INTERNATIONAL BRIEF: Two years is the average for US tech PROs

SAN DIEGO: Technology corporate communications managers across the US only remain in their jobs for a maximum of two years on average, according to fresh survey findings.

Results of an email survey conducted among over 3,200 technology companies in the US reveal a churn rate of 50 per cent in PR manager roles.

The study, compiled by the San Diego office of UK PR agency Lewis, shows that within just three months 13.2 per cent of tech PR chiefs contacted had moved jobs - which could mean there is a 100 per cent turnover of staff in two years.

With an average six months needed to settle into a job and build an understanding of the business, Lewis estimates that this leaves just 18 months per PR manager to affect a company's perception.

Lewis vice-president Morgan McLintic said the figures reflect the pressures inherent throughout tech sector PR, as more is expected from smaller budgets: 'It's a difficult time for corporate comms teams in the tech sector - budgets have been squeezed and internal resources reigned back.

At the same time we've seen a shift in emphasis onto PR.'

The PR managers polled worked in firms ranging from small independents to Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange-listed corporations.

Lewis conducted the email survey at two points, starting mid-December last year and finishing mid-February 2003.

Results also revealed that many firms failed to register press contact changes on company websites, which Lewis said could hamper relations with the media.

'Not only could it mean that some good talent is leaving the industry with so many people leaving, but it also confuses journalists and analysts,' said McLintic.

'If you can have a consistent press interface then that's only to their benefit,' he added.

While the survey was only conducted in the US, Lewis said it is hoping to extend the study to the UK and Europe.

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