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STATEOF THE
PROFESSION
2019#StateOfPR
cipr.co.uk
#StateOfPR
For almost a decade, the CIPR’s annual State of the Profession
report has explored the trends, issues and challenges facing
public relations. It is the largest and most statistically robust
investigation of its kind.
From skills and salaries to diversity and gender pay, State of
the Profession delivers industry-leading data on every aspect
of the PR profession.
This year’s research digs deeper into diversity and takes a closer
look at the mental wellbeing of PR professionals. The report,
validated by 2017/18 Office of National Statistics data on
the PR population, delivers a compelling snapshot of the entire
public relations industry.
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 2
#StateOfPR
METHODOLOGY 	
Changes in reporting structure	 04
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY	
An upbeat take on growth and professionalism	 05
PR’s diversity and inclusion problem	 06
PR facing mental health epidemic	 07
PR’s strategic ambitions are a work in progress	 08
EMPLOYMENT DEMOGRAPHICS
Age	 10
Gender	 10
Educational background	 11
Attendance at fee-paying school	 11
Attendance at fee-paying school by age	 11
Professional qualifications in public relations	 11
Years in PR	 12
Seniority	 12
Seniority by gender 	 12
THE PROFESSION
Agency/consultancy recruitment 	 14
Department recruitment 	 14
Challenges facing the industry 	 15
2018 challenges 	 15
Workplace region 	 16
Organisation type 	 17
Organisation type by gender 	 17
Workplace region by organisation type 	 18
SALARY
Annual income 	 20
Average annual income by age 	 20
Average annual income by years in PR 	 20
Average annual income by location 	 21
Average annual income by organisation type 	 21
Average annual income by seniority 	 21
GENDER PAY GAP
Average annual full-time income by seniority
and gender 	 22
Annual income by gender 	 23
Average annual income by years worked 	 23
SKILLS, ATTRIBUTES AND KNOWLEDGE
Public relations activities most commonly 	 25
undertaken in current job
Senior Practitioners	 27
• Perceived strongest skills and experience	 27
• Skills most valued by recruiters	 27
• Perceived strongest attributes	 27
• Attributes most valued by recruiters	 27
• Perceived strongest areas of professional knowledge 	 27
• Specialist knowledge most valued by recruiters	 27
Junior Roles	 28
• Perceived strongest skills and experience	 28
• Skills most valued by recruiters	 28
• Perceived strongest attributes	 28
• Attributes most valued by recruiters	 28
• Perceived strongest areas of professional knowledge	 28
• Specialist knowledge most valued by recruiters	 28
Senior practitioner board responsibilities	 29
Responsibilities of senior in-house practitioners	 29
Responsibilities of senior consultancy/agency 	 30
practitioners
Responsibilities of independent practitioners	 30
STRESS AND HEALTH
Physical disability	 32
Stressfulness of job	 32
Stressfulness of job by seniority	 33
Stressfulness of job by organisation type	 33
Factors making jobs stressful	 34
Diagnosed mental health condition	 34
Absence from work on the grounds of stress,
anxiety or depression	 34
Workplace mental health policy	 35
Workplace mental health policy by organisation type	 35
Rating of contribution to work to diagnosed condition	 36
Discussed mental health concerns with manager	 36
Result of discussing mental health concerns
with manager	 36
DIVERSITY
Practitioner ethnicity	 39
Sexual orientation	 39
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 3
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 4#StateOfPR
METHODOLOGY
For the second year running, the CIPR chose
to work with Chalkstream Ltd, an agency
with a research specialism led by a Chartered
PR Practitioner.
Last year’s report was supported by a second
study looking into the number of public relations
professionals based on the Office of National
Statistics (ONS) Annual Population Survey.
This provided a higher level of assurance for the
survey and the methodology used. It was decided
to not repeat the ONS research each year but to
benchmark against it in the future for the purposes
of monitoring and ensuring the published data
remains credible.
