Transitioning from a fate of Journalism to a (lucky) tryst in Public Relations

What binds the two is expression and communication

And if my friend, you are a journalist smirking at me, I’d tell you neither the effort nor the reward can be compared

It was the first class in the morning, in 2016. A hard winter morning made matters worse. Physics is so not my cup of tea, my mind whined to me.

Cut to results and college, I took a decision — I want to pursue journalism. The 9 pm debates were a passion, and I took eager notes.

The heated college debates, the evolving ideologies, and then graduating as directionless as you enter University plus the pressures of the pandemic was how I found my way to the Indian Institute of Mass Communication — but this time, I had decided I wanted to do Advertising and Public Relations (AdPR).

But as fate had it, I got a chance at journalism again when I was at EJ — the English Journalism department of IIMC, New Delhi. But wherever I went for internship or work, either in my graduation or post-graduation, opportunities presented themselves as a creative mix of marketing and content creation.

And then came Adfactors PR.

I remember having two written tests that day, and I can tell you I was more excited to join the company where I am not today. I had the interview and I joined them, but long story cut short — not only were they unstructured, but also they left me when I was down with COVID-19.

Fate brought me to Adfactors, even as all my college anchoring and editing projects pulled me to an enticing presence in the media. But why Adfactors will always have a piece of my heart is a beautiful story in itself.

My interview was taken by Nikhil Sir, Executive Director. I was down with COVID, and coughed badly at a point. Not only did my prospective bosses and seniors offer me a second shot at the interview, but also they waited patiently till my cough attack stopped, and I was given time to complete my answer and finish the interview organically. They showed, that computer screens aren’t that cold after all because of the warmth of goodness people can emit through it!

But the reason why I am happy where I am, and why I choose PR again and again despite turbulence on some days is simple — I have a team that stands together and inspires, seniors and founders with a vision and a road of growth I can see with the eyes of practicality and a pinch of optimistic thinking.

While reporting the negatives each time in journalism made me cynical, Public Relations fills me with hope. I can write one day and create presentations with illustrations the next — the same reason why I loved journalism for its variety of sub-topics or beats because I never wanted to stick to a specialisation and do a monotonous thing all my life.

But work demands discipline — and not only did I develop a routine to make my overall day more productive, but also I learnt humility and how to deal with confrontation and crisis.

PR has changed my life, and journalism had its teachings too. My flair for writing, or a nose for facts and learning new things each day developed in my internships at the temples of media, namely newsrooms, but I learnt the softer skills of life and how to make and maintain relations at Adfactors PR. A journalist-in-the-making may desire a byline, but when we get a story featured, or a journalist accepts our idea, which culminates in good coverage and client appreciation, the feeling is unparalleled.

And even as I love the corporate culture, I still respect journalism for the effort. We, in PR, anyways have a symbiotic relationship with journalists.

Some of my learnings in this (to be continued) journey are:

  1. Good leaders deserve good subordinates, and though the relationship should be two-way, it never hurts to be the good one first.
  2. Patience helps in getting goals accomplished and making and retaining new relations.
  3. I always thought Eminem was right when he said ‘you don’t get another chance — life is no Nintendo Game’, but here every day is a fresh slate and you are as good as your last story. So don’t slouch if you did well and don’t feel you’ve lost your chance to excel if it doesn’t go your way for once.
  4. Learn from your mistakes before they start defining you. Everyone has a level of patience — place yourself in the shoes of your seniors! Write them down, practice them in your free time — do what it takes to be better each day.
  5. Strike a balance between self-love, self-interest and selflessness. That is how teams will unite, work will be divided uniformly and you will get the time to rejuvenate to return fresher and better.

Last but not least — don’t hesitate to go the extra mile, because returns are always in store.

And there will be no polished ending to this — because the story is still in the making!

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