Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Career Coffee enhances self-promotion for WNC communications professionals

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Communications professionals are invited to grow their careers through networking as the Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina initiates a Career Coffee on Tuesday, April 13, at 5:30 p.m. at Starbuck’s Coffee on Hendersonville Road. The free event repeats second Tuesdays monthly – though members may choose to indulge in a latte while honing their self-promotions strategies in the company of their peers.

“As base salaries and bonuses for public relations and media communications jobs in Western North Carolina decreased in 2009, and layoffs continue in the corporate sector, it becomes increasingly important to offer support for professionals who seek positions or who wish to grow their careers,” says Brian Jennings, the PRAWNC board member who spearheaded the informal event.

The Career Coffee is an informal opportunity for members of PRAWNC to meet to share information and job leads, test new self-promotions strategies, and find support for the challenges of the emerging economy in the face of rapid, wide-spread changes in the communications industry, says Sherri L. McLendon, PRAWNC president. “It’s a new era, and we need to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’.”

“Our organization offers a level of knowledge and expertise necessary to grow sustainable economy. As a storehouse of some of the nation’s best talent, we consider it a valuable benefit to members to have a network of this caliber in place. It’s not enough to simply attract top talent. We want to keep that talent happy, supported, and employed in Western North Carolina,” says McLendon.

Many seeking positions or growth may choose to re-specialize in a health care, consumer, or high tech/social media fields, which continued to hire in 2009, according to The Official PR Salary and Bonus Report (2010). The report, which was synopsized last week by Public Relations Society of America in a press release on March 26, found that average base salaries for corporate communications jobs decreased 11.3% in 2009, while PR agency base salaries decreased 10.6%. Both sub-sectors enjoyed an increase of 2.7% and 2.9% respectively in 2008. Additionally, health care costs rose for most employees.

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