CORPUS CHRISTI, TX: Austin may be drawing PR pros like a hi-tech magnet, but a recent survey by the Texas Public Relations Association (TPRA) reveals that they aren’t coming for the money.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX: Austin may be drawing PR pros like a hi-tech
magnet, but a recent survey by the Texas Public Relations Association
(TPRA) reveals that they aren’t coming for the money.
Austin/Central Texas PR pros bring up the bottom of the pay scale when
compared to their brethren in other parts the state, according to the
recent Texas Practitioner Compensation Survey. The study validates the
common belief that government and nonprofit pay scales drag down
Austin’s overall average, but it also found that Austin PR salaries lag
behind Dallas and Houston in practically every industry category,
including agency and hi-tech jobs.
’That hasn’t been my experience,’ said Phil Morabito, whose Pierpont
Communications opened an Austin office this summer. Morabito theorized
that highly paid hi-tech practitioners may not have had time to fill out
the survey. Only eight of the 57 Central Texas responses were from
’The theory that I’ve always heard for 30 years is that it’s the
University of Texas,’ said Mike Cox, chief of media relations for the
Texas Department of Public Safety and immediate past president of the
National Association of Government Communicators. ’Kids come to UT and
they like Austin and they don’t want to leave, so they work for less for
the privilege of living in Austin.’
Lisa Chinn, president of Austin’s PRSA chapter and a Brodeur account
director, said geography usually doesn’t make that much difference for
national firms. Pay scales are often based on an agency’s home-office
market, she noted.
On the whole, Dallas practitioners made the most money and boasted the
most experience. ’Dallas features larger and higher-paying clients,’
said Stan Levenson of Levenson PR. Houston-area pros held the
highest-level jobs and were more likely to receive bonuses, while
respondents from San Antonio and South Texas were best educated (98%
have college degrees).
The survey also revealed that Texas PR practitioners tend to change jobs
frequently and make significantly more if they are accredited. The study
was based on 423 anonymous responses received by TPRA after sending out
2,400 surveys to Texas PR practitioners in April.
Full results are free to members at www.TPRA.com. Non-members may
purchase the survey results by calling 1-800-525-0405 or e-mailing the
association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Income by market
Market Avg. Income
Dallas/East TX $76,776
Houston/Gulf Coast $67,109
Fort Worth/West TX $53,275
San Antonio/South TX $52,605
Austin/Cen. TX $44,539
Source: Texas PR Association.