Baby Boomers holding positions of authority in public relations agencies frequently started out as reporters. It was a different time. When they wearied of covering stories or simply needed a whole lot more income, they were welcomed into public relations agencies. Also, back then, major corporations such as Chevron hired them into what was then called corporate communications. Someone showed them the ropes of how to collect and marshal the facts the way the clients wanted the tale to be told.
That was then. Now, as CULPWRIT explains, it is increasingly difficult for media players to have a career transition into public relations. To begin with, the media person's experience makes him or her expensive. No agency is willing to pay that for someone who doesn't have public relations down cold. And corporations, to maintain cost efficiency, farm out more and more work to the agencies. Therefore, corporate communications is not a likely place to find a job in public relations.
Also, as I have noticed, there can be resistance to impression management. One writing shop which used my services was started by a former reporter from a brandname media property. The mindset just wasn't there to create from nothing what could position the client in a favorable light. Of course, the boutique kept losing clients.
The reality of no easy rite of passage to public relations can be devastating information for those who have a hunch that their media jobs aren't sustainable. Instead of an easy transition they might have to start all over again in a whole new field.