Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What Does the Bureau of Labor Statistics Have to Say About Public Relations?

Catching up on industry trends is a Sunday ritual for me; I invest into my Twitter, read articles from my favorite PR sites, and even browse Google News to stay current. While I was tapping into my inner blogging spirit for my next post, I stumbled upon the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found their job description of a PR professional. What is interesting is that after an evaluation of the site I arrived at the conclusion that the government is setting industry standards as well as creating future jobs. They are transforming the industry by acting as a catalyst for future Public Relations jobs, essentially acting as a brand ambassador representing the field of public relations.

The Bureau of Labor Statistic reports on the nature of the work, training, other qualifications, and advancements. They also look at employment, job outlook, projections, earnings, wages, and related occupations (which may surprise you).
In the “Nature of Work” section, it explains the public relations industry and describes the vastly different tasks of a PR professional, ranging from media, community, consumer, industry, government to political campaigns, conflict mediation, and employee and investor relations. They also describe in depth, the difference between a public relations professional that works for the government as oppose to a corporate environment. Another interesting note under this section is work environment, described as busy and stressful (yup they nailed that one). However, a few things that the Bureau of Labor Statistic fails to mention are agency PR and our newest work with social media.
The education section notes the various degrees one can have to perform PR as well as higher degrees one can obtain in the PR field such as an APR certificate. They also mention the importance of internships and membership in local chapters, such as our very own PRSSA. However the biggest qualification mentioned throughout the entire section are communication skills.
The employment and job outlook section also serve as key facts, stating that many PR jobs are centered in large popular cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Luckily for us, the current job outlook is hopeful for entry-level positions.
Finally the related occupations section, based on statistics and opinion from Bureau are as follows: Advertising, sales managers, survey researchers, news analysts, wholesale and manufacturing representatives, and the kicker, lawyer.

Do you think this matches what we now know as “PR”?

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