Salary Survey: Industry on the rise

Confidence is returning to the PR business and salaries and recruitment are heading upwards, writes Stephanie Siegle.

Cast your minds back to last year's PRWeek Salary Survey, and you will recall the industry was looking forward to 2004 for the return of a more solid market in terms of salaries and benefits. And a year on it seems the wish has been granted. 'The marketplace is certainly more encouraging, confidence has returned and the PR industry is recruiting more than in 2003,' says Libby Trace, deputy managing director at recruitment specialist Price Trace Hawes.

PRWeek received more than 600 respondents to the survey that looks back over 2004 - 100 more responses than the previous year. Once again it provides a comprehensive insight into remuneration and working practices across the industry.

The respondents to the survey are divided almost equally across the industry: 35 per cent of respondents are from in-house public sector PR departments, 30 per cent from in-house private sector PR departments and 34 per cent are from consultancies.

Almost a third of respondents (31 per cent) operate from central London, still the most populous area for the PR industry, with 13 per cent and 11 per cent working out of the South East and the Midlands respectively.

These figures remain virtually unchanged from the previous year's survey.

Industry focus, too, remains almost static. The main business area for consultancies continues to be industrial products and services, although increased business from the leisure and travel sector means this has leapt up the chart to take second place from seventh last year, moving last year's number two industry sector, technology and telecoms, to third place.

Financial services and institutions continue to be the main business area for respondents from in-house private sector PR departments, while the majority of their in-house public sector counterparts continue to focus on work for local government.

There is more in-depth information on salaries broken down by team size and region on our website, www.prweek.com.

This year's salary survey can be directly compared with the 2004 survey, because we have continued with the same methodology of salary brackets.

These apply to each job title across consultancies, in-house private sector and in-house public sector PR departments, as opposed to having figures for average salaries. This system is designed to reflect remuneration across the industry more effectively because averages can often be skewed should a few figures be higher or lower than the majority.

Recruitment thaw

An immediate conclusion that can be drawn is that in 2004 we saw a slowing down of salary cuts and freezes on recruitment across the board. But the number of respondents that had suffered salary cuts in the last six months has dropped from five per cent last year to two per cent this year.

Further evidence of confidence creeping back in is that only ten per cent of respondents' employers have frozen salary reviews, compared to 13 per cent last year, and the freeze on recruitment is down to 18 per cent in 2004, a slightly more encouraging statistic than 20 per cent the previous year.

It is also heartening to note that the fortunes of the more junior roles across the industry have improved during the past 12 months.

'We are seeing more salary increases now at junior level, especially in technology and healthcare,' says Median Recruitment manager Christopher Lee-Roberts. 'Salaries at account executive and account manager level have risen slightly in the consumer and financial sectors too. There is demand for the best people in these roles, which is leading to a rise in salaries.'

His comments are reflected in the changes to the salary brackets for the consultancy account executive. This year's highest salary bracket for 11 per cent of these respondents now stands at £23,000-£25,999, whereas last year it was £18,000-£20,999. Although the largest group (39 per cent) are still earning between £16,000 and £17,999, that the highest salary level has soared is a sign of a more confident market. Take a look at account manager level and there are now five per cent of respondents who have edged into the £60,000-plus bracket, where last year's highest level was three per cent of respondents earning between £51,000 and £59,999.

It is better news too for junior positions in the in-house public sector.

While last year's salary survey revealed the highest salary bracket for 34 per cent of public sector press assistants was £21,000-£22,999, this year has seen it jump to half of respondents now falling into the £23,000-£25,999 bracket.

'We've noticed agencies are really recruiting at junior levels. There was a spate of redundancies during the downturn, and a lot of able young people left the industry, so good roles are now opening up for this generation,' adds Trace. 'Plus they're trying to persuade people to remain on the consultancy side rather than go in-house, especially if they have invested in training them.'

Unfortunately the higher-level salary brackets have not hit the in-house private sector junior levels just yet, where more than half (60 per cent) of press assistants earned less than £18,000, compared with 43 per cent earning within this bracket last year.

However, the outlook is not all gloomy - average yearly salary increases were higher for this group than they were the previous year. Private sector press officers saw their average salary increase rise by £516 to £1,477.

