Clint Cole sitting at his desk at Two Rivers MarketingMy love of writing started in “writers workshop” class when I was in second grade. By high school, I had decided I wanted to apply this passion to something useful and started writing for the student newspaper.

One journalism degree and an eight-year newspaper career later, I felt that it was time for a new challenge. For this, I looked outside the world of journalism and found a new home at Two Rivers Marketing.

Leaving the journalism career path behind and moving into my role as a public relations specialist felt, in a way, a lot like moving to a foreign country. There are a lot of similarities in the work we do, but a very different approach to how we do it.

Here are a few things to know about transitioning from journalism to a marketing agency:

There’s more compromise

I found that there were very few hoops to jump through to get a piece of content published on the web in the newspaper business. This is due, in large part, to the limited staff numbers that the journalism industry faces today.

If there was a particular news item that needed published right away, all I had to do was select “send to web” and click “submit.”

At a marketing agency it is not uncommon for several people to have had their hands on copy to make changes before it is approved. Editors and supervisors at an agency review content, much like an editor would at a newspaper. The client and subject matter experts also get a chance to make changes before content is approved though.

This is a big change from the newspaper journalism industry. Many newspapers have strict policies that won’t allow sources to give their final blessing before publishing a story. In journalism, this helps prevent biased stories. When you’re working to develop a brand, making sure the content fits the clients’ desires is important.

Brands have stories to tell too

The aspect I loved most about newspaper journalism was getting to tell great stories about wonderful and exciting people. That was one part of my job that I didn’t want to leave behind as I searched for a new career and, luckily, I didn’t have to.

Companies create products to help make people’s lives easier, better, more enjoyable, or all the above. Associates at a marketing agency talk to the experts who know those products inside and out to find a way to bring that story to a wider audience.

The stories I wrote for the newspaper often focused on how a leader made an impact on their community. The stories I write as an associate at a marketing agency tend to focus on how a brand or product helped that same leader make that impact.

Get ready to specialize

While I was in the newspaper industry, I had to familiarize myself with so many topics, that I never had a chance to become an industry expert on any one thing. In any given week I may have had to attend a city council meeting, a charity event, and even a football game. The schedule could very well have included a variety of other events as well.

Working at a marketing agency I have been spending a lot of time looking over a lot of material for a few clients. I’m not claiming to be an industry expert on anything yet, but I am definitely getting a chance to work toward that.

Slower, not easier

There are times when a quick turnaround is needed for a project. For the most part, things move more slowly and diligently at a marketing agency to make sure that every detail is just right. It’s important to know that slower does not mean easier.

It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to learn all there is to know about your clients and a whole lot more than that to bring their vision to life!

Want to know if a marketing agency is a good fit for your next career opportunity? Check out our careers page and see what positions are open at Two Rivers Marketing.

About Clint Cole

As a Public Relations Specialist, Clint writes blog posts, news releases, and social content for a variety of clients. In his free time, he enjoys local craft beer, watching Cyclone football, and discovering new shows on Netflix and Hulu.