This is the sixth year I've worked on PRWeek's annual Career Guide, but I'm especially excited about this edition because, more than in the past, it broadly looks at topics impacting pros at all levels of experience, whereas past supplements skewed a bit young. I'd like to focus on four features in particular to accentuate this point.
Profiles have long been a Career Guide staple, but this year we took a different approach. You are all familiar with the PRWeek Awards. This issue, in fact, includes some editorial about it (see p. 36). Annually, one of the most interesting categories is the Student of the Year. It's fascinating to see how tomorrow's PR leaders tackle the campaigns. But I, and I'm certain I'm not alone, have often wondered, "Whatever happened to the Student honorees?" Well, the profiles provide updates on seven impressive past winners, including two agency owners and one in-house CEO.
On the subject of top-level management, the article "Major moves" is noteworthy. Looking for a new job when you're just starting or are still in the early stages of your career is challenging enough. However, when you've reached the top, the job search takes on an entirely new dynamic. This article dissects that potentially touchy subject and gives the Career Guide the balance needed to be what it is intended to be: a guide for all PR pros.
Top-level pros also entered the discussion in the annual Career Guide roundtable, which took a detour from its usual HR focus to invite six top PR professors to look at the state of PR academia. It was fascinating to sit in the room with such vast experience and learn how far university PR programs have come. The portion of the discussion that focused on established PR pros becoming professors linked the industry's present and future in a very meaningful way.
Speaking of learning, "Mutual benefits" highlights how the mentor-mentee relationship has changed. Senior-level executives taking younger pros under their wing is a time-tested practice in the PR world - one that remains prevalent. However, in the true spirit of social media and its impact on the communications world, the story looks at the rise of reverse mentoring, where junior-level execs are teaching the industry veterans more than a thing or two.
No matter how many years one has spent in the trenches of any industry, you can always learn and find ways to advance in your profession. Our goal in creating the Career Guide was to help all PR pros do just that. With this year's edition, I proudly proclaim that we have provided a tool that truly meets the original objective. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed producing it. l
Gideon Fidelzeid is the managing editor of PRWeek. He can be contacted at email@example.com.