In America, there are now four times as many PR people as journalists
Remember the early days of blogs? When journalists were freed to write whatever the hell they wanted? When you’d ask for comment on a story and if you didn’t get it, you’d just write? A PR person would get pissed and you’d just write about that the next day? And there was no boss they could really appeal to?
I remember in the early days of tech blogs PR people were absolutely flummoxed. Here was a new powerful force in media that didn’t operate by the long established cozy rules.
And then the PR world learned to dominate blogs. I mean utterly dominate them. Blogs needed to file forty to sixty stories a day, and that meant they needed a flood of press releases they could tweak. PR firms send out “embargoed” news, it gets faithfully written up-- typically without even a call to the founder you have to man. And voila! Coverage on some 10, 15, 30 outlets.
A PR person’s job was never easier. You could practically guarantee coverage of any new app that had the least amount of legitimate funding.
You’d expect the two industries to move in sync, but in general, as things have gotten harder for reporters, they’ve gotten better for PR folks.
Witness this Tweet:
2000 in America: 65,900 reporters, 128,600 PR people— Mike Rosenberg (@RosenbergMerc) March 4, 2016
2015 in America: 46,500 reporters, 208,000 PR people
(per @BLS_gov data)
The stat I really want to see is how many of those new PR jobs are filled by people who used ot be journalists?