INBOX INSIGHTS, February 15, 2023: What To Do When You’re Laid Off, PR and Journalists

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What to Do When You’re Laid Off

It’s no secret that companies are laying off staff left and right. As you read this, you may have been someone that was also laid off.

LinkedIn has been keeping track of the layoffs, you can read that here.

Personally, I’ve been laid off once and short listed to be laid off twice. The two times I was short listed to be laid off, I was able to find a new job before it happened. One of those times it was a panic move and I took a job I didn’t love. The second time I was able to use it as an opportunity. Regardless, losing your job, or even knowing that you might, is scary and uncertain.

What do you do when you find yourself out of a job?

First step is to breathe. This is easier said than done. We all have different responsibilities and I’m assuming most of us are not independently wealthy. If you’re anything like me, you might release a string of curse words, cry, and want to punch something. This is all normal. You need to feel your feelings in order to move past them. Wallow for hot second. Get angry. Eat fries with cheese sauce. It’s actually really healthy. Not the fries. Letting your emotions out instead of bottling them up will help you regain your focus faster.

Once you’ve spiraled (hopefully in a non-harmful way) it’s time to start looking around at your options. If you haven’t yet joined a community, this is an excellent time to start. Why is this a good move? For a couple of reasons. First, you’re not alone. By connecting with your peers and other professionals you’ll find support. Second, many community have job boards. Many times, you can find job posting in a community before it is opened up to the public. Third, you can network. This isn’t just about finding people that can do you favors. This is about finding other professionals and learning their story. Understanding what their experience has been and learning about your own journey. You never know where a simple connection could lead you.

There is no shortage of places to find your peers. Here are some suggestions (h/t Justin Levy for many of these):

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are thousands of communities on public and private social platforms. Start by doing a search for your skills and industry. There is likely a community for you.

Now that you’ve got support you can also use this time to hone your skills. I’ve previously compiled lists of online courses, some free and some paid.

You can find those here

and here.

Much like the communities, this is not an exhaustive list of resources and courses.

When you find yourself out of work, whether it was a surprise or not, take a minute. Evaluate what you want and what you need. You might not be in a position to be picky about your next move, and that’s ok. Keep building your network and sharpening your skills. Your day will come. If you’re not looking, these tips are still useful to protect yourself against the uncertain.

If you want to dig deeper into your own public profile, you can check out our free LinkedIn course here.

Have thoughts or comments? Reply to this email to reach me directly.

You can also come join our free Slack Community, Analytics for Marketers and connect with your peers, check out our job board, or just hang out.

– Katie Robbert, CEO

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In this week’s In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris discuss the challenges of missing data and what to do when asked to use data to make conclusions. They explain that the lack of information can be a hindrance to making accurate comparisons, but having domain expertise and knowledge of available data sources can help in creating proxies to make valid comparisons. They also emphasize the importance of documenting assumptions and limitations in the absence of complete data.

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Data Diaries: Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, we’ll answer a question asked by Serena Ehrlich at Businesswire:

Any idea how many media job losses have their been since 2020? #PR pros are still pitching reporters like it’s 2019.

Let’s take a look at the data. Using the USA Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey data, we can answer this question in relatively short order. The latest data compiled by the BLS is as of May 2021:

BLS Employment Data

If we combine PR specialists and managers, we end up with 302,560 PR industry employees doing the work (this excludes people in the PR industry but not in PR roles, like accountants at a PR firm).

That means there are almost 8 PR professionals for every one journalist in the USA. That’s a staggering disparity. It’s especially telling when you compare it to other professions; there are 65% more gambling dealers in the USA than there are journalists. For comparison, back in 2016, the number of PR professionals to journalists was around 5 PR folks per journalist. This gets even more grim when we look at the count of journalists from the May 2019 vintage: 44,100. That’s a decline in two years of 11.4%.

Now, it’s important to keep in mind that this is traditional news and journalism. There aren’t OEWS codes for being a popular Twitch personality or a YouTuber or even a blogger, though it’s probable they could be lumped under All Other Media and Communications Workers. Even so, that still doesn’t make much of a dent in the massive disparity between journalists and the people pitching them for coverage.

So what? What do we do with this information? If you’re a public relations professional, acknowledge that restricting your pitching to mainstream media outlets is harder than ever. Use this information to help set expectations with your stakeholders that you’re facing an uphill battle in a crowded, noisy space. Branch out as much as you can into any place where attention has gone.

And if you’re not a PR professional, but you’re making marketing decisions, then this data points to a very clear path forward for you. You must become your own media outlet, must become a hub, a news source in your own right for your industry. With ever-dwindling numbers of journalists and publications, you’ve got to take matters into your own hands and be a real publication. This doesn’t necessarily mean a formal newspaper or magazine, though those are certainly options. It also means a podcast, a YouTube channel, a Tiktok account – any place where your audience can congregate and give you a few thin slices of their attention.

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