Redesign to reflect changes to industry

It will not take readers of great perceptive ability to spot that here at PRWeek, we have made one or two subtle changes to the magazine while you have been away developing heartburn and breaking your New Years' resolutions.

The changes are as radical as anything the magazine has seen in over a decade and come as the result of extensive research among our readers.

In the process of redesigning the magazine, two significant trends have emerged.

The first of these is the diversification of roles within the PR business, with an increasing emphasis on the sort of specialist knowledge and value-added expertise consultants and in-house staff alike strive for. If the target audience for your work is the institutional investment community, your approach to PR will be different from those whose targets are consumers or civil servants, children or council tax-payers.

Readers in the healthcare sector, therefore, will benefit from their own dedicated news section for the first time, as will those in the public affairs industry and in the voluntary sector. We have expanded our existing coverage of the public sector, and we have introduced a dedicated City and corporate section, featuring our hard-hitting new columnist, Evening Standard City commentator Anthony Hilton.

Of course, there remain common factors among all those who work in the public relations industry, and for those working in the daily front line, we have introduced an expansive media relations section detailing fresh media campaigns and interviews with topical media personalities.

We have also significantly expanded our analysis of and features on all the issues facing everyone in PR, as well as introducing greater opportunity for readers to give their views on everything from featured campaigns to recruitment.

The second trend is what might loosely be termed the return of confidence to an industry that has taken a battering over the last three years. All the signs - from the empirical (WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell's upbeat recent trading statement) to the anecdotal - suggest that 2004 will witness the PR business, if not returning to the glory days, then at least consigning the last few difficult years to history. Happy New Year.

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