Professionals switching to PR

Financial PR staff are coming from increasingly diverse backgrounds, according to a new survey.

Leembruggen: 'agencies seeking specific skills'
Leembruggen: 'agencies seeking specific skills'

In 2007, 40 per cent of financial PR candidates placed by recruitment firm The Works moved from backgrounds outside of PR.

'There are a variety of reasons for this, but one is that agencies especially are looking for staff with specific skills,' said The Works managing partner Sarah Leembruggen.

The sector is also seeing a boost in wages as demand increases. The survey found financial PR director salaries were up ten per cent from an average of £98,500 in 2006 to £108,500 in 2007.

'Throughout 2007 there was a significant rise in the number of people entering financial PR from alternative careers,' said Leembruggen. 'Bankers, analysts, accountants, lawyers and journalists are making the switch as the draw of shorter hours, seeing the bigger picture and increased salaries has an impact.'

She said she had yet to see the wide-scale job losses predicted on PRWeek's front page last week (21 March).

'If a downturn continues, perhaps that will happen,' she said. 'But most agencies seem to have planned for the future and diversified away from relying on IPO and M&A activity.'

Last week, high-level PROs and industry analysts told PRWeek job losses were on the horizon if markets continued to feel the effects of the global credit crunch.

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