Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
STATE OF THE PROFESSION
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
COMMENTARY ANALYSIS
2015
#StateOfPR | @CIPR_UK
t
t
t
t
t
t
2
STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015
Since 2009, the CIPR State of the Profession survey has told the story of a resilient pract...
3
STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015
Blurred lines
Inter-departmental convergence is now a very clear trend. From marketing to H...
4
STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015
Professionalism is a work in progress
Just as in 2014, the desire to be considered professi...
5
STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015
From these findings, a conclusion can be made that those in
leadership positions in public ...
6
STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015
What influences the pay packet?
The average pay for public relations professionals is £45,6...
7
STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015
From these results, it is clear is that the gender pay gap in public relations cannot be
fr...
8
STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015
t
Future challenges
Technology and innovation dominates the mindsets of public relations pr...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

#StateOfPR - Commentary analysis

2,834 views

Published on

Now in its seventh year, the CIPR State of the Profession survey is the largest and longest running survey of its kind. The survey takes into account the views of CIPR members and non-members, and aims to reveal the issues and challenges facing public relations professionals. It covers a broad range of key issues including professional background, skills, recruitment and diversity.

Published in: Data & Analytics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

#StateOfPR - Commentary analysis

  1. 1. STATE OF THE PROFESSION STATE OF THE PROFESSION COMMENTARY ANALYSIS 2015 #StateOfPR | @CIPR_UK t t t t t t
  2. 2. 2 STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015 Since 2009, the CIPR State of the Profession survey has told the story of a resilient practice that successfully navigated its way through the longest and deepest recession in living memory, it has documented notable growth client-side and in-house post-recovery, and has also showcased the shift from digital and social public relations as a specialism of the few, to becoming integral for the many. Conversely, despite existing as a record of an evolving and growing practice, in each of the past six years it has also shown public relations professionals to be paradoxical in their outlook. Last year, it depicted a profession with an overwhelming desire to embrace modernity in every aspect of practice, but was also one anxious about the skills and challenges demanded by the future. It also revealed a profession of unequals, facilitated and managed by women, but with a gender pay gap of over £12,000 in favour of men. State of the Profession 2015 lifts the lid on many of these conflicts with in-depth analysis of its 2,000+ respondents – yet continues to pose more questions, than deliver answers. What is presented is the story of a practice where inter-departmental convergence is a clear and growing trend. It documents how practitioners are hungry to adapt and innovate; taking on new responsibilities from the world of marketing, sales, HR, and customer service, with PR now playing a role in every department of a modern organisation. Yet it also shows the competencies in-demand from junior and senior hires remain focused on traditional PR skills, not adequately reflecting the new skills required to fully embrace this new environment. It also highlights notable year-on-year growth in client facing public relations, which makes a strong contribution to communications and business strategy for UK businesses. However in the same period results show stagnation in in-house public relations budgets, with individuals delivering varying degrees of influence across their organisations. Additionally, data reveals PR professionals have a near-universal desire to be considered professional, yet rate day-to-day experience and client satisfaction, as the distinguishing characteristics of a professional practice. This report also digs deeper than ever into the backgrounds of practitioners, looking at secondary and university education, happiness and wellbeing, diversity of practice, and gender balance and equal pay, in a unique record of detail. t
  3. 3. 3 STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015 Blurred lines Inter-departmental convergence is now a very clear trend. From marketing to HR, a clear majority of PR professionals are now working “more closely” than “less closely” with every single department in their organisations, than compared to two years ago. In addition, from media relations to internal communications, each area of traditional PR practice is also more likely to have converged, than to have not. This shift brings new opportunity. A majority of public relations professionals now have a responsibility for branding, with other traditional marketing disciplines – copywriting, sponsorship and print and design – some of the most common new responsibilities, alongside new technical tasks such as web development. This all paints a picture of PR professionals who are being asked to do much more with their time, and their money. The impact of an evolving practice on skills confidence is also apparent. Technical and digital skills, including SEO, HTML and coding, are considered the weakest skills for many, whereas traditional forms of written communication, interpersonal skills, or utilising creativity, rank as the strongest. What emerges is a digital skills gap that not only widens with experience, but is also one exacerbated by recruitment trends. This is confirmed by digital and social skills failing to feature in any of the top five lists of competencies sought by professionals across all sectors looking to hire senior candidates, whereas this precise skill set is the third most in-demand for junior roles. Whilst finding the balance between traditional PR competencies and new skills and demands is proving a difficult balancing act for employees, employers, and recruiters, the results indicate that there is a terrific opportunity for anybody that is willing to embrace change. t 53% are working “more closely” with the marketing department, than two years ago t 48% of PR professionals now have a responsiblity for web design and coding t