Public sector press officers, too, reported a jump in average salary increase from £878 in 2003 to a more impressive £1,136 in 2004.

Conversely, the consultancy side is not seeing this kind of development in the average salary increase for its junior positions. Senior account executives' average salary increase was £600 less than it was in 2003, while those of account executives decreased by just over £500. Yet these decreases may be due to a higher percentage of these job titles now falling into a higher basic pre-tax salary bracket than last year.

While the industry is witnessing more positive signs of a recovery at the junior to middle-management end of the scale, it is too early to say it is returning to the boom times of several years ago. Salary brackets have not risen dramatically across all job titles at more senior level - these salary brackets remain similar to last year's results.

The in-house private sector senior roles still tend to earn more than their counterparts. For example, 26 per cent of directors of communications earn more than £100,000, and five per cent of heads of PR have hit that bracket. Yet only five per cent of the directors of communications in the public sector are at the top end of their scale, at £80,000 plus.

The largest group's salaries (29 per cent) fall between £40,000 and £45,999, and just two per cent of public sector heads of PR reached the £61,000-£70,999 tier.

Meanwhile, if you reach the top level at an agency, pre-tax salaries are more than £60,000 for 47 per cent, while the same percentage of board directors are earning within that bracket.

Furthermore, average salary increases at senior in-house levels are not seeing the same boost as witnessed across the more junior levels.

Prospect Resourcing director Emma Dale sums up the current employment market: 'The B2B technology sector is returning to better times. We're now seeing a situation where those people who would have grown up through the ranks if there hadn't been a downturn a few years ago, have left the sector, and there's lots of jobs and fewer good people for them. The healthcare sector is also booming, financial is a big growth area, while consumer is fairly steady.'

Steady freelance market

Elsewhere, the freelance market has remained steady, financially on a par with 2003. A fifth of freelance respondents are still earning more than £60,000 a year. Encouragingly for the PROs who have chosen to be their own boss, we are no longer seeing a third earning under £16,000, as revealed in last year's survey (although those respondees did not specify how many days a week they worked). The lowest salary bracket for 2004 was a more healthy £26,000-£28,999.

Although there hasn't been a surge in average salary increases across the entire industry, the economic climate has remained steady. Twenty-eight per cent of respondents pegged salary reviews to the rate of inflation, figures similar to 2003. And companies continued to merit reviews for 47 per cent of respondents.

The Red Consultancy is just one of the consultancies doing this. 'Pay can be increased at any time, rather than just on an annual basis, if the employee merits it,' explains deputy managing director Andrew Baiden.

However, salary increases and higher salary brackets are not the only ways that the PR industry is rewarding its employees. There is evidence that employers continue to view benefits as an integral part of the remuneration package.

'People in the industry are still looking for packages that include both money and benefits,' says Buffalo Communications managing director Kerry Hallard. 'Our standard benefits package includes private health insurance, 26 days' holiday plus the possibility of adding extra days through longevity schemes, and the potential to earn ten per cent of your salary if you meet your objectives, which is paid on a quarterly basis.'

On the whole, the benefits received across all job titles in the industry have remained the same as those revealed by last year's survey. Petrol or business mileage allowance was still more prevalent than company cars among consultancies, yet a higher percentage of respondents enjoyed season ticket loans, private health plans and bonuses for bringing in new business than the previous year.

PRJS managing director Justin Kent says: 'Employers in the PR industry are increasingly having to really look at the packages they offer because there aren't as many people out there as there is the number of jobs.

Some candidates are even being offered two or three jobs, so employers need to stand out.

'We've noticed salary hikes across the board, due to this demand, particularly in ethical healthcare and IT.'

Wider external issues have played a part in the type of benefits now being offered to the more junior roles in-house. As the pensions issue deepened, company contributory pensions were pushed up the agenda. This year's survey shows 100 per cent of public sector press assistants now cite contributory pensions as part of their benefit package, triple the number in 2003 when it stood at 33 per cent of respondents.

