THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Are there enough jobs for older people in PR?

1999 is the United Nations International

1999 is the United Nations International

Year of Older Persons

Jackie Elliot - Manning, Selvage and Lee

’There aren’t nearly enough older people in PR, and quite rightly too. I

think there should be space for wisdom and experience, but I think it’s

a very energetic business. Too often experience can be an inhibiting

rather than an enhancing factor. Some people who have been in the

business for a long time recycle concepts and ideas. Young people seem

to be more adventurous and creative.’

Bernard Ingham - Columnist

’If people have a contribution to make then they will find employment. I

feel PR is a rather young industry, but I have not felt any

discrimination against age. People like to listen to people of

experience talking to them and telling them about the things they’ve

done and how they have handled problems. I think there is too much talk

of discrimination and too little of getting on with work. Maybe life

passes me by, but I can say I have not experienced it.’

Colin Trusler - Senate

’PR recruitment is a product of availability and fashion. Over the past

20 years, both have favoured youth. As the profile of British society

gets rapidly older over the next 20 years, there will be a crunching of

gears as this trend reverses and PR, like other industries, will come to

learn again the value of experience and business maturity that comes

from older people.’

Tony Good - Good Consultancy

’It depends on whether the work you are talking about is strategic PR or

not. If it is strategic, a combination of expertise and experience is

important. If you’re a bit player, you are more likely to be superseded

by a younger and faster model. I’ve seen that situation before. But at

the strategic end, a bit of experience, a few grey hairs and hopefully

the accumulated wisdom that goes with it, are important.’

Chris McDowall - PRCA

’You get to where you deserve in PR. If you burn out at 50, that’s your

problem. I believe PR is a very dynamic business - it’s all about energy

and ideas. You shouldn’t be in PR if you don’t have it. I know people of

50 who don’t have these qualities, but then I know those of 30 who

don’t - age is largely irrelevant. I don’t believe ageism is an industry


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