Chalkstream surveyed 1,503 respondents
(compared to 1,752 in 2018) between 9 November
and 14 December 2018. Invitations to complete
the survey – which was incentivised by a prize
draw for £100 of Amazon vouchers – were emailed
to CIPR members and those signed up to the
Institute’s non-member mailing list.
Responses were screened for ‘speeding’ and
answer quality. As a result one response was
quarantined and disregarded in the analysis.
Three new areas of information were introduced
this year:
	 The numbers of practitioners who
attended a fee-paying school
	
	Exploring details of professional
qualifications
	
	 Unpacking the sharp rise in reported
mental health issues from the previous
year’s survey
1
2
3
Changes in reporting structure
A small number of changes have been made to the
way results are reported compared to the 2018’s
State of the Profession report. These are:
• Intern, trainee, executive, associate and officer roles
are described in this report as ‘junior’ rather than
‘non-manager’ roles. As set out in the recruitment
section, one fifth of respondents in these roles
play a part in recruitment, which suggests line-
management responsibilities among at least
some of this group. Thus, ‘non-manager’ is not an
appropriate descriptor.
• Only two interns/trainees responded to the survey
invitation; their results do not appear in the tables
or charts analysing response according to role.
Percentages in data tables have been rounded up or
down where relevant and may not add up to 100% in
all cases.
#StateOfPR
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The profession continues to grow; more than
half of agencies are growing and in-house PR
departments are more likely to have grown than
reduced in size.
Average salaries amongst full-time employees
grew by almost £1,500 to £53,044 per year.
The average salary for all practitioners is
£51,804 (median figure is £30,000).
There is, once again, a close correlation between
region and income; those working outside the UK,
in the Channel Islands and in London earn the
most with those in Wales and Northern Ireland
earning the least.
There is evidence to suggest a move towards
professionalism. Those who hold CIPR membership,
professional qualifications and partake in Continuing
Professional Development (CPD) are financially
rewarded. Chartered Practitioners earn an average
of £18,000 more per year than the average
respondent, while those with a professional
qualification earn an average £3,800 more.
Full time CIPR members earn £2,963 more than
non-members.
	
Practitioners identify their strengths as copywriting,
strategic thinking and research, planning and
implementation. There remains a noticeable
difference, particularly at a senior level, between
what employers want and what practitioners have
to offer; at a junior practitioner level, recruiters
value ‘technical and digital’, ‘research and evaluation’
and ‘project and account management’ skills,
attributes and knowledge highly but practitioners
do not identify these as strengths. At a senior
level this gap exists on matters such as ‘research,
evaluation and measurement’, ‘PR and corporate
governance’ and ‘people management’.
AN UPBEAT TAKE ON GROWTH
AND PROFESSIONALISM
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 5
#StateOfPR
PR’S DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PROBLEM
Public relations is failing to make progress on
diversity. More than nine in ten (92%) now classify
themselves as white – compared to 88% in 2018
and 90% in 2017. This is despite the widely held
belief that public relations is more effective when
practiced by teams comprised of ethnically diverse
professionals. The results raise serious questions
over public relations’ ability to keep pace with the
changing nature of the society it seeks to engage.
The results are compounded by data on
respondents who attended fee-paying schools.
More than a quarter (28%) of respondents
said they had attended a fee-paying school.
This is four times higher than the national
UK average of 7% and a significant rise on the
16% figure reported in the 2015/16 State of the
Profession report.
Crucially, there is a strong correlation between
attendance at fee-paying schools and career
progression and pay. Those who attended a
private school are more likely on average to hold
a senior post and be paid accordingly compared
to those who did not.
	
The industry is two-thirds (67%) female but
men occupy nearly half (44%) of the industry’s
most senior roles. As in previous years, the
data suggests women face difficulty in obtaining
the highest-paying roles, but there is cause for
optimism on the gender pay gap.
	
The average difference between full-time income
for males and females, before regression analysis,
is now £9,991 – £579 less than 2018 and £2,325
than 2017. When a multiple linear regression analysis
of full-time income is conducted, which takes into
consideration all factors that influence pay such as
seniority and length of service, the true gender
pay gap is £5,202 – £1,523 less than in 2018.
