UK Census Says the PR Industry Is a Smashing Success

The news certainly isn’t all bad as we prepare for 2014. In fact, if we’re discussing the business of public relations then it’s quite good.

Back in September a study revealed that the American PR industry has grown stronger in the face of a still-struggling economy. The 2013 PR “census”, created by our colleagues across the pond at the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) in collaboration with PRWeek and research firm YouGov, shows us that the same is true in the UK: the business is big, it’s growing, and it’s becoming more digital.

None of these findings are too terribly surprising, but they’re still worth a look.

After surveying 1,500 industry employees and balancing the findings with data from the government’s Office of National Statistics and PRWeek‘s own research, the PRCA found that, in the UK:

  • Overall revenue for the PR biz reached approximately $15 billion for fiscal year 2013
  • That number grew 28% over the past two years, easily keeping pace with inflation
  • More than 60,000 individuals in the UK could honestly call themselves “PR professionals” this year
  • At least 75% of agency employees expect hiring to increase over the next two years

Some numbers that make us want to move:

  • The “average” UK PR annual salary is more than $85K
  • The most common bracket earns $50-$65K, which is still nothing to sneeze at
  • At least 60% of those who work in the field got raises over the past two years

A few extremely obvious findings:

  • 90% of those surveyed said that the importance of digital tools and online communications grew over the past years. Now who are those other 10%?
  • Well over half of participants say that they make calls “off-hours” because…wait, who doesn’t do that?
  • On average they work at least 10 hours above and beyond their contracted totals each week…and it’s a living

The press release even includes several quotes that may be tweeted with a simple click:

“Not only is the PR industry contributing more to the economy, it is earning more, developing wider expertise and feeling much more optimistic than back in 2011. We’ve earned that through sheer hard work.” – PRCA director Francis Ingham

OK then: let’s all buy ourselves a round for being so great. The only negative conclusion we can draw from the survey is that agency jobs still go overwhelmingly to white men—and this trend isn’t likely to change by 2015.

Note to self: move to London and get an agency gig, stat.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.