You'll Go Far in PR: Five Reasons You Should Start a Career in Public Relations

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These days, it seems like most everyone wants a better job with a better salary. Many people are looking for new job markets to jump into and instantly thrive in, but with the unemployment rate on the rise and the economy going south, that idea seems like an unattainable dream.

The good news is that reports show that PR jobs aren’t going anywhere as of yet. Read on to find out why PR is a good choice for transitioning professionals or recent graduates.

1. The Number of PR Jobs Is Expected to Grow in Coming Years.



According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, public relations specialists’ employment is expected to grow 18% between 2006 and 2016. With 243,000 PR specialists in the business as of 2006, the number is expected to increase by 43,000, becoming 286,000 by 2016.

Similarly, public relations managers’ employment is expected to climb up 17%. As of 2006 there were 50,000 people employed as public relations managers, and by 2016 that number should grow by 8,000.

The report also mentions that recent graduates will experience more competition in hiring for entry-level jobs.

2. Desperate Times Call for More PR Support.

In tough times companies seek the skills of PR professionals. With experts estimating that the recession will get even worse, more failing companies are going to have to focus resources on PR to boost business. Even the White House is getting in on the action.

The Bush administration has more than doubled PR spending within the past few years, according to an analysis of federal procurement data by congressional Democrats. In fact, the Government Accountability Office reported that the Bush administration spent more than $2.6 billion on public relations and media contracts in a two-and-a-half-year span that began in 2003.

3. PR Professionals Enjoy Great Salaries.

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that in 2006 the median salary for a PR manager was $82,180. PR specialists earned an average salary of $47,350.

Those numbers have gone up even more in the last two years with PR managers earning an average of $89,166 and PR specialists earning an average of $58,000 in the Los Angeles area, according to Salary.com. Those numbers increase if you work in New York, and they slightly decrease when you go to less-booming regions like Little Rock, Arkansas.

Eric Gerard, a senior vice president at Great Ink Communications in New York, told the Wall Street Journal about his leap from journalism to public relations eight years ago, saying, “After my third son was born in 1998, the day-to-day struggle to make ends meet became a drain. I loved what I did — I just couldn’t live on 2% raises every year. 2% of nothing is nothing, and that wasn’t fair to my kids.”

Gerard’s pay ceiling landed somewhere in the $60,000 to $70,000 range, and he was already in the high $60,000 range when he left his job.

“Instead of 2% raises, there is an annual 5% to 10% raise, and you don’t have to crawl on your hands and knees for it,” he says of his current PR job. “I now make over $100,000.”

With opportunities to earn commission when he brings in new clients, Gerard can take home an even more impressive paycheck.

“There is a constant ability to supplement your income — with one account you can make an extra $10,000.”

4. Public Relations Doesn’t Require Many All-Nighters.

Compared to many of the time-demanding professions out there, PR is more in the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. range. It doesn’t usually require long hours and loads of time-sensitive work like many other professions in its salary range, and according to Gerard, his new job in PR is much more “family friendly.”

The worst drawback in Gerard’s previous job was the hours.

“We had late-night meetings. With weekly newspapers and trade publications, the writing, photography, and proofreading all falls on you,” he says.

Now Gerard is able to put in fewer hours and make more money.

“I am able to vacation more regularly — I never had more than two to three weeks’ vacation at the newspaper.”

5. Everyone Needs a Little PR.

Public relations is an exciting business because PR professionals can have an entire array of different clients to handle. So even if you have a passion for sports, an obsession with entertainment, and a curiosity about technology, you can fulfill all of your interests by covering those specialties.

Most, if not all, companies and figures in the media spotlight have publicists who push them and protect their images. The sea of clients is wide, providing a great selection of industries and people to choose from.
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