Attention, danger: The greatest career enders in PR

Insight - 19. Apr 18

Being unavailable during a crisis situation is the greatest career ender for a communication professional. The second place is reserved for journalists who talk backhandedly about their superior. Those who prematurely release balance sheets also run the risk of endangering their PR career. This is the result of a survey performed by the dpa subsidiary news aktuell and Faktenkontor. Professionals and managerial representatives of German press offices and PR agencies were asked which factors can constitute a potential career ender. Nearly 990 communicators have participated in the PR-Trendmonitor.

The greatest career enders in PR

PR representatives who are unavailable during a corporate crisis can quickly bring their careers to an abrupt end. This was the opinion shared by over two thirds of the participants (68 percent).

Another ill-advised career move: criticizing your own superior in front of media representatives (57 percent).

One in three participants believed that the premature publication of balance sheets posed a threat to their career (32 percent).

However, there are also factors, unrelated to personal misconduct, which can thwart one’s career. As a result one third of the participants stated that part-time employment hampers potential career advancement (29 percent).

Interestingly enough, only a slightly smaller portion of the participants believed that insisting on a full-time position could pose a threat to potential career advancement (29 percent).

In comparison, only one in five participants believed paternal leave will effectively end one’s career: 19 percent of the participants viewed paternal leave as a career ender.

Equally Encouraging: Adopting a strong personal position hardly effects prospective career opportunities. Only every seventh communication professional feared displaying a clear position in front of colleagues, clients (15 percent) or their executives (14 percent).

The greatest career enders in PR:

  1. Being unavailable during a crisis (68%)
  2. Talking backhandedly about the boss with journalists (57%)
  3. Publishing balance sheets prematurely (32%
  4. Working part-time (29%)
  5. Accidentally releasing press materials prematurely (28%)
  6. Insisting on the 40-hour working week (28%)
  7. Taking paternity leave (19%)
  8. Presenting oneself as the successor of the PR manager (17%)
  9. Taking a clear stand against colleagues and customers (15%)
  10. Excessively voicing one's own opinion as the management advisor (14%)


Source: PR-Trendmonitor 2018

Data pool: 987 professionals and managerial representatives of press offices and PR agencies

Method: Online survey, multiple choice

Survey period: February 2018


Initiators of the survey:

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