Young NY PR pros question careers and lives after 9-11

NEW YORK: According to a new Council of PR Firms survey, many young

PR pros in the New York area lack motivation following the September 11

terrorist attacks.

One quarter of PR professionals queried said their commitment to the

profession has decreased since September 11. While 71% of respondents

reported their commitment had not changed, and 3% reported increased

commitment, those who reported a decreased commitment were primarily

those aged 20-29, and/or those living in New York City or the tri-state


"For us, it was a pleasant surprise to see such dedication from our


Having said that, there is still a significantly large number of people,

particularly in the younger age groups, who are concerned about their

own safety and welfare, and what they should do with their lives," said

Jack Bergen, Council president. "We want to keep the lines of

communication open to respond to those concerns."

The online survey of 1,116 PR professionals nationwide was conducted

October 3-17, 2001. Mirroring people across the US, 85% of survey

respondents said they have changed their personal priorities since the

September 11 attacks. Nearly one in four respondents said they were

spending more time with family and friends. The same amount said they

were spending more time with religious organizations.

Bergen praised the move to a life outside the office. He said the best

way for firms to help employees is to allow them to get their jobs done

in a normal workday.

"I think it's a signal to PR firms that the best way to help employees

is to allow them to have a life outside the office, and not work them

12-15 hours a day," said Bergen. "I think that's healthy. Employees who

have that balance will stay in the industry longer."

Bergen predicted that in the current economic recession, a regular

workday could become the industry's most important retention and

recruiting tool.

However, he noted a split in attitude across the country, with areas

physically untouched by the attacks and economically untouched by the

downturn in the tech market having very different perceptions of the

industry's current needs.

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