The Art of Being Frenemies

Learn from others people’s lessons and learn from your own experiences, but whatever you do, don’t take “no, that’s not possible,” as an answer. Figure out that it’s not possible, for yourself. Attempt to prove them wrong, learn your options, and have open dialogue with others going through similar situations. I know what you’re probably thinking, “What on earth is this girl referring to?” In today’s society, people of all ages, races, genders, and ethnicities are in need of not only reputation management from PR professionals, but honest information from the “Watch Dogs”, as well. Public relations and journalism can’t be done together. Or at least, that’s what most communication professionals I’ve come in contact with have said. I disagree. There is a lack of information out there that truly describes the competitive and supportive relationship that journalists and PR professionals have. I want others to understand and appreciate that you can’t sum up the funky relationship between these two careers in one sentence.

Image from

The relationship between public relations and journalism is complex, yet crucial. The responsibility of a journalist is to inform and educate the public while keeping a watchful eye on higher-up authorities; thus the “Watch Dogs.” On the other hand, a PR professional’s responsibility is to inform the public using strategic communication in attempts to manage reputations of either individuals, companies, or general brands. So where do they mix? Without journalists, PR professionals wouldn’t be able to do their jobs, and vice versa. Benjamin

Banjamin Disraeli. Image from

Disraeli once said,

“Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.” PR strives to manage a reputation through controlled publicity and journalists provide that publicity for them.

I’m a student at the University of Oregon, majoring in both public relations and journalism. Both majors are respectable, both majors serve the public’s interest, and both majors are impossible to do. I have six months until I graduate, choose a pathway, and try out this whole ‘adulting’ after college thing. You know, it’s that thing every young adult has nightmares about. Six months! I have promoted a campaigns for a non-profit, where I wrote press releases and managed events. I have also written editorial content to educate individuals in South Africa on life after being diagnosed with cancer. But I haven’t done enough to know what I want to do going forward. I love strategic communication, especially crisis communication, but I also adore storytelling and I having a “Watch Dog” mentality. So I’ve decided to describe the relationship of my two passions as obscure, intricate, and artistic. Frenemies, if you will.

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