PR budgets and agency optimism swell in third quarter

A rise in client budgets in the third quarter of the year has made PR agency heads the most optimistic they have been since at least Q3 2011, according to the PRCA's Barometer survey.

PRCA director-general Francis Ingham: "For the PR industry, the downturn is over"
PRCA director-general Francis Ingham: "For the PR industry, the downturn is over"

Seven per cent of 106 respondents to the survey found their clients’ budgets had increased significantly from a year ago and 37 per cent that they had increased marginally, while just two per cent found they had decreased significantly and 12 per cent that they had decreased marginally.

There was an even more positive reading on the levels of new business opportunities in the market, with 75 per cent answering they were very busy or busy.

Over two-thirds (68 per cent) of agency heads said the quarter (July to September) had made them feel more optimistic for their own business, compared with zero who said it had made them feel less optimistic.  

The mood is likely to have led to a greater chance of a hiring spree in the current quarter, with 57 per cent of agency heads predicting an increase in staff numbers and just two per cent expecting a decrease.

PRCA director-general Francis Ingham said: "These findings are very encouraging – new business is strong, budgets are growing, firms are recruiting again. For the PR industry, the downturn is over; the recovery is here to stay. It’s time to be optimistic again."

Over-servicing, examined in the November issue of PRWeek magazine, is also on the rise.

Three per cent of respondents said it had increased significantly and 31 per cent said it had increased marginally, while only 12 cent said it had decreased marginally. The remainder answered that it had stayed the same.

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