Concerns grow over industry prospects, PRCA's Trends Barometer suggests

PR professionals are content with their own agency's prospects but show less confidence over the industry's future, according to research by the PRCA.

Francis Ingham: PRCA chief executive
Francis Ingham: PRCA chief executive

The PRCA’s third quarter Trends Barometer revealed PR agencies were optimistic, with 37% of respondents feeling more optimistic than in the previous quarter about their consultancy, and 40% feeling the same.

However, only 14% were feeling more optimistic about the industry, with 53% feeling the same as they did in the last quarter. 33% said they felt less optimistic than they did in the last quarter.

Agencies also reported a 25% decrease in over-servicing, and client budgets increasing by 6%.

The majority of respondents believed staff numbers (63%), graduate recruitment (73%) and the use of freelancers (53%) would remain unchanged.

PRCA chief executive Francis Ingham said: ‘There is much to take heart from. 63% of consultancies are busy or very busy with new business, a third are seeing over-servicing levels decrease, and more consultancies expect to be hiring new staff than expect to lose them.

‘There is, though, a clear area of concern. When asked about other people's prospects, a discouraging and threatening one is clear. From speaking with PRCA members, there is a palpable lack of confidence in the country's economic prospects, and that sense is affecting business decisions.

‘The obvious danger is that we talk ourselves into a second round of recession.’

The PRCA polled 60 members of its leaders panel.


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