I met with two job seekers yesterday–one looking for his first-ever internship and the other being a veteran corporate PR professional whose company has been acquired, leaving her without a job in the near future. The similarities in their questions were striking since both wanted to know about job prospects in agencies and corporations. I didn’t have many definite leads, but tried to describe the current PR job outlook, which is vastly improved from a year ago.
The good news: Agencies are hiring, and many corporations are expanding their PR budgets. This fact was confirmed this week during round-table discussions held in St. Louis and Chicago by the Council of Public Relations Firms. Agency leaders in the Chicago round-table were more bullish than I’ve heard them in the past four years with each of the 18 agencies present citing solid revenue gains in 2010 and predictions of further growth in 2011. One agency head said his firm hired nine professionals in the past six weeks, which is more than the firm hired in all of last year.
For the thousands of talented PR job hopefuls waiting their chances to join the profession, I hope this trend continues–and I believe it will. It won’t be a steady, non-stop upward trajectory since there always are some hicups along the way to recovery. But we finally appear to be experiencing some positive job momentum in the profession.