Contributory pensions remain key for the private sector too, with at least 75 per cent of all job titles receiving one. Consultancies, however, still have some way to go to catch up. The highest percentage of respondents who receive contributory pensions stands at 53 per cent of account directors, and 50 per cent of board directors and senior account executives. Only 35 per cent of managing directors and 38 per cent of account managers received a contributory pension, a slight drop on 2003.

Nevertheless, this benefit may well yet evolve. 'We're seeing that pensions are now always top of a candidate's wish list when we're interviewing them, and it's something we provide,' says Communique director Chris Wood.

'Bonuses, too, are important to candidates.'

Indeed, this is evident from the survey results, which show that half of senior account executives now receive a performance-related bonus, double the number in 2003. And a greater number of in-house press officers have also reported receiving this tangible benefit.

It is perhaps due to these kind of benefits that more respondents felt better rewarded than they did the previous year. While the few that felt 'very well rewarded' remained at five per cent, more PROs felt 'well rewarded' in 2004, up to 35 per cent from 28 per cent the previous year. Yet there remained a disgruntled 23 per cent that felt they were under-rewarded, almost level with last year's 24 per cent. If this figure is to change for the better in the next 12 months, what can PR departments and agencies do to make good staff feel more valued?

'We need to ensure packages are benchmarked across the marketplace regularly to ensure they are strongly competitive and keep up with direction of travel and show flexibility,' says Eli Lilly director of corporate affairs Maxine Taylor. 'Increasingly, people enjoy the opportunity to work from home, given the long hours involved in communications work. Some employers are not comfortable with this approach but, for those that are, there is a real competitive advantage.'

The work/life balance has certainly risen up the priority scale in the last 12 months. Wood concurs: 'Graduates often ask about sabbaticals, career breaks and flexi-working,' he says.

'While I'm not sure I'd recommend asking those questions at a first interview, it shows this is an increasingly important issue. We try to accommodate individual requirements about working from home and adjusting hours to suit childcare needs, for example.'

There has been a slight growth this year in the number of respondents offered flexible working, particularly for those with a child under six years of age. Since the change in legislation in April 2003, parents with a child under six - which applies to 15 per cent of respondents - can ask for flexible or part-time working. Last year's survey revealed 21 per cent had asked for flexible working and exactly half had their requests granted, while this year's survey shows slightly more have asked for this benefit (26 per cent) and slightly more were granted this (53 per cent).

It is a slow movement, but a movement in the right direction nonetheless.

Even in an industry that is still dominated by women - 67 per cent according to our survey - it is worth noting that the percentage of respondents with maternity leave above statutory rates hasn't changed dramatically since 2003. This benefit is more widespread within in-house PR departments rather than consultancies; 40 per cent of in-house public sector directors of communication receive above-statutory pay, compared with just nine per cent of their counterparts in consultancies. It will be interesting to see over the next few years if there will be a dramatic change in the number of employees receiving this benefit, following Chancellor Gordon Brown's pre-Budget statement that paid maternity leave be raised from six months to nine months by 2007.

Childcare needs

Some consultancies have already made inroads into accommodating childcare needs. Buffalo Communications, for example, has introduced shift work, so employees can start and finish early. And the work/life balance is already predominant in the public sector, says Derbyshire County Council head of press and PR Jenny Tozer. 'We have flexible working for all our employees and we have the opportunity to work extra hours that one can accrue to allow for an extra day off a month,' she says.

The percentage of respondents who say the average number of hours they work a week has increased slightly over the last year, from 38 per cent to 43 per cent, with almost three quarters (71 per cent) spending one night out on business a week, 11 per cent working every weekend and 61 per cent working the occasional weekend.

But despite this there are slightly fewer PR employees (20 per cent compared with 22 per cent in last year's survey) that now report they find their job very stressful.

Understandably, 67 per cent still rate their jobs as fairly stressful.

Yet one element that may go some way to reducing stress levels is the decreasing threat of redundancy. It is a trend that Peter Childs Recruitment director Caroline Ivory has noted. 'There are definitely fewer redundancies around, as companies are seeing considered and measured growth,' she says.

Last year's survey reported 40 per cent of respondents' companies had made redundancies in the previous 12 months, with nearly half who worked where there had been staff cutbacks revealing that the number of people made redundant was more than 20.

