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Penelope Trunk: Pay No Mind to Those Overblown Newspaper Headlines

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Career columnist Penelope Trunk was the guest speaker for the Monday luncheon during the 2008 PRSA International Conference in Detroit. Before her speech, she talked with Tactics and The Strategist Online.

JE: Given the scary headlines in newspapers and online, one might think there’s a 100 percent unemployment rate in the United States. What’s your take on the job market these days?

PT: In general, there are isolated job losses. Because the media and investment bankers are married to each other, it’s totally overblown. What’s happening on Wall Street is an exaggerated reflection of what’s happening in the world because all of the media come out of New York. There are pockets of the world that are doing really well. Biotech, for instance.

Young people are demographically in a very good position right now that’s totally independent of the recession. The media mostly just scares the younger people. Young people are still in really high demand.

Unemployment and the recession are a huge deal for the people who get to talk with the media the most. It’s that big of a deal for the people who are underrepresented in the media.

People need to just put the whole recession thing aside and understand that the New York-based media is just not reflecting the pockets that are doing well. Public relations is one of them. There are great opportunities for people in public relations. If I were going to do anything right now, I’d try public relations.

John Elsasser, editor-in-chief, PR Tactics (PRSA’s award-winning monthly newspaper).  The publication provides PR professionals with practical how-to information that will help improve their job performance and advance their careers.  The Strategist, PRSA’s quarterly print publication, examines changing concepts and occasionally challenges current wisdom about the practice of public relations.

For coverage on The PRSA 2008 International Conference: The Point of Connection, visit

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John Elsasser

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