Having the time of their lives

15 Jun

I must be cautious in what I say, but the omens are good. I seem to be hearing from more employers keen to recruit PR graduates than I hear from graduates desperately seeking work. So the economy appears favourable for the class of 2006 (some of whom are already hard at work after the shortest of summer breaks).

But Trevor Cook has another perspective having just met up with two young PR achievers. ‘You could hardly pick a better time to be starting on a career in PR in my view. With the arrival of social media, massive new opportunities are opening up for people who understand communication.’

10 Responses to “Having the time of their lives”

  1. John Megaughin 15/06/2006 at 12:33 pm #

    That has certainly brightened my day, thanks Richard! Nice to see that some tutors look on the positive side. I remember way back in the first year, one of the tutors (can’t remember who) told us that we’d struggle to get jobs because the industry was in decline. Here’s to the growth of technology, the industry and the class of 2006!

  2. Lauren Vargas 15/06/2006 at 2:18 pm #

    Five years ago that was not the case. Out of my fellow classmates, I was one of the few to score a job, thank goodness.
    I have to disagree that this is the best time to enter the field. The opportunities are plenty, but the leadership and focus on industry ethics and solutions is non-existent.

  3. Richard Bailey 15/06/2006 at 2:46 pm #

    Isn’t business about spotting gaps and seizing opportunities? At graduate recruitment level, the challenge seems to be to get started. Five years in, if you’ve spotted that there’s a lack of leadership in ethics and solutions, Lauren, then you have an opportunity to provide them (or at least to articulate the need for them).

  4. Lauren Vargas 15/06/2006 at 7:28 pm #

    Excellent point! This is the purpose of Communicator Anonymous blog and my industry version of the 12 Step Program. I am very passionate about stepping up to the plate and fighting for a better industry for myself and those entering the industry.

  5. Richard Millington 16/06/2006 at 2:01 pm #

    Have to agree. From where I can see it a lot of PR veterans have become very comfortable in their jobs and in the future could well be under threat from social-media savvy grads. (Worth noting that probably an equal number of PR veterans have embraced blogs/podcasting etc)
    This is also of particular interest to me because one of our clients is a company that seeks out the best graduates and then fast-tracking them into senior positions. Does this mean there is a particularly good field to find the top PR grads and place them in the top agencies? hmm.

  6. Lauren Vargas 16/06/2006 at 4:11 pm #

    While I am a big believer in being in the job deserved and wanting to be one on the fast track, maybe we (the younger generation) are suffering from not being seasoned enough. Where is the line?

  7. Richard Bailey 16/06/2006 at 4:34 pm #

    At one level, ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough’. It’s always been possible to advance very quickly in PR through your 20s. While the need for technology awareness may appear to favour the young, the need to counsel senior management tends to favour experience and ‘gravitas’.
    Publicity jobs are probably best done by the young, but there’s more to PR than publicity, isn’t there?

  8. Richard Millington 16/06/2006 at 4:47 pm #

    I think there could be resentment towards people on the fast track. Yet if there’s potential for people to be great, to hold them back because of the affect it could have on others would be a bad idea.

  9. Karel 19/06/2006 at 7:46 pm #

    Do you really think it’s a case of resentment of young people moving along the fast track or is it because some people in the field don’t have a high opinion of graduates? Whether their opinion is based on fact or fiction, I don’t have any evidence.
    I’m not from England, but I’ve been here for the past ten months doing a Master’s in Corporate Communication. During this time I’ve read publications like PR Week and Behind the Spin regularly, and it often seems that some of the older heads don’t think graduates have a lot of value.
    On the other hand, my previous work place (in Trinidad – someone say Soca Warriors) thrives on recruiting young people to train as public relations practitioners. I admit that my ex-boss is one of the few people who thrive on such a business model, but it definitely allowed me to gain a depth of experience from writing to planning campaigns, from community relations to crisis communications. It was a baptism of fire, but I managed quite well.
    Perhaps employers should have some faith in candidates’ potential, sharpness and creativity. Hopefully, students can prove they have what it takes in the interview. Until then, in addition to the normal posting of CVs, we’ll have to think of some creative stunts to get companies’ attention. To me, planning my career, is part of my own personal public relations campaign. The measurement tool is of course a good job.

  10. Richard Bailey 20/06/2006 at 10:12 am #

    You raise some important points, Karel. One is that the median age in Britain (and most of western Europe) must be twice as high as that in Trinidad & Tobago: this must affect attitudes towards the young (and towards the old, too).
    The other is that not all employers are self-confident enough to hire people who are potentially better than them and fast-track them to success. Why hasten your own demise? (The best employers will do so.)

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