Almost three out of every four public relations professionals (70 percent) are not at all or only somewhat satisfied with their current positions, according to a study conducted by, a public relations recruiting and career website. And 58 percent say they plan to leave their current employer within a year.
The most common reason for dissatisfaction, cited by 21 percent, was the lack of challenge. Other reasons included a higher salary (15 percent), and poor leadership/lack of company direction (11 percent).
Whether they will be able to find new positions is another question. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of employers claim their company is not currently hiring, and 37 percent do not project any headcount growth for the next six to 12 months.
“The fact that employees are planning to leave within the year even in this uncertain market is a bit of a surprise,” said Renee Dunn, president and CEO of “It is obviously a good time for CEOs and VPs to check in with their top performers.”
The survey also found an increasing number (85 percent) of employers indicating a willingness to use freelancers instead of hiring full-time PR professionals. Says Dunn, “From a business perspective, this is not surprising.  Now more than ever, agencies and corporate communications departments have to show ROI.  Cost-cutting has been a big focus during the last year, and the cost-effectiveness of hiring freelancers is really attractive to PR leaders right now.”
The survey also identified the four characteristics of professional skills they look for in senior level hires. Project management skills (23 percent) topped the list, followed by business development skills (18 percent); personality/culture fit (17 percent); and management experience (15 percent).
Employers identified their biggest challenge as sales growth (33 percent); proving ROI of PR efforts (25 percent); and cost-cutting initiatives (23 percent).