I sometimes save up my professional magazines and read them at one sitting. As a construction PR specialist, I yesterday caught up with last week’s PR Week and Building magazine. Both weeklies used to be stuffed with recruitment advertising, but not any more (the number of jobs lost in architecture, engineering and other areas of construction is spiralling – as the Guardian made clear yesterday). I ended up a bit depressed from both a PR and construction point of view.
PR Week alluded to the construction industry three times:
- For a start, the backpage restaurant review was about the Thomas Cubitt, a Westminster pub named after a notable Victorian builder.
- Inside, in the “Best of the Tech blogs”, US writer Matt McLernon from Bite PR was likening construction workers to PR/marketing/advertising workers: “Both are facing industries rife with challenges. Our toolbelt is, and should constantly be, changing.”
- And in the big Recession tips feature, David Martin, senior comms officer at building consultants Tuffin Ferraby Taylor, says in-house teams should play to their strengths: “If you can show you understand what is going to help keep the business afloat and that your activity can generate awareness and income in these areas, you are going to be seen as a valuable tool.”
The value of PR during a recession is, of course, immense (at least to its practitioners), but the message from the recruitment advertising pages of PR Week was gloomy. There were just eleven advertisements. Still, as Matt had suggested (and the Guardian underlined), the building sector is also facing challenges. Building magazine carried just 12 recruitment ads.