TUESDAY 6 JUL 2021 3:54 PM


Bespoke executive search specialist for the PR and comms industry, the Works Search, has released its latest 2021 Annual Salary Survey Guide for PR and Corporate Comms professionals.

The report looks at how the pandemic has impacted salaries, bonuses and company benefits in corporate communications. It found that employees of PR consultancies and women in the industry have been most affected.

For the twelfth year running, the Works Search has taken an in-depth look at salaries, bonuses and benefits given to over 400 corporate comms professionals. This data was then checked against a further 2000 data records.

Overall salaries in the comms industry saw a reduction of 3% last year compared to 2019, reflecting the economic turbulence caused by the pandemic. But comms directors, senior PR managers and PR officers have taken less of a salary hit than other levels.

Agencies were more affected than in-house professionals, having seen more redundancies and pay cuts, but fewer salary increases and bonuses. Agencies did however experience a 4% increase in base pay, compared to 3% in-house.

Sarah Leembruggen, managing director at The Works Search, says, “It’s been a turbulent time for corporate comms professionals. Salaries, bonuses and benefits have been affected across the board. Agency professionals have borne the brunt of the impact of the pandemic, and the lost revenue and uncertainty. In-house comms professionals have been affected too, but nowhere near the extent of their agency counterparts making it feel like a ‘safer’ place to be.”

Women were found to have received smaller pay increases, fewer bonuses and promotions, with many still being on reduced pay wages according to the report. “It’s disheartening to see just how badly women have fared, just when we had started to tiptoe towards closing the gender pay gap. Employers need to rethink their approach, especially towards their female employees, as the market starts to settle and move forward more confidently again. It’s disgruntled employees who move jobs, which is far most costly than looking after your people in the first place,” adds Leembruggen.

The data and survey material was gathered during the calendar year of 2020. Download the full report here.