	
Together these findings, each unique in their
causes and required responses, paint a picture
of a profession which lacks self-awareness and
consciously or unconsciously disadvantages
people based on who they are rather than what
they do. While the profession may look to
changing recruiting processes, these statistics beg
the question; does public relations suffer from a
cultural problem, resulting in a failure to support
and retain diverse talent?
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 6
of respondents said
they had attended
a fee-paying school.
#StateOfPR
said they had taken sickness absence
from work on the grounds of stress,
anxiety or depression.
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 7
PR FACING MENTAL HEALTH EPIDEMIC
Last year’s survey highlighted a 10% annual rise
in the number of practitioners living with a mental
health condition. This year’s survey explored those
concerns further and, with the help of the mental
health charity, Mind, a series of questions were
developed which separated matters related to stress
and mental health.
Just over one fifth (21%) of respondents live with,
or have previously lived with, a diagnosed mental
health condition. Based on the Office of National
Statistics UK PR population data, this percentage
equates to more than 16,000 PR professionals.
More than half (53%) of respondents said their work
contributes highly to their diagnosis.
While employers are commonly supportive in
these circumstances, an alarming number are yet
to develop mental-health policies to support
employees. Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents
who discussed concerns about their mental health
with a manager said that nothing happened as a
result of those conversations.
PR is an industry that the majority of practitioners
find stressful, with workload, unsociable hours and
unrealistic expectations driving stress. 63% of
respondents rated the stressfulness of their job
at 7 out of 10 or above. The average score among
practitioners was 6.7. Just shy of a quarter (23%)
said they had taken sickness absence from work
on the grounds of stress, anxiety or depression.
#StateOfPR
Despite calls for public relations professionals to
shift away from tactics towards strategic influence,
practitioners are still overwhelmingly engaged in
tactical delivery. In both senior and junior roles,
‘copywriting and editing’ and ‘media relations’
are the two most commonly undertaken activities.
The activities commonly undertaken are consistent
with last year’s findings, however there was a
significant fall in the number of PR professionals
saying they spend most or some of their time on
social media relations – this fell from the 5th most
commonly undertaken activity to the 9th.
A majority of senior in-house practitioners (59%),
consultancy and agency practitioners (57%) and
independent practitioners (68%) influence their
organisations or clients’ overall business strategy.
When asked if they are directly responsible for
business strategy these figures drop significantly
– 4% for senior in-house practitioners, 23% for
consultancy and agency practitioners and 16%
for independent practitioners.
Under-representation of public relations
practitioners at board level was identified as the
second biggest challenge facing the profession
(down from first place in the previous two years).
Less than 1 in 10 (9%) of respondents in senior
roles are executive members of a Board (compared
to 11% in 2018) and 5% are non-executive members
(up slightly from 2018). Amongst senior practitioners
just under 40% are directly answerable to one or
more Board of Directors.
PR’S STRATEGIC AMBITIONS
ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 8
Amongst senior practitioners
just under 40% are directly
answerable to one or more
Board of Directors.
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 9#StateOfPR
01
EMPLOYMENT
DEMOGRAPHICS
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 10#StateOfPR
This section explores the PR population by age,
gender, region and education. The issue of social
mobility was explored via private education.
This section examines the split between in-house
and agency practitioners as well as their role, level
of seniority and years of experience.
The ONS data research from the previous year’s
research showed there were around 71,000
practitioners working in public relations in 2016.
The profession has continued to grow so it can be
assumed this figure is now higher.
Of the 1,503 responses, 138 were retired or
students and not currently working in public
relations and 263 respondents partially completed
the survey. 50% of those who responded they
no longer worked in PR had recently left the
sector for either a break in career to work in
other sectors entirely.
