TUESDAY 19 FEB 2013 4:22 PM


Better than a tea leaves or a magic eight ball, the CIPR’s annual benchmarking survey, released this week, provides insight on the future of PR.

The survey, documenting responses from over 1,200 members, shows trends in PR and the communications industry over the past year and includes opinions on the future of the industry. Despite the recession, pay increases have resulted for in-house professionals this year. However, a gender gap remains in terms of income and career advancement.

“The threats posed by the financial situation and the overwhelming endorsement of a best practice approach to measurement and evaluation techniques, should act as a strong incentive for practitioners to further commit themselves to professional qualifications and continuous professional development,” Sue Wolstenholme, CIPR president, says. “We must continue to increase our confidence as a profession to manage the ongoing impact of the downturn and extend our influence over organisational strategy.”

The economic situation has also resulted in 71% of respondents working more closely with other departments than they had two years ago. This is particularly evident between PR and marketing. PR is drawing closer to HR, IT and sales and advertising as well.

The industry is still grappling with social media and its impact on the PR profession. The future holds uncertainties in the online world as SEO, web design and online customer service creep up the list of PR priorities. Social media presents a concern to consultancies as they are likely to manage an organisation’s digital communications.

Reassuringly, nearly all of the respondents agree that AVEs are not reflective of the value of PR. Metrics are important to effective public relations, but the antiquated methods of measuring column inches has been dispensed with in recent years.