Since the global economic crisis began, many of us have been surprised and impressed by the resilience of PR. While other creative industries have gone backwards, ours has continued to power forward, growing in size, reach and sophistication.
That record of success says something very positive about how PR has positioned itself: it is increasingly seen as a must-have, rather than a prime candidate for the FD's red pen. Times have certainly changed.
The growth rates apparent in this table are nothing short of astonishing, given the nervous state of the wider economy during the period in question. Growth is obvious in every part of the agency world, from the largest company downwards - and obvious in most sectors and regions too. Of course, times are challenging, and the pressure on agencies is considerable. But agencies are meeting those challenges and pressures with tremendous resolve and skill.
Now that there are brighter signs in the economy as whole, we have reason to be confident about the future.
Confidence is an important word. Too often, our industry fails to have confidence in itself; fails to believe in the value it delivers; fails to charge a professional fee for the service it provides. As growth returns to the economy, my hope is that we will be brave enough to challenge the people who write the cheques to pay the proper amount for the advice we bring. If survival was the goal for many over the past few years, profitability is the challenge for the years ahead.
Francis Ingham, director general, PRCA