INTERNATIONAL BRIEF: Survey reveals increase in PR salaries of 5.2 per cent

NEW YORK: Salaries are up 5.2 per cent on average, according to results of the PRWeek 2003 Salary Survey.

The data shows a significant increase over last year, when average salaries were down 0.22 per cent from 2001.

The largest percentage pay increases were at posts most closely associated with direct client service, such as account executive, where base salaries rose 10.8 per cent on average.

With clients often citing staff turnover on their accounts as a big problem, the number may signal an increased focus on maintaining consistency.

'Although client service has always been a mantra of ours, the end of the boom years, along with the turmoil and uncertainty that have followed, has reinforced the importance of keeping the basics front and centre,' said Ruder Finn senior vice-president of human resources Judith Harrison.

Conducted by Impulse Research, the survey polled 2,872 professionals from a range of industries, organisations and experience levels.

The average salary among those polled was, according to a US dollar exchange rate of 1.57, £43,139.

There remains a pay disparity between genders, as men reported earning an average salary more than £12,700 higher than women. Last year's data showed a difference of £17,471, equivalent to 41 per cent more than women.

On average, whites also earned more money than non-whites, although the response rate among Asian, black, and Hispanic professionals was significantly lower.

The 2002 survey results also revealed older PROs had been hit worse by the economic downturn than their younger counterparts, with those aged 35 to 44 seeing wages cut by six per cent.

Agency versus in-house results were similar to the 2002 study, with this year's figures showing agency staff earn an average salary of £43, 976 against an average in-house corporate communication wage of £47,117.

Last year agency PROs saw their salaries fall two per cent while corporate comms wages rose two per cent.

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