Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PR will far outstrip Advertising and Promotions in job market according to Feds

The reknowned Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports in an updated study from 2009 to late 2010 that public relations (PR) will far outstrip "advertising/ promotions" in creating new managerial jobs. In fact, advertising-promotions management will decline -1.7 percent and fail to even replace the positions openned due to retirement. PR will grow 12.9%. More entry level and tactical jobs as "PR specialists" will grow 24%. A number of PR related jobs in writing will also grow (tech writers 18.2%, writers and authors 14.8%). The report will remind some readers of a popular book nearly a decade ago: Ries and Ries The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR in 2002.

The good news for communication professionals in PR and journalism in the first two decades of the 21st century is the growth of PR according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It may be surprising that even branding does not give advertising the lift some expected while corporate branding (reputation) and marketing PR for products and services branding will grow.

The negative 1.7%. means that growth in advertising and promotions management is projected to be zero from 2008 to 2018 and even jobs that exist will not be filled 100%. However, to put this BLS employment category of advertising, marketing, promotions, PR and sales management in perspective, the employment size of sales management will continue to be 6-7x that of PR and marketing management will be 3X that of PR. PR will continue to be 27% greater number of jobs than advertising and promotions and increase to 45% more by 2018. (T. Alan Lacey and Benjamin Wright Occupational Employment Projections to 2018)

For young professionals this does not mean that some of the skills and knowledge of advertising is dead but that the institution of advertising may be in decline. The same can be said for journalism. Some of the institutions of journalism may be dying but the values and skills of journalism may not be dead. In fact, the allignment of PR and journalism has long been a professional track for journalists using their gifted writing and communication skills. More on this in a future blog. At the Medill School I have offered and am planning classes to address this gap in employment and thinking. My graduate and undergraduate classes include topics in PR and marketing to cross train advetising students and journalism students. Also, remember that despite the lack of general opportunities in some fields there is always room for talented and well-educated and trained professionals in any field.

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