LEADER: Back up salary hikes with better training

Are salaries in the PR sector spiralling into the stratosphere? Anecdotally, yes. In talking to many senior professionals over the past year, the most common complaint is how difficult it is to recruit good people and the astronomical salaries that they are now demanding.

Danny Rogers, Editor, <em>PRWeek</em>
Danny Rogers, Editor, PRWeek

Equally, major salary hikes would be understandable. This is a relatively small industry that has enjoyed double-digit growth in spend over the past few years - and yet has not historically inducted many graduates.

New PRCA figures show that more than half of PR agencies are still looking to augment staff numbers in the first quarter of 2008.

And yet PRWeek's annual Salary Survey, published this week, reveals a more uneven picture. There have been noticeable leaps in salary levels for trainees and a major increase in pay levels for senior consultants, but elsewhere the inflation appears much more moderate.

Certain roles are commanding very generous salaries. These include anyone with real digital marketing experience, those in the technology and healthcare sectors and those who can provide consultancy at the highest level.

This latter category helps to explain the recent influx of senior journalists into the profession, such as The Sunday Times' David Cracknell and the BBC's Guto Harri. As noted in our analysis on the issue, many director-level roles in agencies now command considerably more than section editor positions in national media.

Leading journalists, demoralised by staff cuts and new multimedia pressures, are clearly tempted not only by PR salaries, but also by the increasing gravitas of senior comms professionals.

All of which is highly encouraging, though one hopes investment in recruitment and training is the longer-term solution to PR's resourcing problem.

Email: danny.rogers@haymarket.com  


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