Good post recently in the Catching Flack PR blog by Jon Greer about journalists going into PR. In this case he discusses Dan Abrams of MSNBC launching his own PR services.
I agree--too many journalists mistake quasi-celebrity in journalism with actual competence in public relations. Having been journalists on the receiving end of news releases and pitches, that's all they think PR is--publicity. They figure that being a journalist gives them an edge.
It does, but only in media relations. Which is only one aspect of what PR involves today.
As I continue to study the influences on how PR is practiced in organizations, one variable that emerges often is the education of the practitioner. If PR people come out of journalism, with no formal education or experience in public relations, it's likely that their organizations will minimize the role of PR to publicity or public information. This is bad news for them, their organization and the rest of us in the field, who know that publicity is merely one of many tools for a profession whose objective is mutual relationships and whose benefit is strategic management counsel.
If Abrams gets himself in a legal issue, I wonder if he'd be excited to have a former court reporter defend him.