Staff cutbacks at Fairfax and News Ltd are "great news" for the public relations industry.
That's according to a guest post by a PR on Aussie media and marketing site Mumbrella from a staffer at DDB-owned Mango, which works on both sides of the Tasman.
The post drew vitriol on social media last night (under the hashtag #MangoPR).
Many objected to both the post's sentiment, and its author's clumsy grammar (it referred to "less journos" rather than the plural "fewer journos").
Fairfax plans to lay off 1900 of its 10,000 staff over the next three years, and share more content "across platforms and across geographies".
News Ltd has also announced sweeping consolidation plans.
On Mumbrella, Mango PR's Tina Alldis wrote:
Less journos will also mean that publications will be looking for content they can syndicate across the networks.
And with a significant number of Fairfax Media and News Limited employees likely to be on the hunt for new roles, it would be remiss not to expect that there will be an increasing number of former journos joining the ‘dark-side’ of publicity.
All in all, it’s an exciting time to be in PR.
A hatestorm has hit the Mango PR operative last night, and it's likely to drift across the Tasman today.
At 7.30pm (9.30pm NZT), Ms Alldis' boss added to the end of the original post:
I would like to apologise on behalf of the Mango team for this opinion piece. While I encourage my team to have opinions and be active in the industry and media landscape, this piece is insensitive. We hold journalists in high esteem and apologise for the offence caused.
Ms Alldis also apologised, and offered to call anyone who was offended.
I'm not so sure any apology was in order.
Ms Alldis was tactless, and lathered her spiel in excruciating jargon.
But essentially, she was telling it like it is.
PRs have long out-numbered journalists.
Quite naturally, spin doctors have attempted to exploit under-resourcing at publishers, and the hamster-wheel internet news cycle.
It's up to reporters to kick back.
A number of tweeters have offered "News is what they don't want you to print; everything else is PR" (a paraphrase of Sir Harold Wilson's "News is what someone wants to suppress; everything else is advertising.")
A spokeswoman for Mango NZ said while part part of the group, the local operation has separate management, and operates independently.