“This is the fourth consecutive year we’ve seen double-digit revenue growth from our members,” said Kathy Cripps, president of the Council of Public Relations Firms. “It demonstrates that public relations as a discipline is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but rather a ‘must-have’ for clients of all kinds. According to all of our surveys, including this one, this is particularly evident in consumer products/services, healthcare and technology.”
Looking ahead to 2008, 84 percent of firms are projecting top line growth, at an average overall rate of 10 percent. Similarly, on the new business front, more than 85 percent of firms expect the new business and RFP (request for proposal) pipeline to be equal to, or stronger, than it was in 2007.
Other findings from the survey included:
· 80 percent of firms are hiring
· 57 percent of firms added staff in ‘07
· 30 percent expect to see the biggest gains this year in consumer marketing; online media was second with 12 percent
When asked about industry’s economic outlook for 2008, based on discussions with clients and considering “environmental factors,” 23 percent viewed it as ‘strong,’ and 58 percent were “neutral.”
The Council’s 2007 numbers track closely with those found in the “Communications Industry Forecast,” published last fall by financial investment company, Veronis Suhler Stephenson. VSS projected the public relations industry to grow 11.8 percent in 2007, 9.9 percent in 2008, with a compound growth of 10.3 percent through 2011.
Sixty-two firms participated in the Council’s 4Q 2007 survey, which was fielded January 8-18.