According to a great article in AdWeek, PR represents the largest growth sector as compared to our marketing and advertising sisters. The articles tracks trends from 1994, when the numbers were nearly equal, through the dot-com bust and then back again.
One big winner in this shift has been public relations. A lot of marketers, notably the pioneering dot-com companies, relied heavily on PR to create a buzz and get their stories told. The PR sector, though still much smaller than advertising, grew more than three times faster than advertising between 1990 and the peak. And even though both disciplines saw massive employee cuts after the Big Burst, public relations today, as measured by the body count, is 44 percent larger than it was in 1990, while advertising is up by only 14 percent.
Steve Rubel says that this means that PR is really driving the marketing agenda and that ultimately it’s our game to lose.
I love that there are more opportunities for students. I wonder if these jobs are “PR” in title, but more integrated in function? I would guess the answer to that is yes. Lines are blurring, not becoming more distinct, between these sister disciplines. But I agree with Steve, the titling of positions as public relations means that we’re in the driver’s seat.
What do you think?