16 to 24 = 4%
25 to 34 = 31%
35 to 44 = 31%
45 to 54 = 23%
55 to 64 = 10%
Over 64 = 1%
Male 33%
Female 67%
EMPLOYMENT
DEMOGRAPHICS
Age Group %
Gender
4%1%
31%
33%
67%
31%
23%
10%
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 11#StateOfPR
I have an undergraduate degree in a subject other
than public relations or communications 62%
I have a Masters degree in a subject other than
public relations or communications 20%
I have an undergraduate degree in public relations
or communications 14%
I have a Masters degree in public relations or
communications 13%
I have another university qualification 12%
I do not have a higher education qualification 7%
I have a Doctorate/PHD in a subject other than
public relations or communications 1%
I have a Doctorate/PHD in public relations or
communications 1%
These figures show that PR
professionals over the age of 55 and
under the age of 25 are most likely
to have attended a fee-paying school.
This trend suggests that public
relations may be disproportionately
represented by privately educated
professionals for years to come.
Yes 28%
No 71%
Don’t know / Prefer not to say 2%
Educational background
Attendance at fee-paying school
Attendance at fee-paying school by age group
AGE	 YES	 NO	 DON’T KNOW
Over 64	 34%	 64%	 2%
55 to 64	 34%	 64%	 2%
45 to 54	 28%	 70%	 3%
35 to 44	 21%	 77%	 2%
25 to 34	 30%	 69%	 1%
16 to 24	 33%	 65%	 2%
Yes 45%
No 53%
Don’t know 2%
Professional qualification in public relations
28%
71%
2%
45%
53%
2%
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 12#StateOfPR
0–4 	 18%
5–8 	 21%
9–12 	 16%
13–16 	 13%
17–20 	 13%
21+ 	 20%
ROLE	 MALE	FEMALE
Assistant/Executive 	 3%	 6%
Officer 	 13%	 21%
Manager 	 35%	 33%
Head of Communications/Associate Director 	 19%	 19%
Director/Partner/Managing Director 	 27%	 16%
Other 	 4%	 5%
ROLE	%
Assistant/Executive 	 5%
Officer 	 18%
Manager 	 34%
Head of Communications/Associate Director 	 19%
Director/Partner/Managing Director 	 20%
Other 	 4%
Years in PR
Seniority
Seniority by gender
18%
16%
34%
19%
20%
13%
13%
20%
21%
5%4%
3% 6%5%
21%
4%
13%
35%
33%
19%
16%
19%
27%
18%
13
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 #StateOfPR
02	
THE
PROFESSION
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 14#StateOfPR
The growth in the profession continues from
previous years with agencies/consultancies and
in-house teams more likely to have grown or
remained stable in the last year than those that
have reduced in size. This is despite a backdrop
of economic uncertainty and points to a recognition
of the value of public relations amongst businesses.
The challenges to the profession remain largely
the same from the previous year with the changing
social and digital landscape now seen as the biggest
challenge that practitioners face.
This section also reveals where public relations is
practised geographically, as well as the types of
organisation practitioners work for.
