NEW YORK: US public relations firms saw a 7.5% increase in revenue, on average, for the first quarter of 2008 compared to same period in 2007, according to a survey from the Council of Public Relations Firms (CPRF). The Council's Business Practices Benchmarking Study also found that 68% of respondents are optimistic about the remainder of the year and expect revenues to be up in 2008.
Seventy PR firms completed the survey in March and April. Agencies from a variety of cities participated, but the metro areas that had the most representation, in order, were New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago. A different CPRF study conducted in January and released the following month reported that revenues were up an average of 12.3% in 2007 and that the top three revenue-generating sectors were consumer products and services, healthcare, and technology.
"It is encouraging that firms performed well in the first quarter," Kathy Cripps, CPRF president, said in a statement. "And despite the broader macroeconomic uncertainties, we hope that this report augurs well for the PR agency business for the rest of the year. Firms that are dedicating efforts toward new business development, enhancing digital capabilities, and, as always, delivering superior client service should be well-fortified going forward."
The CPRF study found that 56% of firms reported an increase in RFPs in 2007, compared to 2006. Firms also reported double-digit profit margins, and it was the fifth consecutive year of profitability increases, CPRF said.