New Zealand Marketing - - The Media Times -

One of the con­cerns around the drop­ping ad rev­enue is the qual­ity of jour­nal­ism and NBR pub­lisher Todd Scott sees the stress on jour­nal­ists be­ing a great op­por­tu­nity for PR prac­ti­tion­ers. Around the dis­counted ads, he says space is in­creas­ingly be­ing filled by con­tent sup­plied by PR, and that’s not news. “News is what no one else wants us to write about their com­pany, every­thing else is ad­ver­tis­ing.” His con­cern is “some­times you can’t tell it’s PR fluff ” and it’s not the au­di­ence’s job to be dis­cern­ing. “On the odd oc­ca­sion we get ap­proached by a PR com­pany to pro­vide a copy of an ar­ti­cle we wrote so they can share it on their web­site, that to me says we failed our read­ers.” And while Scott ad­mits he puts pres­sure on his edi­to­rial team to deal with fewer PR peo­ple and deal di­rectly with CEOS and CFOS, the chal­lenge to do so be­comes clear when con­sid­er­ing the ra­tio of jour­nal­ists to PR prac­ti­tion­ers. Ac­cord­ing to 2013 cen­sus data, 3,510 New Zealan­ders worked as pub­lic re­la­tions pro­fes­sion­als com­pared to the 1,170 who worked in print, ra­dio and tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ism. And that gap is only get­ting big­ger: in 2006, there were 2,247 pub­lic re­la­tions pro­fes­sion­als and 2,214 jour­nal­ists. “There is dis­pro­por­tion­ately far too few jour­nal­ists and far too many spin doc­tors in New Zealand,” Scott says. Not help­ing the sit­u­a­tion is the num­ber of jour­nal­ists mov­ing into cor­po­rates' PR di­vi­sions and Scott be­lieves the money is a mas­sive draw­card. “I imag­ine for a lot of the jour­nal­ists they went to the dark side to get paid more money, which I un­der­stand. I doubt there are many jour­nal­ists in Auck­land that own a house, I bet there are more PR peo­ple that own houses in Auck­land than there are jour­nal­ists.” Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Busi­ness In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment, print and ra­dio jour­nal­ists can re­ceive $30,000$80,000 a year, de­pend­ing on the size of the or­gan­i­sa­tion and tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ists can start on $30,000 to $45,000 a year, and those with ex­pe­ri­ence can earn more than $80,000 a year. Mean­while, ac­cord­ing to the 2016 Re­search First PRINZ Sur­vey Q3 re­port, in 2016 the me­dian in­come for PR pro­fes­sion­als was es­ti­mated to be around $85,000-$99,000. In their first five years of work, PR pro­fes­sion­als should ex­pect to earn $35,000-$65,000.

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