Yesterday I reported a boom in demand for top end PR folk. Today I thought I’d check to see if I was right (technically speaking you are supposed to do it the other way around).
I got five different versions of “yes” from PR bosses.
One says that the really lucrative business is increasingly concentrated into fewer firms because clients are getting more sophisticated and demanding.
This means that big firms are racing to hoover up the talent, and those with aspirations to join the magic circle are trying to hire better people to get there.
Another says there just aren’t enough really good practitioners to go around, which is why “some of the Dodo’s of the industry are still getting big jobs”.
A question for the Dodo’s: Do you know who you are?
A third says that PR is turning into a different business — Reputation Management. Within this Content is Key, so journalists who can write articles, scripts, speeches etc are much in demand.
A fourth says the main criteria is simply to be clever. The PR firm is dealing with very bright people – CEOs and their advisers – and the flaks just need to be able to keep up.
And a fifth says he avoids journalists like the plague we are. For one, hacks tend to be – are supposed to be – disruptive, and that just doesn’t work either in-house or in an agency.
Also, since PR is about people, flaks need to be cheerful.
I’m going down the list of hacks I know well and crossing them off one by one.