PR bosses retain 2012 optimism, finds Kingston Smith

PR agency MDs and finance directors are more positive about 2012 than those from other marketing sectors, according to a survey from Kingston Smith.

Esther Carder: partner at Kingston Smith W1
Esther Carder: partner at Kingston Smith W1
The accountancy firm surveyed 150 consultancy bosses across a number of marketing disciplines about future financial prospects and found those in PR were most optimistic.

PR consultancies were positive about profit levels, with 71 per cent forecasting more profits in 2012 than 2011, and were more bullish about general growth, according to the survey.

PR was also the only sector surveyed not predicting any decrease in staff numbers, either by wastage or redundancies. Additionally, M&A activity within the PR industry was predicted to be busy, with more than a quarter of consultancies looking to acquire in 2012.

Esther Carder, partner at Kingston Smith W1, the media and creative services arm of Kingston Smith, commented: 'PR consultancies have positioned themselves well throughout the recession compared to some other marketing disciplines. With their feet now firmly under the boardroom table, and an ideal standpoint to advise on the growing area of social media, it is not surprising that PR consultants are feeling upbeat about the future.'

Meanwhile, PR agencies were also the most positive about social media, with 31 per cent of those surveyed predicting a 21 to 50 per cent increase in social media spend and 54 per cent expecting an increase of up to 20 per cent.

Advertising was, overall, by far the most pessimistic category of respondents, with over one third forecasting that revenue levels would be worse in 2012.

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