FRIDAY 13 MAR 2009 1:55 PM


Survey reveals commitment to communications activity despite recession

Almost three quarters of senior communications professionals claim they have no plans to cut headcount in 2009, according to a survey carried out by recruitment firm VMA. A further 23% claim they are actually planning to expand their communications teams.

However the recession is leading to greater pressure being placed on the communications function with 64% of in-house respondents saying they have felt an increase in pressure to perform from colleagues.

Agencies are being hardest hit with 54% confirming they will be cutting PR budgets compared to the last financial year and half of communications directors specifying that they will be looking to cut their agency spend.

Conversely agencies are picking up more project-based work, with 48% reporting a substantial increase in this kind of income. Similarly the type of consultancy being requested is changing, with 36% of agencies reporting they have been asked to provide advisory services to CEOs and boards on managing communications through change.

Helping business communicate through the tough times appears to be improving the perception of the industry, with 92% of agencies saying that their clients now view them as being as or more important that six months ago.