The right number of me, too many of you

Tomorrow's Business

How many PR professionals work in the UK? According to Statista, the stats portal, the number has jumped from 38,000 in 2011 to 53,000 now.

I guess that’s a sign of a healthy industry – one of Britain’s true growth sectors.

And I wouldn’t mind at all, except all 53,000 of them tried to call me yesterday.

Presumably, the reason there are more flaks is because there is more flakery that needs doing.

From outside the trade, it’s not obvious what that useful extra work is, I regret to report.

For hacks, all those extra people seem mostly to be engaged in sending releases to people they don’t know, who don’t ever write about the subject they are punting.

That strategy of ringing up to check we’ve got the press release you sent seems to be done mostly so you can tell the client that you’ve sent the release and spoken to x many hacks.

We genuinely understand you’ve got jobs to do and will try to be polite (some of us will). The danger for you is that you end up on that mental list we keep of flaks who are wasting our time. Being persistent can be admirable. It can also be an act of self-harm.

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