40% of PR Professionals Expect Budgets to Increase in 2017


40% of PR and communications professionals expect budget spend on PR to increase in the coming year, according to the latest PRII Annual Member Survey.

Of these 43% of members from Agency expect their clients’ budgets to increase in 2017 while just over a third of those respondents from In-house roles anticipate their organisation’s PR budget to grow this year.

These views were expressed as part of the recent Annual PRII Members survey which was carried out over the first three weeks of January.

This promising outlook is in despite of the challenges posed by Brexit and uncertainty in the US. 52% predict PR budgets to remain unchanged and thankfully, only 4% of respondents expect budgets to decrease.

Starting this week and over the next three week’s PRII’s Development and Research Manager Frank Condon will detail the findings of the survey looking at:

  • business prospects;
  • PR’s place in strategic development and the skills needed to support this;
  • PRII’s activities and how it can support members; and
  • challenges and opportunities for 2017.

Survey Background

The survey received 130 responses which is equivalent to 13.5% of the current PRII Membership.

PR consultants represented 49% of respondents, with 38% working in an agency and 11% working independently. The largest proportion of these agencies (28%) had between 21 – 50 employees with just under a quarter being 10 – 20 employees in size and a fifth each with either 2 -5 or 6 – 10 employees. Two thirds of these agencies are part of an international network.

Those working in In-house roles made up 42% of respondents and were almost equally spread across the public and private sectors as well as NGO / Charities.

13% of these in-house members work in a team of between 6 and 10 people, while 18% are the sole employee in a PR / communications function with 58% working in a communications team of between two and five people. 70% percent of these organisations have a work force of over 100 employees.

The largest proportion of respondents have been working in a PR or communications role for over 10 years (45%) and two thirds of respondents have been working is such a role for five years or more. This demonstrates the seniority of PRII members and the value of the insights from the survey.

The varied role of the PR Professional

When asked what the main focus of their work was currently:

  • 20% said Media Relations;
  • 19% indicated Corporate PR;
  • 9%  Public Affairs;
  • 8% said their work encompassed the spectrum of areas;
  • 8% Consumer PR;
  • 8% Social Media;
  • 4% Internal Communications; and
  • 3% mentioned Lifestyle or Healthcare.

However, the varied nature of the PR professional’s role was evident from the survey as the following areas featured in respondents’ work:

  • Media Relations for 82%;
  • Corporate PR for 72%;
  • Social Media for 71%;
  • Public Affairs for 60%;
  • Consumer PR for 34%;
  • Lifestyle for 20%; and
  • Financial & Investor Relations for 20% of respondents.

Other areas mentioned as part of their work included: FMCG -7%; Internal Communications; Charity Non-for-Profit; Community Engagement; Event Management; Healthcare; and Issues & Crisis Management.

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