STATUS	%
Growing 	 58%
Stable 	 35%
Reducing in size 	 7%
I don’t know 	 1%
STATUS	%
Growing 	 27%
Stable 	 56%
Reducing in size 	 13%
I don’t know 	 3%
Agency/consultancy recruitment
Department recruitment
THE PROFESSION
RECRUITMENT
7%
13%
3%
1%
58%
27%
56%
35%
#StateOfPR
RANK 	 ITEM
1	 Changing social and digital landscape
2	 Under-representation of public relations practitioners
	 at board level
3	 Not being seen as a professional discipline
4	 An expanding skill set required of professionals
5	 Convergence with other disciplines
6	 Unethical public relations practice
7	 Emergence of fake news
8	 Lack of analytical skills
9	 Lack of diversity amongst PR professionals
10	 A lack of collective self-belief and confidence
11	 Automation/Artificial Intelligence
Last year’s challenges
1. Under-representation of public relations
practitioners at board level
2. Changing social and digital landscape
3. Unethical public relations practice
4. An expanding skill set required of professionals
5. Not being seen as a professional discipline
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 15
CHALLENGES FACING THE INDUSTRY
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 16#StateOfPR
Workplace region
REGION	%
• Channel Islands 	 2%
• East of England 	 5%
• East Midlands 	 4%
• London 	 26%
• North East 	 3%
• Northern Ireland 	 3%
• North West 	 6%
• Scotland 	 9%
• South East 	 11%
• South West 	 9%
• Wales 	 5%
• West Midlands 	 6%
• Yorkshire and the Humber 	 4%
• Outside of the UK 	 8%
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 17#StateOfPR
CURRENT EMPLOYMENT	 %
I work in-house in the private sector 	 25%
I work in-house in the public sector 	 27%
I work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation / NGO 	 19%
I work in a consultancy / agency 	 16%
I am an independent practitioner 	 13%
RESPONSE	%
I work in-house in the private sector 	 28%
I work in-house in the public sector 	 20%
I work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation / NGO 	 18%
I work in a consultancy/agency 	 17%
I am an independent practitioner 	 17%
RESPONSE	%
I work in-house in the private sector 	 24%
I work in-house in the public sector 	 30%
I work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation / NGO 	 19%
I work in a consultancy/agency 	 16%
I am an independent practitioner 	 11%
Organisation type
Organisation type by gender – men
Organisation type by gender – women
25%
28%
24%
30%
19%
16%
11%
20%18%
17%
17%
27%
19%
16%
13%
#StateOfPR
Workplace region by organisation type
REGION
IN-HOUSE
PRIVATESECTOR
IN-HOUSE
PUBLICSECTOR
IN-HOUSENOT
FORPROFIT
ORGANISATION
/NGO
CONSULTANCY
/AGENCY
INDEPENDENT
PRACTITIONER
Outside the UK 	 38% 	 17% 	 7% 	 20% 	 18%
Yorkshire and Humber 	 20% 	 29% 	 10% 	 29% 	 12%
West Midlands 	 23% 	 29%	 19%	 19% 	 10%
Wales 	 13% 	 36% 	 27% 	 15% 	 9%
South West 	 21% 	 35% 	 20% 	 14% 	 9%
South East 	 21% 	 31% 	 12% 	 13% 	 22%
Scotland 	 27%	 30% 	 25% 	 11% 	 8%
North West 	 32% 	 37% 	 12% 	 8%	 12%
Northern Ireland 	 8% 	 35% 	 19% 	 30% 	 8%
North East 	 11% 	 32% 	 19% 	 14% 	 24%
London 	 32% 	 18% 	 25% 	 15% 	 10%
East Midlands 	 17% 	 21% 	 19% 	 27% 	 15%
East of England 	 21% 	 37% 	 16% 	 10% 	 18%
Channel Islands 	 33% 	 0% 	 61% 	 0% 	 6%
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 18
03	
SALARY
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 19#StateOfPR
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 20#StateOfPR
AVERAGE INCOME FORMULA
Annual income (including dividends and/or bonuses) before tax
Average (all)
Average (full time practitioners only)
Mode (all)
Median (all)
£51,804
£53,044
£40,000
£30,000
ANNUAL INCOME AGE GROUP
Average annual income by age
16 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
Over 64
£25,257
£40,178
£53,368
£63,109
£68,713
£81,000
ANNUAL INCOME YEARS IN PR
Average annual income by years in PR
0 to 4
5 to 8
9 to 12
13 to 16
17 to 20
21+
£31,627
£39,349
£52,352
£57,309
£60,727
£76,983
SALARY
This section examines the average salaries
of public relations professionals by age, role,
experience, location and organisation type.
Although incomes have grown slightly this has
been at a slower rate compared to recent years.
