john sullivan
When John started at the BBC many years ago, he never expected his career to take him halfway across the world.

Like many of our staff, John spent years working in newsrooms across the globe and was driven to PR due to the excitement of working closely with industry leaders to help share their incredible stories.

Now Principal Consultant at Good Talent Media, John shares with us his experience transitioning from journalism to the other side of the fence and explains why journalists make fantastic PR professionals!

Why did you transition from the newsroom to PR?

As a journalist, I loved learning about people’s stories and being able to share that with the wider community.

It was such a pleasure to work for the BBC for 14 years in my home country Wales, and the ABC in 2012.

Although working in the media industry was an incredible experience, the nature of the newsroom could be very cut-throat and challenging.

Starting a role in public relations felt like the perfect opportunity to sit on the other side of the fence as a journalist by working closely with leaders and organisations in helping them to raise awareness of important issues affecting their sector.

What attracted you to join the “dark side”?

Many journalists jokingly refer to PR as the “dark side”. But in reality, it is the opposite. We’re trying to shine a light on media-worthy stories, and help people advocate their cause, by informing, educating, and training.

From my years of experience working in the media industry, you suffer newsroom burnout, working early hours of the morning and late hours of the evening. It can be a very competitive environment, which in turn can make you feel insecure.

Working in PR is very energising. The work-life balance is much better, everything is largely taken in-office hours. Working for GTM is particularly rewarding as you work with many incredible clients who are doing positive things and shaping their industry.

How does your journalism experience compliment your current work?

As a journalist, you receive media pitches daily, many good and bad. It helps build your editorial judgement, and understanding of what makes a news-worthy story.

I think there is a misconception that PR and Journalism are completely different roles. There are so many similarities. Ultimately we both have the common goal to share impactful stories, highlight the truth and raise awareness of important issues.

What is your favourite thing about working for GTM?

I came across Good Talent Media, after connecting with Tony at the ABC.

The job is very people-focused, you’re learning about so many different industries, and issues daily, it’s very informative and educational in that sense. The pace of the job is incredible, you never know what you’re going to encounter and I love how variable it can be.

The team is also fantastic. Some of us come from a media background whilst others only started as interns. All our combined skills and experience are what makes our team so successful. We learn from each other and grow together.

What opportunities do you think GTM provides that are attractive to potential candidates?

The career progression is amazing, and it allows you to have a really important role. I started as an Account Manager and was given the opportunity to learn a new role in sales and am now working as a Principal Consultant.

The nature of working in a small business means you can learn so many skills and trial new roles.

There is a fantastic work-life balance and incredible career development opportunities. Things like EOFY trips, training, remote work, paid maternity, and paternity leave, really do make a massive difference.

Based on your experience, why should someone consider a career in PR at GTM?

If you feel like you work for a place not about making a difference, are not afraid of hard work, love energy, and people then it is the place for you.

Whatever level you come in at there is a chance to progress, we work hard and play hard, not too much hierarchy flat structured.

If you’re a passionate PR professional or perhaps a media pro looking for a change, contact our agency today to learn more about our career opportunities!

Tony Nicholls

Tony Nicholls

Founder and Director of Good Talent Media

Tony Nicholls is an accomplished journalist who has held roles for more than ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering thousands of news stories across Victoria, Australia and in the international media.