Reassuringly, the number of respondents saying their companies had made redundancies in the past 12 months has dropped to 30 per cent in this year's survey. This figure is slightly marred, however, by almost half of this 30 per cent saying more than 20 staff had been made redundant at their companies.

Yet there is a brighter note. The percentage of respondents who thought it in any way likely they were to be made redundant in the next 12 months stands at six per cent.

To have a productive workforce, employers need to ensure staff recognise they are valued and that they go home secure and confident about their job. And as the average number of paid holidays has increased this year, at various levels across the board, steps are clearly being taken to achieve this.

Lee-Roberts says he has noticed a trend of a day's extra holiday being added to packages and Trace agrees. 'The industry is adding more soft benefits to employees packages, such as extra holidays, which means the employee feels more valued, but it doesn't cost the company the earth,' she says.

The in-house public sector still leads in the holiday stakes, with an average of 29 days for directors of communications and 28 for heads of PR, down to 26 for press assistants and press officers. Their private sector counterparts' holiday count ranges from 24 to 26 days, but it is the consultancies that are still lagging behind. Account executives average 22 days' holiday a year, although consultancy bosses have notched up an average of 27.5 days - figures that suggest the popularity of longevity schemes where extra holidays are added with years of service.

Staff retention can also be heightened by offering that little bit extra.

According to Baiden, The Red Consultancy has adopted a policy whereby staff can come in late or leave early one hour a week. It has also introduced more technology for account manager level upwards so they can access email remotely, saving them valuable working time in the office. But, he adds, agencies need to get that little bit more creative to retain good staff.

'We originally did duvet days and we still offer health and pension schemes, but we've also introduced a month-long job-swap scheme with our sister company in Australia, Houssmann,' explains Baiden. 'We also offer a two-month sabbatical after three years of service. It's natural people want to try new things and offering sabbaticals allows staff to do this yet helps maintain loyalty to the company.'

Taylor agrees that the opportunity for sabbaticals, which give people a change and enable them to come back refreshed, is good for a company.

Eli Lilly has also introduced elements such as cafeteria-style packages, whereby the employee can choose a number of benefits that suit their individual circumstances - this is a benefit that the pharma company offers through the LillyFlex system that has proved popular with employees.

Elsewhere, Communique regularly consults with its staff on the benefits they receive, and have recently responded to requests to introduce benefits such as a relaxed dress code, duvet days, a chill-out room and birthday treats. It also provides regular visits from a beautician and a masseur.

Gift or clothing vouchers are also becoming popular, as is a Christmas shopping day.

As well as rewarding staff with soft benefits, the industry needs to develop and enhance their skills. With 44 per cent of respondents saying their company does have structured training in place, the industry is going some way towards achieving this, but it's just a four per cent rise on last year. Moreover, the number of staff training days that respondents participated in hasn't shown any significant increase.

Dedicated training, as well as on-the-job training, indicates that a company is prepared to invest in its employees and is dedicated to their career development, and this could be key factor in attracting and retain good staff.

Technology specialist I-flex Solutions senior communications manager Sunil Robert says: 'Pensions, holidays, maternity and paternity benefit over and above statutory requirements are all great benefits, but in addition to all these, training opportunities will become a differentiating aspect that will single out a company.'

The question of professional qualifications and the training they bring, however, is still open to some debate. There has been little movement from 2003 in the number of respondents that have industry professional qualifications. Again, just ten per cent of respondents had a PR degree and nine per cent had been awarded a postgraduate PR or communications degree. Almost half (40 per cent) still remain without a professional qualification, which further fans the ongoing debate about whether they are essential for the development of the industry.

The increased confidence in business means rewards are gradually creeping back in for certain positions in the PR industry. Long-term challenges, stimulation and opportunity may well be factors that drive most PROs, but it is issues such as flexibility and rewarding good staff, whether it's with hard cash or soft benefits, that remain the priority and are likely to continue to be for the coming year.