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 21#StateOfPR
AVERAGE INCOME REGION
Average annual income by location
Channel Islands
North East
Scotland
East Midlands
North West
South East
East of England
Northern Ireland
South West
West Midlands
London
Outside of the UK
Wales
Yorkshire and the Humber
£59,422
£45,970
£43,403
£40,271
£41,468
£51,996
£42,868
£40,805
£43,727
£43,827
£66,648
£75,058
£37,878
£43,051
ANNUAL INCOME
ANNUAL INCOME
ORGANISATION
ROLE
Average annual income by organisation type
Average annual income by seniority
Independent practitioner
Assistant/Executive
Work in a consultancy/agency
Officer
Work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation/NGO
Manager
Work in-house in the private sector
Head of Communications/Associate Director
Work in-house in the public sector
Director/Partner/Managing Director
£54,774
£25,196
£68,593
£30,985
£44,496
£41,615
£54,638
£61,849
£44,292
£94,395
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 22#StateOfPR
Though PR’s gender pay gap persists, this year’s
data suggests the gap is shrinking. A multiple
linear regression model, which factors in the
variables including years of experience and
seniority, detailed below, has been applied
to the income data of those working full-time.
This calculation reveals women working full-time
earn £5,202 less per year than men, which is
lower than the £6,725 difference reported in 2018.
GENDER PAY GAP
AVERAGE
Average annual full-time income by seniority and gender
ROLE
£24,114
£28,950
-£4,836
Male
Female
Difference
Assistant/Executive
£31,190
£31,971
-£781
Male
Female
Difference
Officer
£41,211
£45,449
-£4,238
Male
Female
Difference
Manager
£60,157
£68,200
-£8,043
Male
Female
Difference
Head of Communications/Associate Director
£101,463
£98,846
£2,617
Male
Female
Difference
Director/Partner/Managing Director
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 23#StateOfPR
GENDER PAY GAP CONTINUED
£52,126
£73,728
-£21,602
Male
Female
Difference
13 to 16
£58,386
£71,795
-£13,409
Male
Female
Difference
17 to 20
£79,145
£84,802
-£5,657
Male
Female
Difference
21+
AVERAGE
Average annual income by years worked (full-time practitioners)
YEARS WORKED IN PR
0 to 4
£29,295
£38,671
-£9,376
Male
Female
Difference
5 to 8
£38,681
£44,029
-£5,348
Male
Female
Difference
9 to 12
£57,233
£49,633
£7,600
Male
Female
Difference
AVERAGE
MEDIAN
Annual income by gender (full-time practitioners)
Male
Male
Female
Female
Difference
Difference
£59,726
£40,000
£49,735
£45,000
-£9,991
£5,000
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 24#StateOfPR
04	
SKILLS, ATTRIBUTES
AND KNOWLEDGE
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 25#StateOfPR
Respondents were asked to reveal how they spent
their time by selecting from a range of specific
work activities. Those with a role in recruiting staff
were asked which skills, attributes and specialist
knowledge they value most when hiring junior and
senior staff. The options were developed using
the Global Alliance’s ‘Global Body of Knowledge’
framework. All respondents were also asked to list
their strongest skills, attributes and areas of
specialist knowledge, and the results compared
to see where the biggest gaps are between what
employers want and individuals have to offer.
Public relations activities most commonly undertaken in current job
RANK ACTIVITY
% OF
RESPONDENTS
CITING THIS
AS A COMMON
ACTIVITY
MOVEMENT
FROM PREVIOUS
YEAR (LAST YEAR’S
POSITION)
1 Copywriting and editing 57% =(1)
2 Media relations 50% +1 (3)
3 PR programmes/campaigns 47% -1 (2)
4 Crisis, issues management 42% +2 (6)
5 Strategic planning 38% -1 (4)
6 Internal/employee communication 37% +2 (8)
7 Community and stakeholder relations 35% =(7)
8 Events, conferences 31% +1 (9)
9 Social media relations 28% -4 (5)
10 Management of people, resources 26% =(10)
11 Marketing 18% +1 (12)
12 Research, evaluation, measurement 15% -1 (11)
13 Project, account, client management 15% =(13)
14 Public affairs 13% =(14)
15 Defining mission/values, corporate governance 9% =(15)
16 Technical/digital (exc social media) 6% =(16)
17 Financial, investor relations 4% =(17)
Social media relations fell by four places from 5th to 9th. Crisis, issues management climbed
from 6th place last year to 4th place this year. Internal communications jumped from 8th place
last year to 6th place this year.
