Survey: young PR execs will stay if the price is right

NEW YORK: PR neophytes most often take their first agency job to

work with interesting clients, but they usually stay because of

camaraderie with co-workers and the chance of more money, according to a

survey conducted by Houston's Pierpont Communications and the Council of

PR Firms.

Pierpont president Phil Morabito and senior AE Casey Kaplan, PRWeek's

Young PR Professional of the Year, presented survey findings on Friday

at the Fulcrum PR Industry Leadership Summit in New York. Nearly 250

young practitioners responded by e-mail to Pierpont's "21st Century

Young Guns of PR" survey, which the Council distributed to 300 agencies


Conducted in April, the survey depicts post-boom agency life for

industry newbies, but shows that many firms haven't adjusted their

policies to reflect market changes. For example, more than 70% said

their agencies pay bonuses for recruiting new employees, while fewer

than a quarter receive compensation for securing new business. With

fewer agencies hiring now, reward systems should reflect what firms need

most: clients, Morabito said.

Nearly all respondents said they work more than 40 hours a week.

Sixty-one percent said they don't feel appropriately compensated, and

increased salaries and bonuses were the most commonly desired incentives

for staying put.

The vast majority want to learn more about media relations and crisis

communications. They most often view work on upper-level projects as the

key to professional growth, a desire that often conflicts with what

clients want, Morabito noted. "We give people an opportunity to work on

higher-level business, but we limit their exposure to the client," he


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