GLOBAL--Broad growth across established and emerging markets led to a healthy recovery in the global PR industry in 2010, according to the 2011 ICCO World Report.

The study, which uses data submitted by national-level trade organisations, found that the the world’s two biggest markets - the UK and the US - both submitted double-digit increases in 2010. The US, according to the Council of PR Firms, grew by 11 percent, while the UK (PRCA) improved by 13 percent.

Elsewhere, Brazil and Russia led all countries, tallying revenue growth of 23 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

The report also found that UK firms improved profitability by 30 percent, despite the dramatic downturn in public sector work. The PRCA estimates its member firms are worth 50 percent of the total UK PR market.

Consumer and digital communications helped spur growth in the US, aided by increasing public affairs and regulatory work from Washington DC.

ICCO even finds encouraging results in Europe, where most Western European markets saw flat to modest revenue increases. Belgium bucked this trend by growing by 10 percent, while Nordic and CEE markets recovered well to post increases ranging from five to 12 percent.

However, both Ireland and Croatia slumped. The former dropped 15 percent as a result of its “constricted economy”, while the latter decreased by 14 percent because of spending cuts and price dumping from low-end competitors.

Australia, the fourth largest PR market among ICCO’s member countries (behind the US, UK and Brazil), grew by 10 percent.

ICCO ranks its markets according to the revenues submitted by its members. However, the data does not include significant PR markets such as Japan, China, Canada or Spain.