SKILLS, ATTRIBUTES
AND KNOWLEDGE
#StateOfPR
Senior roles – manager, head, associate director,
managing director, partner
Junior roles – intern, trainee,
executive, assistant, officer
RANK RESPONSE %
1 Copywriting and editing 50%
2 Media relations 48%
3 PR programmes/campaigns 48%
4 Strategic planning 46%
5 Crisis, issues management 45%
RANK ACTIVITY %
1 Copywriting and editing 73%
2 Media relations 58%
3 Social media relations 45%
4 PR programmes/campaigns 45%
5 Events, conferences 41%
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 26
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 27#StateOfPR
PERCEIVED STRONGEST SKILLS
AND EXPERIENCE
SKILLS MOST VALUED
BY RECRUITERS
Copywriting and editing 55% Strategic Planning 70%
Strategic planning 51% Management of people, resources 69%
Crisis, issues management 45% Crisis, issues management 57%
Media relations 45% PR programmes/campaigns 42%
PR programmes/campaigns 42% Research, evaluation, measurement 31%
PERCEIVED STRONGEST ATTRIBUTES ATTRIBUTES MOST VALUED
BY RECRUITERS
Strategic thinking 61% Strategic thinking 91%
Problem solving 40% Problem solving 48%
Emotional intelligence 39% Emotional intelligence 41%
Writing ability 38% Active, critical listening 30%
Creativity 32% Oral communication and presentation 26%
PERCEIVED STRONGEST AREAS OF
PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE
SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE MOST
VALUED BY RECRUITERS
Research, planning, implementation,
evaluation
57% Research, planning, implementation,
evaluation
70%
Crisis communications management 48% Business acumen 58%
Business acumen 39% Crisis communications management 57%
Media and social channels, use of
technology
38% Media and social channels, use of
technology
31%
Communication models and theories 26% Communication models and theories 27%
SENIOR PRACTITIONERS
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 28#StateOfPR
PERCEIVED STRONGEST SKILLS
AND EXPERIENCE
SKILLS MOST VALUED
BY RECRUITERS
Copywriting and editing 67% Copywriting and editing 82%
Media relations 44% Social media relations 62%
Social media relations 38% Media relations 52%
PR programmes/campaigns 37% PR programmes/campaigns 42%
Internal/employee communication 31% Research, evaluation, measurement 28%
PERCEIVED STRONGEST ATTRIBUTES ATTRIBUTES MOST VALUED
BY RECRUITERS
Writing ability 49% Attention to detail 58%
Attention to detail 41% Writing ability 56%
Creativity 39% Creativity 46%
Strategic thinking 38% Emotional intelligence 28%
Emotional intelligence 37% Problem solving 26%
PERCEIVED STRONGEST AREAS OF
PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE
SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE MOST
VALUED BY RECRUITERS
Research, planning, implementation,
evaluation
60% Research, planning, implementation,
evaluation
70%
Something else 55% Business acumen 58%
Crisis communications management 28% Crisis communications management 57%
Communication models and theories 27% Media and social channels, use of
technology
31%
Business acumen 13% Communication models and theories 27%
JUNIOR ROLES
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 29#StateOfPR
	RESPONSIBILITY	 %
	 I am directly answerable to one or more
	 Boards of Directors 	 40%
	 I am a non-executive member of a Board of Directors 	5%
	 I am an executive member of a Board of Directors 	 9%
	 None of the above 	 51%
Senior practitioner board level responsibilities
Responsibilities of senior in-house practitioners
I AM
RESPONSIBLE
FOR
I INFLUENCE
BUT I AM NOT
RESPONSIBLE
FOR
I DO NOT
INFLUENCE
The marketing budget 27% 40% 34%