IN-HOUSE PUBLIC SECTOR

HEAD/DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Salary brackets £80,000+ 5%

£61,000-£79,999 10%

£51,000-£60,999 22%

£46,000-£50,999 7%

£40,000-£45,999 29%

£32,000-£39,999 22%

Under £29,000 5%

Average age 44

Average holidays 29

Average salary increase £1,671

Benefits: Contributory pension 86%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

48%, Flexible working 64%, Maternity leave arrangements over and above

statutory requirements 40%, Paternity leave arrangements over and above

statutory requirements 29%

HEAD OF PR

Salary brackets £61,000-£70,999 2%

£51,000-£60,999 7%

£40,000-£50,999 20%

£36,000-£39,999 21%

£32,000-£35,999 21%

£26,000-£31,999 14%

Under £26,000 15%

Average age 41

Average holidays 28

Average salary increase £1,532

Benefits: Contributory pension 72%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

40%, Flexible working 60%, Newspapers 28%, Eyesight test 56%, Season

ticket loan 19%, Gym membership16%, Maternity leave arrangements over

and above statutory requirements 33%, Paternity leave arrangements over

and above statutory requirements 19%, 24-hour helpline 5%, Company car

9%, Car allowance 5%

PR/COMMS MANAGER

Salary brackets £46,000-£55,999 2%

£36,000-£45,999 13%

£32,000-£35,999 20%

£26,000-£31,999 33%

£21,000-£25,999 26%

Under £20,000 6%

Average age 36

Average holidays 26

Average salary increase £1,329

Benefits: Contributory pension 71%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

41%, Flexible working 64%, Newspapers 16%, Eyesight test 54%, Season

ticket loan 21%, Gym membership 9%, Maternity leave arrangements over

and above statutory requirements 24%, Paternity leave arrangements over

and above statutory requirements 16%, 24-hour helpline 4%, Company car

11%, Car allowance 11%

PRESS OFFICER

Salary brackets £32,000-£35,999 6%

£26,000-£31,999 22%

£23,000-£25,999 31%

£21,000-£22,999 11%

£18,000-£20,999 14%

Under £18,000 16%

Average age 30

Average holidays 26

Average salary increase £1,136

Benefits: Contributory pension 86%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

31%, Flexible working 47%, Newspapers 28%, Eyesight test 61%, Christmas

bonus 3%, Season ticket loan 36%, Gym membership 14%, Maternity leave

arrangements over and above statutory requirements 42%, Paternity leave

arrangements over and above statutory requirements 31%, 24-hour helpline

14%, Company car 3%, Car allowance 8%

PRESS ASSISTANT

Salary brackets £23,000-£25,999 50%

£21,000-£22,999 25%

£18,000-£20,999 25%

Average age 24

Average holidays 26

Average salary increase £1,125

Benefits: Contributory pension100%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

25%, Performance-related bonus 25%, Private health plan 25%, Flexible

working 25%, Newspapers 25%, Eyesight test 25%, Christmas bonus 25%,

Season ticket loan 25%, Maternity leave arrangements over and above

statutory requirements 75%, Paternity leave arrangements over and above

statutory requirements 75%

IN-HOUSE PRIVATE SECTOR

HEAD/DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Salary brackets

£100,000+ 26%

£75,000-£99,999 8%

£65,000-£74,999 8%

£51,000-£64,999 19%

£40,000-£50,999 29%

£36,000-£39,999 4%

Under £36,000 6%

Average age 40

Average holidays 25

Average salary increase £3,063

Benefits: Contributory pension 85%, Company car 22%, Petrol or business

mileage allowance 33%, Performance-related bonus 63%, Private health

plan 67%, Flexible working 44%, Profit share 22%, Option of share

ownership 41%, Maternity leave arrangements over and above statutory

requirements 37%

HEAD OF PR

Salary brackets

£100,000+ 5%

£70,000-£80,999 9%

£56,000-£64,999 14%

£51,000-£55,999 17%

£40,000-£50,999 22%

£32,000-£39,999 22%

Under £32,000 11%

Average age 41

Average holidays 24

Average salary increase £2,579

Benefits: Contributory pension 76%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

33%, Company car 29%, Performance-related bonus 64%, Private health plan

55%, Flexible working 38%, Profit share 5%, Option of share ownership

36%, Maternity leave arrangements over and above statutory requirements

29%

PR/COMMS MANAGER

Salary brackets

£46,000-£55,999 12%

£40,000-£45,999 15%

£32,000-£39,999 26%

£27,000-£31,999 30%

Under £27,000 17%

Average age 35

Average holidays 24

Average salary increase £1,753

Benefits: Contributory pension 78%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

