The evolving world of work

I’ve just been asked to amend a job title for a vacancy at the MIPAA JobSearch site to Press and Communications Executive (previously the title was media relations executive). 

This isn’t a case of “job title inflation” (which I wrote about last April at PR Conversations), which apparently becomes more common during tougher times, when a new title replaces any financial reward.  Rather it was intended to appeal to more potential job seekers.

It is easy to understand how the use of a title that indicates level can make a role appear to have more value.  So being “head of…” might sound a bit more important.  But what about being an executive or a specialist – are these better than being an officer or an assistant, even if the job specification is exactly the same? 

Does communications, or indeed, corporate communications, in a job title catch the eye of recruits more readily than media relations?  Another title I saw recently was “media outreach co-ordinator” – although I thought “outreach” was mostly used for education or community relations roles.

Is new or social media the secret phrase to include in job titles for those looking to get ahead in modern communications?  I can’t see blogger relations as having an equivalent cachet, let alone more wacky titles such as social media jedi or Twitter ninja.

The renaming trend also happens to department titles. During a session of the CIPR Diploma on Saturday  we considered the renaming of some delegates’ departments to to add or remove marketing – but is that marketing communications or marketing and communications?  As these were primarily public sector organisations, I wonder whether is it appropriate to have marketing in the function title at all.

Likewise, do you work in internal communications or employee engagement?  Is public affairs better than public relations?  Which is the sub-set of the other, are they mutually exclusive or both part of a corporate communications function?  Is this important in ensuring survival in the latest round of downsizing and restructuring?

A similar semantic challenge is the word “training”.  Many people tell me that their training budgets have been cut or eliminated.  So is there a need for a repositioning into professional development for example?  Is it easier to attend workshops, conferences, symposia or masterclasses? 

Networking, especially “social networking” may be seen as wasting time (or not working), or are you simply managing – or is that “engaging” your connections. 

Are “away days” a thing of the past or can you still escape for strategy meetings?  Or, are you simply too important and busy to even take a toilet break away from your desk?

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.