Gorkana Insight & Analysis Team
Gorkana PR get's a headhunter's persepective on who's happiest in PR and why, from Sarah Leembruggen, Managing Partner at PR recruitment specialist The Works. Sarah unravels the results of The Works Career Satisfaction Barometer, which polled 558 PR professionals to produce its in-depth survey into job satisfaction in PR.
A link to the results of the barometer can be found here.
?More resource!? We hear you cry: It's the one thing that most PRs we polled felt would make their working life easier. Coming through such a tough market everyone is working smarter and harder and resource needs to be justified. So that comes as no surprise. But what is surprising is the staggering divide between those, in Financial PR who feel real career satisfaction and those, in Healthcare PR, who do not.
The quarterly poll addresses every aspect of working life in PR: Job satisfaction, work-life balance, weekly working hours and what needs to change to improve things. It's split 50/50 between those working in-house and those in agencies. The full career satisfaction results is fascinating reading, but it's the stark divide between Financial PR and Healthcare that resonates the loudest this quarter. And that's what I want to focus on.
Smiles all round for Financial PR
This quarter, it's Financial PRs that have the most overall job satisfaction with 94% considering themselves happy or extremely happy with their role. But Compare this to Healthcare PR, where the majority felt dissatisfied with their position; 97% indicating that they felt ambivalent or very unhappy in their job.
Let's look at what might be contributing to this current gap in career satisfaction: It would seem that a slight ripple of optimism in certain sectors has quickly led to a marked change in working attitudes. As the markets are gradually easing it's relieving the pressure on sectors like Financial and Corporate PR, and the results of our Barometer are reflecting that change. Last quarter it was Corporate PRs, rather than Healthcare who ranked themselves as least happy. But what we see now is that most agencies in that sector are very busy and hiring at a senior level. Their people are seeing that growth, and as a result they feel more positive about their role.
Time for a change?
If you're not enjoying your job, what do you do? This is where the poll reveals an interesting dichotomy. Because, despite an overwhelming sense of discontent by those polled in Healthcare PR, it's those same professionals who are most likely to stick in the job. In fact, 75% claim that they rarely consider looking elsewhere. Financial PRs, on the other hand, are frequently seeking out their next move, with more than 60% of respondents revealing that they frequently think about leaving.
We've seen this trend in Financial PR before. Perhaps it's influenced by working closely with bankers and other City professionals who move jobs every couple of years. It's seen as 'normal' to frequently change from one company to another to keep progressing personally, or for financial gain.
Working harder and smarter
In Healthcare, as recruiters, we know from first-hand experience that there's a current demand for good PR professionals with a specialist background in that sector. So, a lack of job opportunities is not contributing to the inertia, although in-house positions are more thin on the ground.
In this tight market, everyone is being challenged to optimise their potential, and that of their teams. We know from elsewhere in our report that being better resourced makes a huge difference to how people feel about their role, in fact it's cited as being more important than a pay rise, so it's likely that a lack of resource in Healthcare PR in general could be adding to that sense of dissatisfaction.
What about other factors? Healthcare is a highly regulated environment and PRs are restricted with what they can say and how they can say it, so perhaps another part of their frustration comes from feeling restricted with their creativity?
Of course, in all of this we're looking at broad trends, and are not reflecting the experience of the individual. The results for the next quarterly Barometer could be completely different, as we ride the markets and watch for more the all important signs of recovery.
For full results of the survey, visit Career satisfaction results
Or further information, please contact Sarah Leembruggen, Managing Partner, 020 7559 6597