A number of senior ex-News of the World journalists have enquired about PR jobs, but recruitment consultants have warned that the paper's 'toxic' reputation could harm their chances of making the transition.
The demise of the UK's biggest-selling national newspaper last week has led to 200 journalists and executives considering their next steps. Some senior editorial staff are known to have spoken to top PR agencies and recruitment consultancies in recent days.
Edelman European CEO Robert Phillips said that his agency had already been contacted by two News of the World journalists.
Ellwood and Atfield director Gavin Ellwood said that he had been recently contacted by 'three or four' senior journalists from the News of the World. But he warned: 'Given the continued squeeze on the media industry, the recession and the BBC's redundancies, the PR job market is highly competitive for journalists. The recent crisis is only going to make it harder for them to cross the line to the PR and comms profession.'
One senior recruitment consultant who declined to be named told PRWeek: 'The market was already flooded with journalists up until the recent events. The question is how toxic are these journalists in the context of PR jobs? It's a saturated market already. It's unlikely that PR agencies will be falling over themselves for a News of the World journalist.'
But some senior figures were more open to hiring exNews of the World staff.
Max Clifford told PRWeek: 'I wouldn't shy away from employing an ex-News of the World journalist but then I'm different to a lot of PRs and I do my own thing.'
Another PR boss said: 'There are plenty of talented reporters from the newspaper like Dan Wootton who would be able to make a smooth transition to the PR industry.'
SENIOR NOTW JOURNALISTS
Colin Myler Editor
Victoria Newton Deputy editor
Bill Akass Managing editor
Harry Scott Senior associate editor
Jules Stenson Assistant editor, features
David Wooding Political editor
Mazher Mahmood Investigations editor
Dan Wootton Showbiz editor