Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Where the Jobs Went 

This is an old story but one that should not be passed over. The AP reported last week that an estimated 403,300 high tech jobs were lost after the bursting of the Internet Bubble. Several hundred of those were high-tech PR jobs. They haven't been replaced. The downsizing of high-tech PR threw the field for a loss. What intrigues me -- and others -- is that PR has not recovered.

We see tire kicking, but we don't see many new contracts. People think about PR but they don't budget for it. What worries me is that companies may have determined they can do without corporate PR for the time being. They are focused on selling products and services, and they have decided to let other things ride -- that is, until they get into trouble. There also seems to be less emphasis on supporting a company's stock price. The Street has edged sideways for months, and there is no great buying pressure. I suspect CEOs have turned their attention elsewhere, and this too has hurt PR programs. Finally, there is a reluctance among CEOs to be out front after the intense criticism business has received over the last four years.

So we dig dry wells and hope for water seepage on the bottom of the pit. It isn't fun.


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