When PR recruitment goes wrong…

Posted on 03/11/2015


The PR’s industry body has hit the nail on the head again – calling out another poor practice among the nation’s public relations agencies.

In a blog post, PRCA chief Francis Ingham reveals he was approached by an agency (ironically one which specialises in reputation management) to promote a job ad which requires candidates to submit “one new idea for each of the clients.”

Asking candidates to come up with a couple of ideas and show their strategic / creative thinking at interview stage is fine – but asking for 16 PR tactics for the agency to shamelessly sell onto their clients as their own idea is not. Recruitment shouldn’t be seen as the chance to run a free brainstorm with the country’s best PRs.

Agencies often complain about clients stealing their intellectual property from losing pitches – and this is a problem – but this is just as bad. I remember applying for a job at a big multi-national PR firm years ago where I had to come up with ideas for a forthcoming multi-million pound pitch.

I didn’t get the job. They got the contract. Maybe the ideas were no good, but I got asked back for a final interview, so I assume not. Did I get any fee for my consultancy? You must be joking…

Unpaid interns, non-Living Wage employers, lack of diversity… the PRCA is right to be holding the industry to account. And PR firms must do more to stamp out shoddy HR practices.