By Pam Nulman, APR,CPRC

It may be a little premature to strike up the band and celebrate the return of a robust hiring market for PR pros, but indications point to at least picking up the baton and warming up the horn section. 
The University of Southern California’s sixth Public Relations Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) Study indicates 2010 will be a stronger year for hiring as respondents forecast increased communication budgets and a move to increase internal hiring. 
Advertising Age recently stated that the Public Relations sector is not just surviving, it’s thriving.  Citing a recent study conducted by the Council of PR Firms, which found the majority of agency CEOs and CFOs surveyed said they are expecting revenue growth in 2010 and that the new-business pipeline is stronger than ever, prospects for the industry are strong with spending on PR expected to hit $3.4 billion this year, an increase of 3% over 2009.    
The New York Times on September 8th ran an article on the “Growing Appreciation for P.R. on Madison Avenue” focusing on the emerging trend of heretofore traditional advertising agencies acquiring public relations agencies. 
What does this mean for today’s PR pro?  Opportunities are coming down the pike and those who will be able to capitalize on a rejuvenated job market are those armed with the latest skills and knowledge to best serve their clients and organizations. 
Start Today! 
1.      Get involved and renew your FPRA membership.  Engage with other professionals, expand your knowledge and energize your career.  Attend FPRA monthly luncheon meetings and special events throughout the year.
2.      Jolt your career by attending PR University on October 8.  This action-packed day of professional development is designed to propel your career forward and prepare you for the inevitable changes and opportunities ahead. 
3.      Connect – not just through social media – but face-to-face with other PR professionals and business and community leaders.  Focus on building and sustaining relationships.  After all, isn’t that what we do best in public relations?
“More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than at any other time.”  – Peter Drucker