We start this week with a question from a listener, LaBrandon Dates: How do you know when it’s time to search for a new job and can a person stay positive in a company with a negative or non team-oriented culture?

Thanks LaBrandon – great question! We’re going to answer from the perspective of employers and employees.

Joe Thornley left a company after 11 years when he realized the people he’d come to work with – the ones who shared his values – had all gone. The company had been acquired, the culture changed and he was no longer happy.  If you’re not happy, he says, you shouldn’t spend 20 seconds at a place because life is too short.

Gini Dietrich left Fleishman because she wanted a change from the city where she was based, though she liked the people and the firm.  At another agency, she had philosophical differences with colleagues and left because she realized there was no common ground.

Martin Waxman was at a Canadian firm that was acquired by a multinational. And because some of the senior leadership couldn’t accept the change, it felt like individuals were working for different entities rather than a single company and that hurt morale. He stayed about a year longer than he should have and says it’s important to ask yourself the tough questions early and then decide whether or not to leave.

Joe comments that talented people who are miserable make others miserable but they can always get a position at a place where they’d be happy.  But before you start looking, be honest with your supervisor and share what you feel and why.

We don’t know anyone who was fired for admitting they weren’t happy in a job.

Gini introduces our second topic. She recently noticed that large companies are looking to smaller, more nimble, boutique firms when they’re conducting an agency search and wonders if this is a trend or possibly an economic shift.

Joe remarks that it’s the slowest recovery he can remember.  People are being careful where they spend money and need to show results.  On the other hand, he’s seen more businesses coming into Canada with consolidated budgets that are going with multinational AORs rather than a Canadian firm.

Martin says he’s been working more closely with U.S. agencies and adapting their initiatives. He feels PR budgets haven’t grown – a good client is one that comes back flat.  Which leads to the question, how can we accomplish more with less?

Gini believes PR people should acquire more marketing skills. And unless we do that, our industry may become extinct…

What do you think?  Can PR successfully adapt?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Do you have an idea for a topic you would like us to discuss? Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.


  1. Hi guys, Definitely agree the PR world is changing and we all need to adapt (and keep adapting–it’s never-ending). I’ve noticed clients looking for integrated firms who can handle digital, social media, PR, advertising and more. This trend seems to be substantiated by some research I read this morning from The Horn Group and Kelton Research: What are CMOs looking for? Fewer, smaller & integrated firms http://t.co/21xgyZe

  2. With regard to leaving your job, we have to careful in using “life is too short” as a reason to leave any job or do anything for that matter. There are ways to quit responsibly and ways to at least cope with aspects of a job you may not like.

  3. Shelley, I read that research too … and it seems to be happening, too. Being in Chicago, we’re seeing the global firms losing business to smaller, integrated firms. It’s great for us…not so great for them!

    Joel, very good point.

  4. Joe, Gini, & Martin,

    Your discussion was very helpful and validated my immediate career plans. (Also, thank you for pronouncing my name correctly. That was exciting!)


    I completely understand what you are saying, and agree that one should transition responsibly.

  5. Gini’s comments at the end re: PR people getting marketing skills was interesting to me because I come from the marketing side and I like to say that marketing people also need to become versed in PR because I see marketing and PR on a real collision course. Marketing people are going to PR, PR people are going to marketing and if you’re going to be able to carve out a career for yourself in either, you need to be able to speak both languages effectively.

    The reality of 2011 is that budgets are small and because, like you say in this show, clients are looking for a more integrated approach, you need to be able to do more for your clients – not less. But this trend impacts more people than those that work at agencies.

    I am at a small tech startup and there really isn’t a clearly defined line between marketing and PR. Not because we don’t know the difference but because we don’t have the budget. And when you’re trying to carve out a place for your brand in a crowded market, you need to be able to use a variety of tools to differentiate your brand in the mind of the consumer.

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