President Obama returns to the nation’s capital on Thursday to meet with congressional leaders to try and avert the so-called “fiscal cliff,” or a series of tax increases and government spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.
The media narrative has been that if a deal can’t be reached, the U.S. could slide into another economic recession. Nevertheless, there may be a silver lining for people pursuing a career in public relations.
According to an article posted on Yahoo Education, ‘Public Relations Specialist’ ranked #5 among the “Eight Hot Careers to Watch in 2013.”
But the job opportunities in PR go well beyond the next 12 months. The article cites a Department of Labor study showing that employment for PR specialists is projected to grow by 23% between 2010 and 2020, with more than 58,000 job openings.
Laurence Shatkin, author of “Best Jobs for the 21st Century,” told Yahoo Education: “With instant access to social media, it is more important than ever for individuals and organizations to get professional help maintaining a positive public image…Specialists who work well with this new media are needed to build a reputation or save someone from scandal.”
Sure, the advent of social media has played into the ability among PR pros to cultivate relationships and build communities online and offline.
Yet there are other forces at work here, primarily the diminishing returns of “paid” media (read: advertising schedules) and the spike in “earned” media, which is a synonym for PR. The ability of companies of all stripes to produce and distribute their own media assets—with an assist by the PR department and/or PR agency—is another factor that’s driving the growth in PR jobs.
What’s more, in a 24/7/365 media environment CEOs and senior managers realize that they need to be as media savvy as possible. They need the guidance and cold-eyed advice that communications executives can provide on navigating the new norm.
For more information on potential gigs in PR, visit the PR News Job Center.
Follow Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1