Note (1/6/09): Jack O'Dwyer's, the p.r. industry newsletter, writes about our post.
Exploring the web today, I came across Scatterbox, a blog by Steven Silvers, a principal at a Denver-based agency. His posts are interesting and I plan to check his site regularly.
Steve's current post, titled How the PR business is changed forever (and why you might not be in it), gives a good synopsis of changes in p.r. that are being driven by the recession. Jobs will be cut, he says. Media outlets are shrinking. Reporters, being thrown out of jobs, are migrating to p.r., flooding a market that's shrinking.
Steve closes his post with: "If you're a PR student, consider changing your major. Seriously."
I must respectfully disagree with Steve. If public relations is what a young person wants,
then he or she shouldn't be discouraged from pursuing it.
While jobs may be tight for a bit during the recession and its aftermath, the field will continue to employ people. Once the economy gets settled down, the p.r. field will probably grow again, as the function takes responsibility for management and content of publicity and corporate and customer relations through social media channels. Young people conversant with social media will be in demand, as agencies and in-house departments grapple with how to utilize the new media. And while traditional media outlets, especially those in print, continue to shrink or disappear, many more new outlets are opening, in droves, in the form of blogs, e-zines and other digital formats.
So, young people, learn how to write, study to get an understanding of what motivates people to act and think, and learn the tools and techniques of public relations. It won't go to waste. There will be jobs.