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Advertising & Public Relations: Facts & Trends

Expect Consolidation
There is massive consolidation in the industry driven by changing economies of scale due to the increasing globalization of the world marketplace.

Advertising and PR jobs are among the best available
Money Magazine listed the advertising/PR position as one of the 50 best jobs in America. This field has high expected job growth and is part of the rapidly growing service sector.

Ad business huge
The advertising business is enormous, creating plenty of opportunity for the right person. Last year over $150 billion dollars was spent on advertising and over $160 billion on sales promotion (i.e., coupons, samples, sweepstakes, premiums).

PR jobs everywhere
Public relations is directed at the community, the ultimate consumer of the organization, internal employees, stockholders, and other organizations. As a result every organization must perform public relations activities which means public relations jobs can be found in virtually every industry and organization.

Customer Focus Key
Creative ads are often not the most flashy, but those which address customer needs in a new and direct way. For example, a problem faced by computer network administrators is the daunting task of inventorying every computer in a firm along with serial numbers of components like hard disks and monitors. Compaq recently began an ad campaign aimed directly at these administrators, touting the fact that its new machines performed many of these tasks automatically in the right configuration. It's significant that Compaq was not trying to reach end users of its machines as was traditional among computer hardware marketers.

Don't Overlook In-House Roles
Advertising and public relations activities can be performed in-house as a part of corporate advertising or the activities can be conducted by outside agencies. In addition, there are a number of creative houses and support companies that help produce advertising. Jobs in the advertising and public relations fields can be diverse and very challenging.

Primacy of Creative Declining
Traditionally, the fortunes of an ad agency have been driven by the strength of its creative people. Good creative has meant high profits. This is changing as an agency's prowess in media buying has become increasingly important. In today's world of fragmented media outlets, many advertisers have started to carefully scrutinize the quality of media buys done by their agencies.

A lot of the best work in PR is done in the smaller firms.
We have run into our share of stressed press release writers in the big PR firms who spend a lot of time thinking up the next spin for that steel company or trade union. You may find yourself happier and in a position of greater responsibility if you work for a smaller public relations operation.

New Media Focus is Rewarded
Agencies which are well-versed in nontraditional media outlets such as the Internet are also gaining new business at a high rate. This trend is likely to continue as the Internet, online services and home interactive TV grows in size. Now is a good time to combine your marketing savvy with some technical training.

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