Increasing growth highlights opportunities for diverse entrants to the communications sector
PRII have launched the second nationwide study of the Public Relations and Communication sector in Ireland.
The nationwide study carried out for the PRII by Amárach Research has found a need for more gender and ethnic diversity to fill the jobs created by growth in recent years. The survey was carried out in July with over 300 respondents including both PRII members and non-members. The first ever Census of the profession was carried out in 2019 by the PRII.
Read the full PRII Census 2022 Report here (pdf)
"While it was reaffirming to see the profession thriving, the Census also highlighted the key challenges for leadership in developing the profile of the communications sector. Knowing we need to broaden the appeal of the profession to attract talent is critical and, I thank the efforts of everyone involved in carrying out this Census.”
Padraig McKeon, President of the PRII
Among the key findings:
- 53% of the communication professionals work in-house of which 31% work in the public sector including Government bodies and semi-states and 22% work in the private sector across a wide range of industries. 35% are working in agencies and 10% are self-employed.
- The data shows women are thriving in the sector. There are more women than men in senior public relations roles both in agency and in-house, similar to the finding in 2019. Overall, 69% of the professionals are women which is consistent with the gender breakdown in the UK. This has prompted the PRII to encourage more men to consider public relations as a career option.
- Salary levels are good. 41% earn between €45,000 and €80,000 with 71% receiving pay rises in the past year and 41% receiving a bonus payment. 65% received ‘top up’ maternity leave payments and 45% paid paternity leave.
- The study shows a good level of social mobility into the profession in Ireland and there is a reasonable age distribution: 30% are under 35 and 15% are over 55.
- In terms of overall diversity, however, the profession is not as representative of Irish society as it could be. The 8% who are not Irish contrasts with the 18.5% of the total workforce who are non-Irish. This is improving the percentage from outside the EU working in public relations has grown by 2% since 2019 to 3%.
- Of the 4% who have a disability, half reported their employer has accommodated their needs.
- For a career noted for its ‘always on’ nature the PRII was pleased to see over three quarters reporting having a healthy work-life balance and 80% saying they have a good career ahead (up from 75% in 2019.)
- For both agency and in-house practitioners, in terms of time allocated to tasks, communication strategy development and media relations continue to dominate. Event management, however, shows it has not returned to 2019 levels of activity.
- Education levels are high. 89% have a professional qualification related to their work (up 7% on 2019). Nearly 40% hold a Masters or equivalent. 60% of respondents spent time on training and professional development in the past year.
“It was gratifying to see so many believing public relations offers them a good, life-long, career, and encouraging that graduates from various disciplines, not just communications, enter the profession. We are already tackling some key issues the results have shed light on, including the need to have more diversity in the profession and ensuring better gender balance by encouraging more male entrants to the profession.” Dr Martina Byrne, Chief Executive, PRII, “
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