Here’s some excellent new year news for public relations students and professionals: An article, “Seven Top Careers in 2014” published in Yahoo! Education last week named public relations as “Hot Career #1.” While the ranking was the creation of its author, Terrance Loose, who based his article on interviews with “experts” and numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the content is spot-on.
“If Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter hasn’t driven home the fact that marketing and public relations is going to be supremely important in the future, maybe you need a smarter smart phone,” wrote Loose. “And one career that will be key for companies in the future is PR specialist.” The article went on to quote Phil Dunn, president of Synapse Services Co, a web technologies and marketing company. “In the fast-paced, all-access world of social media, the difference between a record quarter and a bad one for a company can come down to good or bad public relations,” he said, “so they will be in high demand.”
Now, before we go around bragging about how our profession is so hot now, we should note that there are scores of lists on the Internet that attempt to rank the “best jobs,” “fastest growing careers” and “top, recession-proof college majors.” Public relations doesn’t even show up on some of these lists. But one significant statistic backs up the Yahoo! article, and it’s from the aforementioned Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency reports that employment of PR specialists is expected to grow 21 percent in this decade, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of public relations managers is expected to grow by 16 percent by 2020. Qualified PR people will be sought after in government, education, nonprofit, corporate, agency, and health institutions.
With this job growth is the need for an ever-increasing set of skills. Today’s PR practitioners must possess a combination of capabilities that make them effective communicators in marketing, management, social media, desktop production, and traditional media. It’s an exciting time for public relations, and 2014 looks to be another big year. Hooray and Happy New Year to us! Your thoughts?