PR Pros Make 40% More Than Journalists

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Today in We’ve Been Over This Before news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report on the state of the American workforce this week.

Beyond the obvious “retail still doesn’t pay too well” and “office/admin support is the largest occupational group” news, the report did inspire some curious headlines.

The Wall Street Journal, for example, proclaimed that your average orthodontist might just make more than your mid-sized neighborhood agency’s CEO. Of course, “crippling deductions for medical school loans” did not factor into the equation, so make of it what you will.

We’re most concerned with a particular set of findings…and you already know what they are.

  • There are 4.6 American PR professionals for every working journalist
  • The average PR manager made $124,000 in 2013
  • The average PR specialist (there are 200,000 of them) made $63,000

Here’s the most important thing you need to know: On the whole, PRs bring home 40% more than those who make a living arranging words on the page and/or screen for the public to read.

The mean wage for your “news analyst, reporter, or correspondent” is $48K, though of course it’s double that if one happens to be brave enough to flash one’s mug in front of the camera every day (ahem, Greg Kelly).

One big surprise: “writers and editors” make slightly more, on average, than PR folks. But then these aren’t the people who ignore your pitches every day; their numbers are skewed by your Stephen Kings, Margaret Sullivans and Anna Wintours.

Sadly, the BLS report does not offer any specifics on “bloggers”, though we would gladly complete any related 2014 surveys from our spot down here in the gutter.

In conclusion: hug your local journalist the next time you get a chance. He/she may always be just a little too busy to answer your pitches, but let’s be honest: that press release can wait.

Oh, and you should also offer to buy the next round. Not that we’re thirsty or anything…

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.