Non-PR folk sought for PR

CHICAGO: Financial market traders and sports journalists may be suited to hi-tech PR, while nurses and other healthcare professionals should be looked to as sources of healthcare PR talent, said speakers at a seminar last week sponsored by the Council of Public Relations Firms.

CHICAGO: Financial market traders and sports journalists may be suited to hi-tech PR, while nurses and other healthcare professionals should be looked to as sources of healthcare PR talent, said speakers at a seminar last week sponsored by the Council of Public Relations Firms.

CHICAGO: Financial market traders and sports journalists may be suited to hi-tech PR, while nurses and other healthcare professionals should be looked to as sources of healthcare PR talent, said speakers at a seminar last week sponsored by the Council of Public Relations Firms.

A group of Chicago PR outfits has been looking into how to attract people into the area from other professions. Several of the industry players involved in the study addressed the seminar, held October 3, saying PR firms need to look beyond their own profession for new talent.

Sports journalists and financial market traders are accustomed to quick decision-making and deadline pressure, two talents important in PR, noted Kathy Baughman, president of HLB Communications.

She is heading up part of the Chicago group that is specifically looking at how to find more hi-tech PR practitioners.

People with experience in specific industries such as metals or chemicals also should be considered for tech assignments that involve those industries, she continued.

In healthcare PR, 'subject-matter expertise is crucial to success,' said John Laing, SVP and head of the healthcare practice in Porter Novelli's Chicago office.

He suggested PR firms look at nurses, dieticians, occupational therapists and middle-management healthcare administrators as potential sources of new talent.

Kevin Donnellan, president of Donnellan Public Relations, suggested that lawyers, management consultants, academics and former military officers all possess skills that can be successfully transferred to PR. He suggested firms create career development programs that bring in college professors and even elementary school teachers for summer work internships in PR to find new talent.

The Chicago working group is planning a career fair in two weeks to attract job candidates.



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