State of the PR nation: really?

11 Nov

The new study into the size of the UK public relations sector conducted for the CIPR (no link as it’s in the members’ area) gives a headline figure of 48,000 people employed in UK public relations. It’s a useful and credible figure – but the suggested 80,000 who work in advertising to me seems improbable. (I can accept that the advertising industry turns over more money than PR, but not that it employs more people…) Of the PR numbers, 82 per cent work in-house (just 18 per cent work in consultancies or freelance). The report conjectures that the UK public relations sector is worth £6.5 billion.

The more surprising figures come from the demographics of PR staff. Apparently the average age of those working in PR is 40 years (with only 5 per cent being under 25). The report claims the average consultant is 42 years old – this seems improbably high. Almost two thirds are female (no surprise there). Degree qualifications are slightly lower amongst consultants than in-house practitioners.

An average basic salary is claimed to be £46,000 (over £51,000 for consultancy staff). Like the ages of those in PR, these figures look to me to be rather high to be averages. The report is heavy on impressive-looking graphs, but light on methodology: the total sample size of the members’ survey was 692 respondents, heavily weighted in favour of director-level staff (hence the higher ages and salaries indicated). It’s a much-needed study: but I fear it has tried too hard to pander to our need to be seen as a growing and substantial profession.

3 Responses to “State of the PR nation: really?”

  1. Harlan Justice 12/11/2005 at 9:19 pm #

    Interesting PR intelligence. Without question, planning and implementing compelling PR/publicity is challenging. Unfortunately, most news releases can cure insomnia.

  2. Canuckflack 03/01/2006 at 9:55 pm #

    At least our PR wannabes know how to dress

    One British B2B newsletter publisher is really having trouble finding an entry-level reporter: The warning bells started to ring when one candidate said at his interview: “Newsletters are one step up from spam, really.” Not exactly a great start. But t…

  3. Canuckflack 03/01/2006 at 9:58 pm #

    At least our PR wannabes know how to dress

    One British B2B newsletter publisher is really having trouble finding an entry-level reporter: “The warning bells started to ring when one candidate said at his interview: “Newsletters are one step up from spam, really.” Not exactly a great start. But …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: