Most public relations firms started 2006 strongly, with firms surveyed by the Council of Public Relations Firms averaging a 10.8 percent increase in first quarter revenues over the same period in 2005 and close to 90 percent of those firms predicting that revenues will increase again in 2006.
The sectors generating the most revenue for firms in 2005 were consumer products and services, technology and healthcare. More than half of firm revenues were generated in marketing communications (54 percent), followed by corporate communications (24 percent) and public affairs (12 percent).
“Public relations firms continue to show robust growth, at both the top and bottom lines,” said Kathy Cripps, president of the Council. “As client challenges become more complex, and media channels continue to morph in different ways, more client organizations are looking to their public relations firms to help solve their business problems.”
The benchmarking study, conducted in March and April, was completed by 82 public relations firms. The results showed 2005 to be an improvement over 2004 in several areas, with two key indicators of agency productivity, the average revenue per professional and the average operating profit, both showing an increase in 2005. The average revenue per professional increased more than 5 percent, and the average operating profit margin per participating firm grew by more than 20 percent.