Danny Rogers: Success of 2011 PR Census depends on you

Hot on the heels of the ONS census for England and Wales, please look out for the 2011 PR Census, which has been created by PRWeek and the PRCA.

From the end of this week we will be asking all of you - every comms professional based in Britain - to fill in a short questionnaire about your working life.

Your answers will enable us to build the best ever picture of what the UK PR industry looks like: its size; the value it generates; and the people it employs.

The 2011 PR Census will help us offer benchmarks for your salary and your working conditions. It will also help us look at ethnic and sexual diversity in the workplace.

The results of the survey, produced in conjunction with research experts Harris Interactive, will be reported to you in the summer.

This will be the first in-depth report on the make-up of the industry since the CIPR's survey with the CEBR in 2005. That study suggested the UK PR industry employed 48,000 professionals and was worth £6.5bn 'more than the UK dairy industry'.

But much has changed since then - not least the social media revolution and a global recession.

Those of us who work in, or around, the comms sector are well aware of the growing value of professional PR to public life. But unlike, say, advertising - where spend is closely monitored - it is difficult to gauge the overall contribution to the British economy.

We suspect that the industry's ethnic diversity does not reflect the diversity of the wider workforce. We suspect that PR has more flexible working conditions than some other sectors. And we suspect that comms professionals work long hours. But such a study will help us prove some of these presumptions.

However, the success of the 2011 PR Census will rely on your contribution. The more responses we get, the better the information we can feed back. So please make a little time to fill out the census form, which will be found on the prweek.com/uk homepage from 11 April, for two weeks only.

You may also receive direct communication from PRWeek or the PRCA asking you to take part.

If you have problems completing the form, please email cathy.bussey@haymarket.com.

As Francis Ingham, director-general of the PRCA, says: 'This census is a key moment for PR. As the largest and most comprehensive analysis of our industry, it will be the defining piece of research. It will allow us for the first time to say how many people work in our industry, how much we contribute to the economy and how important we are to the UK.'

Thank you in advance for your contribution to this important initiative.

danny.rogers@haymarket.com

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