headlines again, but his hiring of an experienced journalist could help to make the blog a serious news source, complementing the investor's posts and personal opinions. A professional polish offers the opportunity to make the blog less of a "What will he will say next," and more of a must-read.

It's no surprise that journalists who are not yet ready to bail the toil of writing for direct audiences are nonetheless jumping to a different type of employer. Salon.com's Peter Daou joined the Clinton campaign as a blog adviser and, in 2006, St. Louis Post-Dispatch business reporter Christopher Carey joined Shareslueth.com, an operation created by Mark Cuban to root out scandals in publicly traded companies.

As more corporations and PR agencies are launching blogs, having someone with years of experience in news writing and researching who still wants to write is a boon. Journalists often specialize in a particular beat, which could round out a PR firm's knowledge in a specific practice area or for a certain client.

To lure a top name, though, PR will have to prove to journalists that their switch will be worth it, and that this won't be just another pit stop in their career.

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