PR has been receiving a double whammy from both the recession and social media. Layoffs at PR firms are occurring, whether announced or not. Reason magazine's Hit & Run blog reports as much in "Public Relations Industry Meltdown Begins."
The Reason post takes off from the acquisition of Los Angeles PR/crisis management firm Sitrick and Company Inc. and Brincko Associates in Riverside, CA by Resources Connection, in Irvine, "which plans to combine them into a new subsidiary. PR Week says the new firm will focus on bankruptcies, which are said to be a hot thing these days."
The writer, Tim Cavanaugh, has been saying all along that PR "is overbuilt and has been overpaid, to the point that a massive rationalization is very probable. Many journalists view with horror the prospect of having to go into PR after the inevitable layoff, but as usual, the pessimism is too limited. In reality, there probably won't be a PR job waiting."
No staff reductions have been announced for Sitrick and Brincko, and any reductions may not get announced if they occur. (Openness, after all, has its limits.) This is unquestionably a rocky period for both PR and journalism.