Survey finds hiring boom in public relations

The PR industry is hiring 10% more than it was at this time last year, according to a recent survey of online job ads.

The PR industry is hiring 10% more than it was at this time last year, according to a recent survey of online job ads. Wanted Technologies, a business intelligence tool for the recruitment industry, found that organizations placed 21,000 ads for PR managers or specialists in the last 90 days. The top hiring industries were college and universities, civic and social organizations, family services, PR agencies, and medical and surgical hospitals.

The Wanted Analytics database contains more than 600 million unique job listings that it has collected since June 2005, according to the company.

It's no surprise that healthcare-related organizations are hiring as that is certainly an industry that is shielded a bit from cyclical ups and downs of the economy. Also nonprofits, such as civic groups and universities, often have strict guidelines about hiring practices, such as a mandate to post positions widely and for a certain period of time.

But if the agencies are hiring, it's easy to assume the clients are buying. This thinking syncs with comments by PR and holding company chief executives who have remained bullish on the health of the industry despite another woozy period for the global economy. Just yesterday WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell and MDC Partners' Miles Nadal predicted a positive 2012 for their firms. From New York Times Media Decoder:

“We've just seen our ‘flash,' as we call it, for November,” Mr. Sorrell said, referring to an early look at how WPP agencies fared last month, and, “The top line and bottom line were stronger than we anticipated.”

“We continue to see good momentum,” he added.

Mr. Nadal said, “I'm more bullish on '12 than I would have been a month ago or six weeks ago.”

A reason, he added, is because he feels “more comfortable today in clients' confidence in 2012” than he did previously.

As PRWeek prepares to open the submission process for our Agency Business Report, as well as field results for the annual Salary Survey, it will be interesting to see if this good mood continues into the new year or if it dampens. Certainly we can expect the holiday shopping season to be an indicator of what 2012 might hold. 

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