Where Are the Jobs in PR Now?
Since I started this business 35 years ago, I've noted that the "softer" side of PR suffers most during an economic downturn or crisis. This is when we tend to see significant layoffs and pay cuts in verticals like retail, fashion, travel and tourism, luxury, and lifestyle. These verticals seem to suffer the most because the consumers they depend upon don't have the means to invest.
However, verticals like B2B, finance, tech, and healthcare tend to be more resilient during economic crises. While they may suffer a slight downturn, they continue to be somewhat necessary. Yet, time and again, I see younger practitioners gravitate to the more "glamorous" side of PR when they should perhaps consider verticals with longer-term stability.
Verticals like finance and healthcare may appear more difficult or lackluster when compared to fashion or lifestyle. I find these verticals to offer a smoother transition to corporate gigs if you wish to retire out of agency life. Of course, there are undeniable difficulties in these verticals. It can be much harder to place stories and understand the business.
Don't get me wrong. If your passion is in a vertical that is vulnerable to economic blows, embrace your passion. Just keep in mind that it may serve you well to gain experience in another vertical and nurture your network.
I’ve worked in all kinds of verticals myself, and while I’ve found B2B, tech, and financial to be vastly interesting, I’ve done my best to avoid legal and healthcare (simply because they don’t interest me).
When looking for work, some of my best advice is to be open-minded. You never know where you might find a job you genuinely love.