  4. 4. 4 STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015 Professionalism is a work in progress Just as in 2014, the desire to be considered professional is chief amongst nearly all of public relations practitioners – with 96% considering it to be important to them. When asked what most clearly demonstrates that professionalism, the same people are firm in their belief that professional standards can be defined by ‘satisfying clients and/or employers’, and that ‘experience’ is a professional’s most valuable asset. Largely disregarded are the validations of professional standards as adopted by the professional disciplines of accountancy and law, including commitment to professional development, investment in qualifications, and signing up to codes of conduct. These findings pose a dilemma for public relations practitioners seeking to gain the recognition and trust awarded to the professionals from other business disciplines who already have secured their seats in the boardroom. The influence of education For the first time, State of the Profession delivered an overview of the educational background of practitioners. The findings reveal that the majority of public relations professionals spent the bulk of their secondary education at a comprehensive school (53%), whilst a third undertook the majority of their secondary education at an independent fee paying school (16%) or a grammar school (16%). In the case of independent schools, this is more than double the national average. When looking at those in senior management, nearly a quarter of all Directors, Partners, MDs and Owners in PR attended an independent fee-paying school in the UK. Looking at further education, public relations professionals are more than likely to be university graduates (84%), and of the 16% who said they hadn’t graduated from university, the majority are those who have spent more than 20 years in PR. Of all graduates, a third of public relations professionals are likely to have gone to a Russell Group University (including Oxbridge). In addition, 40% of all Directors, Partners, MDs and Owners in PR are likely to be Russell Group graduates. t 55% of PR professionals believe “satisfying clients/employers” define professional standards t 79% of PR professionals believe “experience in a PR role” is a professional’s most valuable asset t 53% of PR professionals were educated at comprehensive schools t
  5. 5. 5 STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015 From these findings, a conclusion can be made that those in leadership positions in public relations are disproportionally likely to have experienced private education and have attended a prestigious university. It is also of interest that despite the development of public relations apprenticeships and opportunities for work-based learning, over the next decade it is most likely that the proportion of PR practitioners with a University degree is only going to increase. Happiness, stress and flexibility In looking to understand the pressures and challenges facing PR professionals in the workplace, many indicate that they enjoy aspects of their jobs, but at the same time, reveal themselves to be suffering from escalating levels of stress. Dangerously high levels of workplace stress are more common than not for those in senior management, with 51% of public relations professionals in these roles “extremely stressed” or “very stressed”. In contrast, 63% of PR professionals enjoy their jobs, with only 10% overtly disliking their jobs. There also appears to be an interesting trend that age has a direct effect on happiness, with those over the age of 45 almost 20% more likely to enjoy their jobs than those younger than them. As employers find ways to address happiness and wellbeing in the workplace, the results show that 70% of public relations professionals work in organisations that promote a flexible working culture. Whilst this may appear relatively high to some, in the private sector (both in-house and in consultancies) the results indicate much more needs to be done to make flexible working a reality. Addressing this culture in public relations will be important, yet working flexibly in a client-facing environment can be tough. The demands of the 24/7 news cycle and the need to manage a real-time ‘always on’ press office function mean that maintaining a good work-life balance can be difficult, but there is clear evidence that enabling a culture that encourages a happier and healthier working environment are going to be vital in recruiting and retaining a new generation of practitioners. t 40% of Directors, Partners, MDs and Owners attended a Russell Group University t 51% of senior managers in PR are “extremely stressed” or “very stressed” t 63% of all PR professionals enjoy their jobs t
