Arun Sudhaman 22 Jan 2012 // 10:13AM GMT
Two new studies help shed some light on the prospects for growth in the world’s two biggest PR markets, the US and UK. In the US, a new CPRF report reveals an upbeat assessment of 2011, and optimism about the year ahead. The UK view is rather more gloomy, with the PRCA’s agency barometer pointing to concern over budgets and growth. Some of this can be explained by the realities on the ground. By our reckoning, the US PR market has demonstrated impressive growth over the past couple of years, particularly benefiting firms at the bigger end of the market. The UK has had a more challenging time of it, not least because of cuts in public sector PR budgets, and continued Eurozone-inspired caution. Yet, overall, the market remains in good shape - with plenty of firms growing their top- and bottom-lines over the past year. Indeed, the resilience of the UK PR market should not be overlooked, particularly compared to countries where public relations budgets are less secure. By and large, the case for public relations is understood and supported at a corporate level in the UK, which is not always the case in less mature markets. Perhaps there is another factor that can help explain the vast disparity in sentiment? More than one person has suggested to me that Americans are simply more optimistic than their counterparts across the pond. It is tempting to compare the two mindsets and ask whether US-style confidence might be a better bet for the year ahead, rather than the more pragmatic stylings of the UK. That seems a little simplistic, and assumes all other things are equal. Regardless, I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between, and I would be interested to hear your comments.