These figures prove what many of us have been saying for a long time. Despite all the necessary difficulties of trading in tough economic times, PR is on the up.
Agencies are growing strongly – some are powering ahead at an astonishing rate. And in doing so, they’re proving the fundamental truth that ours is an industry of the future – large and influential now and set to be even more so as the years go by.
The past few years have brought unwelcome stresses and challenges, but difficult times have also compelled agencies to be leaner, fitter and more competitive – to work out what their strengths are and address their areas of weakness. And that bodes well for the future.
As agencies embrace a sunnier economic climate, the challenge for many will be to increase their profit margins while also investing in their people. I predict something of a war for talent over the coming 12 to 18 months.
Now, of course, not everything here is positive. A minority of agencies have slipped back. And not every part of our industry can grow at the rate experienced by the healthcare and financial services sectors. Both of those things are simply inevitable.
But the overall picture is an extraordinarily positive one. Another year of almost double-digit growth. Another year of outperforming other marketing industries. Another year to celebrate. And, as the economy has moved into strong recovery mode, the best is yet to come.
Francis Ingham, director general, PRCA