  6. 6. 6 STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015 What influences the pay packet? The average pay for public relations professionals is £45,633. Consultancy professionals command the industry’s highest wages with salaries averaging £51,835 per year. The mean salary of an in-house private sector professional is £49,654, followed by the in-house not-for- profit/NGO sector averaging at £43,704. Independent practitioners take home an average income of £35,964, whilst in-house public sector employees pocket an average of £40,417 per year. On a regional and national level, London-based professionals earn the highest salaries (£55,849 per year), £13,000 more when compared to any other UK region or nation. Whilst those based in the North earn the lowest average wage (£38,275). Further findings which break down average salaries by sector, seniority, age and educational background, as well as bonuses, are detailed within the full report. (Un)equal pay Acting on last year’s results, the CIPR took a more vocal stance on equal pay and gender balance, with the Institute taking significant steps to redress the imbalance. In this year’s survey this matter was scrutinized in a unique level of detail, with multiple linear regression analysis conducted on a range of independent variables to determine the true gender pay-gap. The findings reveal public relations has a pay inequality gap of £8,483 in favour of men. This means that where the mean difference between male and female salaries is £12,591 (an increase of 2% when compared to 2014), £4,108 can be explained by other factors such as length of service, seniority, parenthood, and higher prevalence of part-time work among women, yet £8,483 remains unaccounted for. Simply, if a man is employed to do one job in public relations and a woman is employed to do exactly the same, because of their gender alone, on average a woman would be paid £8,500 less. In conducting this analysis, the biggest influences on the salaries of public relations professionals also are revealed, which put the above findings in stark context. The first two, level of seniority and number of years in public relations are to be expected, yet gender is the third biggest influence on salary, more so than education background, sector of practice, graduate status, and full-time/part-time status. t £45,633 average salary for PR professionals t £8,483 pure pay inequality gap t
  7. 7. 7 STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015 From these results, it is clear is that the gender pay gap in public relations cannot be framed as an issue solely influenced by maternity or return to work, a higher prevalence of part-time working amongst females, or as the result of a lack of women in leadership positions. As such, to effectively address this inequality, public relations needs to ask itself some uncomfortable questions without looking for the easiest answer. Diversity & inclusion This year’s survey offers the most comprehensive study of diversity in public relations ever conducted. In addition to questions on age, sex and ethnicity, PR professionals were for the first time, asked about their religious beliefs, sexual orientation and where applicable, disability. The overall representation of BME professionals continues to be low. Just 9% of PR professionals identify as being from BME backgrounds. Of this figure, Black, African, Caribbean and Black British professionals make up only 4%, whilst only 2% identified as Asian or Asian British. This survey also provides greater insight into the number of disabled people in PR. 6% of professionals identify as having a disability or long term health condition, significantly lower than the 16% of the UK working population that has a disability, according to government statistics. A more encouraging narrative emerged when practitioners were asked to share their views on the need for diversity and inclusion as part of PR practice. Tellingly, 65% agreed that PR campaigns are more effective when they are created and delivered by teams that are representative of the audiences they seek to engage. This marks a promising sign that PR professionals are beginning accept the business case for diversity and inclusion, even if there remains significant steps for public relations to take to ensure the industry attracts talented professionals from all backgrounds. t 65% agree PR campaigns are more effective when delivered by teams that are representative of the audiences they seek to engage t
  8. 8. 8 STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2015 t Future challenges Technology and innovation dominates the mindsets of public relations professionals when asked about the challenges of the future. Of foremost concern to 22% of practitioners is the ‘changing social and digital landscape’, this is followed by the challenge of the ‘expanding skill set required of professionals’ (13%), the ‘impact of 24/7 newsrooms and “always on” culture’ (12%), and ‘convergence and competition from other industries’ (12%). Interestingly, ‘the poor reputation of public relations in wider society’ (10%) is considered less of a challenge for the future. Least concern is given to a ‘failure to prioritize education and training’ (2%). Social and digital technologies have changed the world of work and the world of business, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Public relations professionals should consider this an opportunity, and lead their organisations in embracing new ways of working to build, establish and maintain valued relationships with their publics. Conclusion State of the Profession 2015 is a narrative that poses two important questions for the business of public relations. First, how do we adopt the rigor of a profession? Convincing practitioners to embrace recognisable professional standards will not only improve our reputation, but also deliver a fairer and happier working environment that nurtures and values its current and future talent. Second, as many practitioners move away from a sole focus on press and publicity, to increasingly influencing and working alongside every part of a modern organisation, how do we go about modernising the application of practice? Public relations has the potential to not just be the mouth of the organisation, but also its eyes and ears, and its conscience. Yet if we fail to recognise this evolving function, and equip practitioners with the appropriate skill set, many risk being left behind. Realising both of these opportunities will be fundamental to the future of practice. 59% see issues influenced by technology and innovation as the biggest future challenge t

×