Talented PR pros “have a vast array of opportunities to choose from right now,” said Christina Stokes. “The PR profession is respected, and it’s necessary in this day and age.” Still, even as the “Great Resignation” helps drive demand for talent, PR job-seekers face intense competition.
Stokes, senior vice president and director of talent acquisition at Rubenstein in New York, was the guest on April 14 for Strategies & Tactics Live, PRSA’s monthly livestream on LinkedIn. The events feature writers for the newspaper and delve deeper into the topics behind their articles. Since January 2019, Stokes has written the “Hire and Seek” column for Strategies & Tactics.
John Elsasser, PRSA’s publications director and host of Strategies & Tactics Live, asked what PR job seekers can expect in today’s market.
“Companies are reaching out so actively for talent right now,” she said. Even communications pros not looking for jobs are being “bombarded by emails from recruiters trying desperately to get them to have a conversation about an opportunity at their company.” If you’re curious about what kinds of job openings might be available, then “it’s a really good time to do that right now.”
PR skills expand, evolve.
You still need a great résumé, she said. Strong media-relations skills aren’t enough anymore. Be prepared to show you’re adaptable, creative, knowledgeable about technology, eager to learn, have soft skills like problem-solving and listening and can work in a collaborative environment — even remotely, when you’ve never met your colleagues in person.
“Interviewers, companies and hiring managers are still looking for excellent skills and amazing talent, who are staying a step ahead of what’s happening across everything that could be relevant for their clients or industries,” Stokes said.
Even for someone casually considering looking for a new job in PR, “you still have to give it all you’ve got,” she said. “Even if the opportunities are coming to you, you have to go through the process appropriately.”
Employers are looking at the pay, workplace flexibility and other benefits they can offer to help attract or retain communications talent. For job-seekers talking to recruiters, “even if you’re not 100 percent sold on the opportunity, then still be in that conversation,” Stokes advised. “You never know how that might benefit you somewhere down the line.”
The window that’s now open to a gale of PR job opportunities will eventually start to close. Stokes predicts a slowdown could occur by this fall. That’s why today “is a great time to get a pick of the litter.”
You can watch this session of S&T Live here.