With the market for technology PR execs looking increasingly
queasy, those who were once totally secure in their job are fast
discovering that the seller's market of the last few years has finally
No longer are a fast-beating pulse and the ability to use the phone a
guarantee of competing job offers and an inflated title.
Recent layoffs have put a lot of formerly secure PR execs out on the
street. So what can those who are still-employed do to keep their names
off the unemployment rolls? In some cases, nothing. Depending on office
politics, time on the job or how poorly your agency has managed its
finances, you may just have to grab on to your Bacon's and pray. In some
instances, however, mid-level PR people can actively participate in
raising their chances of survival in a layoff-happy environment.
New business. Even if 'new business' is not part of your current job
description, if you can successfully land some new accounts, or get
existing accounts to pony up, you're proving your worth in the most
basic way - financially. It's hard to get rid of someone who's actively
Client coverage. While some SAE/AS level PR counselors pride themselves
on the lovely status reports they assemble, getting ink and electrons is
what ultimately matters the most. Writing status reports is easy,
getting The Wall Street Journal to write an article about a small
private company client is hard.
And as I mentioned earlier, now is an ideal time to be approaching the
press with interesting news. There are fewer companies, fewer flacks and
fewer stories. Don't take the snooty view that media relations is
low-level flunky work. If management has to decide between having great
weekly wrap-up reports and being able to say to a prospective client
'Jane knows half the writers at Business Week,' she's going to keep
Client rapport. It's important for your clients to respect your agency,
but it's even more important for them to value you. If a client looks to
you as the reason for all of their PR successes, it's much harder for
management to let you go (who knows, the client might go with you)
However, if the client sees you as just a go-between for the real
decision makers, look out.
Ultimately, the PR market will turn around. With less noise to compete
with, and maybe a bit more time on your hands, now is the perfect time
to establish some new media relationships, generate great coverage and
spend time tuning your PR skills.