38%, Company car 21%, Performance-related bonus 53%, Private health plan

44%, Flexible working 29%, Newspapers 26%, Profit share 9%, Option of

share ownership 24%, Gym membership 13%, Maternity leave arrangements

over and above statutory requirements 16%, Paternity leave arrangements

over and above statutory requirements 9%

PRESS OFFICER

Salary brackets

£40,000-£45,999 13%

£32,000-£35,999 18%

£27,000-£31,999 31%

£23,000-£26,999 5%

£18,000-£22,999 23%

Under £18,000 10%

Average age 32

Average holidays 24

Average salary increase £1,477

Benefits: Contributory pension 83%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

57%, Company car 13%, Performance-related bonus 43%, Private health plan

35%, Bonus for bringing in new business 9%, Flexible working 35%, Profit

share 30%, Option of share ownership 39%, Gym membership 9%, Maternity

leave arrangements over and above statutory requirements 35%

PRESS ASSISTANT

Salary brackets

£18,000-£21,999 40%

Under £18,000 60%

Average age 24

Average holidays 26

Average salary increase £950

Benefits: Contributory pension 80%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

20%, Performance-related bonus 40%, Newspapers 40%, Eyesight test 60%,

Season ticket loan 20%, Option of share ownership 40%, Gym membership

20%, Maternity leave arrangements over and above statutory requirements

40%.

FREELANCE

Salary brackets

£60,000+ 20%

£51,000-£59,999 20%

£32,000-£35,999 10%

£29,000-£31,999 10%

£26,000-£28,999 30%

Average age 46

Average holidays 30

Average salary increase £1,139

Benefits: Contributory pension 27%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

55%, Company car 9%, Private health plan 9%, Bonus for bringing in new

business 18%, Flexible working 36%, Profit share 27%, Gym membership 9%,

Maternity leave arrangements over and above statutory requirements 9%,

Paternity leave arrangements over and above statutory requirements 9%

Where salary bracket is missing, no relevant data was received

CONSULTANCY

Chairman/MD/CEO Salary brackets £60,000+ 47%

£46,000-£59,999 13%

£32,000-£45,999 14%

Under £32,000 26%

Average age 47

Average holidays 27.5 days

Average salary increase £2,989

Benefits: Contributory pension 35%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

54%, Performance-related bonus 21%, Private health plan 28%, Bonus for

bringing in new business 23%, Flexible working 44%, Company car 23%,

Option of share ownership 14%, Car allowance 11%, Gym membership 9%,

Maternity leave arrangements over and above statutory requirements 9%,

Paternity leave arrangements over and above statutory requirements 7%

BOARD DIRECTOR

Salary brackets £60,000+ 47%

£46,000-£59,999 25%

£32,000-£45,999 26%

Under £32,000 2%

Average age 39

Average holidays 24 days

Average salary increase £4,222

Benefits: Contributory pension 50%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

25%, Performance-related bonus 58%, Private health plan 47%, Bonus for

bringing in new business 42% Flexible working 36%, Company car 14%,

Option of share ownership 22%, Car allowance 17%, Maternity leave

arrangements over and above statutory requirements 8%

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

Salary brackets £60,000+ 5%

£46,000-£59,999 15%

£40,000-£45,999 23%

£32,000-£39,999 30%

£26,000-£31,999 23%

Under £26,000 4%

Average age 36

Average holidays 24 days

Average salary increase £3,158

Benefits: Contributory pension 53%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

35%, Performance-related bonus 45%, Private health plan 45%, Bonus for

bringing in new business 28%, Flexible working 43%, Company car 23%,

Option of share ownership 15%, Car allowance 13%, Gym membership 10%,

Maternity leave arrangements over and above statutory requirements 20%

ACCOUNT MANAGER

Salary brackets £60,000+ 5%

£32,000-£39,999 13%

£29,000-£31,999 18%

£26,000-£28,999 13%

£23,000-£25,999 20%

£21,000-£22,999 18%

Under £21,000 13%

Average age 30

Average holidays 23 days

Average salary increase £2,079

Benefits: Contributory pension 38%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

