Average PR pay up in London, but down more heavily outside M25

While London PRs saw their wages rise last year, comms professionals elsewhere have seen them slashed by nearly 10 per cent, according to the CIPR.

Higher PR pay on one side: The M25 at Gerrards Cross in Buckingham (Credit: Timo Newton-Syms via Flickr)
Higher PR pay on one side: The M25 at Gerrards Cross in Buckingham (Credit: Timo Newton-Syms via Flickr)

Average PR pay (excluding independent practitioners) was £48,600 in 2015 according to the CIPR’s 2016 State of the Profession report, which surveyed 1,500 PR professionals, a quarter of whom were from consultancies and the rest in-house.

Salaries for those working in London (excluding independents), were up three per cent to an average of nearly £57,000, while in the rest of the UK average pay was down by 8.4 per cent to £39,300.

This 31 per cent extra earned by London PRs versus their counterparts elsewhere is marginally higher than the ratio for other industries, the CIPR said. A little more than a quarter of the survey respondents were London-based.

Following London, those working in the South of England earned the next highest average pay at £46,500 while those working in Wales earned the lowest average, at £39,000.

The survey also showed a drop in consultancy salaries, which fell by 8.5 per cent compared with 2015 to £47,300.

In-house public sector roles and in-house not-for-profit roles also saw slight decreases of one per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively, compared with 2015, but average in-house private sector salaries saw a modest boost of 2.8 per cent to £51,000.

By seniority, non-management roles received an average of £27,500, up three per cent on last year, while heads of comms and associate directors saw their pay rise by an average of 6.6 per cent to £60,400. However, those in the most senior MD/partner/owner roles saw a slight drop in their average salaries of nearly one per cent to £74,600.

Gender pay gap

The CIPR survey built on previous studies to conclude that the average pay gap between men and women, excluding independents, was £11,700, a seven per cent year-on-year decrease compared with 2015.

By seniority, the gender pay gap was £1,500 in junior roles, rising to £5,600 for mid-level roles and more than £19,000 for the most senior positions.

The survey uncovered a significantly higher gender pay gap of £22,200 for people working in agencies than for those working in-house, for whom the gender pay gap was around £6,500.

The report also looks at the gender balance of jobs in the PR industry, as well as diversity, skills and how working time is split on a variety of tasks.

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