An overwhelming majority of public relations firms responding to a survey by the Council of Public Relations Firms report a fast start to 2007, with an average 8.8 percent increase in first quarter revenues over the first quarter of 2006. Additionally, 90 percent of those firms expect revenues to increase again over the course of 2007.
Revenues increased an average of 13.9 percent in 2006, according to a different Council survey conducted in January. And the new business picture was healthy last year: 73 percent of firms reported an increase in the number of requests for proposals in 2006 compared to 2005. And average profitability increased for the fourth consecutive year.
The sectors generating the most revenue for firms in 2006 were consumer products and services, technology and healthcare. More than half of firm revenues were generated in marketing communications (51 percent), followed by corporate communications (26 percent) and public affairs (11 percent).
“For public relations firms, these are really good times,” said Kathy Cripps, president of the Council. “The industry as a whole has benefited from the emergence of social/interactive media as a viable channel to reach consumers. Add to that the fact that firms are doing a great job running their businesses, and it’s easy to understand why there has been sustained growth across the industry for the past several years.”