Latest US jobs report has silver lining for PR sector

For companies targeting new prospects or working to retain current clients, reports of a shaky US economy cannot be reassuring.

For companies targeting new prospects or working to retain current clients, reports of a shaky US economy cannot be reassuring.

The latest bad news: The US Labor Department reports that non-farm payrolls dropped by 4,000 last month instead of rising by 100,000 as expected.

Despite the pessimistic outlook about the US job market, it could be good news for the PR industry, as executives expect their own search for talent to continue even if other industries are retrenching.

A quick survey of agency execs finds that hiring in the PR world remains strong, with many reporting that they, in fact, face a talent crunch: many jobs to fill and not enough qualified candidates to fill them. So if there is likely to be a general hiring slump, employers in the industry should take the opportunity to boost the diversity of their agencies by reaching out to people of a different race, gender, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation. Targeting people from diverse industries, in order to bolster PR practitioners' reputations as strategic consultants, would be beneficial, too.

Most agencies genuinely want to boost their diversity, not just because it is a nice thing to do, but because it helps them better represent their clients, many of whom are trying to reach a diverse country. But execs also concede that they have not achieved the kind of diversity they know their firms require. Many of these additional job seekers may lack the kind of direct experience agencies require, but that is why agencies have implemented such comprehensive training policies.

Job fairs, Internet job boards, and industry networking events - PR firms know where they can find new talent. Increasing diversity is easier said than done, of course, but now is as good - or better - a time as ever to search out these potential new hires.

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