35%, Performance-related bonus 35%, Private health plan 25%, Bonus for

bringing in new business 43%, Flexible working 20%, Company car 3%,

Option of share ownership 5%, Car allowance 8%, Maternity leave

arrangements over and above statutory requirements 3%

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Salary brackets £32,000-£35,999 8%

£23,000-£25,999 50%

£21,000-£22,999 8%

£18,000-£20,999 17%

Under £18,000 17%

Average age 26

Average holidays 23 days

Average salary increase £2,386

Benefits: Contributory pension 50%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

17%, Performance-related bonus 50%, Private health plan 25%, Bonus for

bringing in new business 43%, Flexible working 25%, Option of share

ownership 8%, Maternity leave arrangements over and above statutory

requirements 8%

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Salary brackets £23,000-£25,999 11%

£21,000-£22,999 6%

£18,000-£20,999 17%

£16,000-£17,999 39%

Under £16,000 28%

Average age 24

Average holidays 22 days

Average salary increase £1,594

Benefits: Contributory pension 33%, Petrol or business mileage allowance

33%, Performance-related bonus 22%, Private health plan 22%, Bonus for

bringing in new business 39%, Flexible working 17%, Option of share

ownership 6%, Gym membership 28%, Maternity leave arrangements over and

above statutory requirements 6%

EMPLOYMENT TRENDS CONSULTANCIES

Sophie Daranyi, managing director, Haygarth PR

'The work/life balance is, and will continue to be, a key area for employers to consider, with a higher number of employees requesting flexible working or sabbaticals, something we have recently introduced for employees after five years. In addition, there is more focus on soft benefits, such as an extra day off for employees on their birthday, or discounts negotiated at local shops; a clear career path and an enjoyable working environment are all areas that will continue to grow in importance.

'Here we have a reward scheme and use the monthly company update to recognise achievements. This is followed by a "kitty night" where the company pays for an evening out at the pub to help build relationships throughout the company and give people a chance to catch up with workmates on a more social level.

'A combination of qualitative and quantitative rewards will help increase staff retention. Clear career-path management is coupled with challenging opportunities both in terms of clients and on a commercial level.

'However, there is always a shortage of really good candidates and these people can always demand better terms, particularly as we are looking for people with a wider integrated understanding of marketing as well as PR expertise. I believe expectations will get higher in terms of maternity and paternity benefits and will be a big challenge for employers.

'Consultancies will have to be more creative with the benefits they offer.

When we relaunched our soft benefits scheme we asked all members of staff for their ideas and suggestions and had a working committee in place to establish the final recommendations based on employee demand.'

EMPLOYMENT TRENDS IN-HOUSE PRIVATE SECTOR

Joanna Manning-Cooper, Financial Times director of communications 'As the media is a 24/7 industry, an element of out-of-hours work - and availability - is, and will continue to be, a fact of life for most in-house PROs. I think a flexible approach is crucial - if you work long hours and spend a lot of time travelling then you are going to need a decent period of restorative down-time at some point to compensate.

'To continue to retain the best staff, PR isn't all that different from any other industry. When the market is buoyant and salaries are high, people tend to look around for jobs, but the best way to keep your people will be to offer decent pay, in line with the market rates and, even more importantly, to commit to developing your people. As the industry picks up, in-house professionals will be looking for roles where they can have real influence, and help shape company strategy, rather than simply mop up the mess if it goes wrong.

Pensions are increasingly important, and will continue to be so, and the offer of a final salary pension scheme is a very tangible benefit.

People increasingly look at their total reward package rather than simply focusing on a salary. In London, for example, some companies pay the congestion charge for lower paid employees who need to drive to work.

PR departments will have to get more creative on the type of benefits and working environment they offer. Call on the benefits of new technology to help. A whole host of devices can make life much easier for a senior in-house PRO. Blackberries are a real gem - particularly if you travel a lot. Provide people with laptops and broadband at home, giving them flexibility to work from home occasionally to compensate for the long hours in the office.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in