The public relations budget 48% 38% 14%
Other budgets in the organisation 23% 36% 41%
The communication strategy 62% 36% 2%
The organisations’ business strategy 4% 59% 37%
40%51%
9% 5%
SENIOR PRACTITIONER RESPONSIBILITIES
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 30#StateOfPR
Responsibilities of senior consultancy/agency practitioners
I AM
RESPONSIBLE
FOR
I INFLUENCE
BUT I AM NOT
RESPONSIBLE
FOR
I DO NOT
INFLUENCE
The organisation’s budget 39% 36% 26%
Client marketing budgets 30% 49% 21%
Client public relations budgets 46% 43% 11%
Client communication strategies 69% 30% 1%
The organisation’s business strategy 40% 46% 14%
Client business strategies 27% 57% 16%
Responsibilities of independent practitioners
I AM
RESPONSIBLE
FOR
I INFLUENCE
BUT I AM NOT
RESPONSIBLE
FOR
I DO NOT
INFLUENCE
Client marketing budgets 16% 48% 36%
Client public relations budgets 24% 58% 18%
Client communication strategies 55% 43% 2%
Client business strategies 16% 68% 16%
SENIOR PRACTITIONER RESPONSIBILITIES
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 31#StateOfPR
05	
STRESS AND
HEALTH
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 32#StateOfPR
A series of questions were developed with the
mental health charity, Mind, to explore the reported
increase in PR professionals experiencing a mental
health issue. This exercise saw the separation of
issues related to stress and mental health conditions.
These issues were explored further by seniority
and organisation type, as well as time taken off
work as a result.
The results point to a profession which is not
only stressful to work in, but fails to provide
support to those living with a mental health
condition. The data also suggests public relations
plays an active role in damaging the mental health
of practitioners.
	RESPONSE	 %
	 Yes 		 6%
	 No 		 92%
	 Prefer not to say 	 2%
	RESPONSE	 %
	1	 1%
	2	 2%
	3	 5%
	4	 5%
	5	 11%
	6	 15%
	7	 25%
	8	 26%
	9	 9%
	10	 2%
Physical disability
Stressfulness of job (rating 1 lowest to 10 highest)
Average rating: 6.7
6%
2%
92%
11%
15%
25%
26%
9% 5%
5%
1%
2%2%
#StateOfPR
AVERAGE RATING ROLE
Stressfulness of job by seniority
5.9
6.8
7.3
6.7
6.4
Assistant/Executive
Officer
Manager
Head of Communications/Associate Director
Director/Partner/Managing Director
Stressfulness of job by organisation type
ORGANISATION
PROPORTION OF
RESPONDENTS RATING
STRESSFULNESS OF WORK
AT 7+
I work in-house in the private sector 64%
I work in-house in the public sector 67%
I work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation / NGO 59%
I work in a consultancy/agency 73%
I am an independent practitioner 44%
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 33
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 34#StateOfPR
Factors making jobs stressful
FACTOR
% OF RESPONDENTS
CITING AS A CAUSE OF
WORKPLACE STRESS
Heavy/unmanageable workload 59%
Unrealistic deadlines or expectations from colleagues 46%
Unsociable hours/'always on' culture 32%
Unrealistic deadlines or expectations from clients 32%
Conflicting responsibilities 28%
Lack of clarity about role 27%
Unfair distribution of work 21%
Under-utilisation of skills/boring or repetitive work 20%
Poor supervision 19%
Limited influence over role (including performance targets) 18%
Something else 14%
Job insecurity 12%
Excessive travel time 12%
Inflexible schedule 6%
RESPONSE %
Yes 21%
No 75%
Prefer not to say 4%
RESPONSE %
Yes 23%
No 76%
Prefer not to say 2%
Diagnosed mental health condition
Absence from work on the grounds
of stress, anxiety or depression
21% 23%
76%75%
4% 2%
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 35#StateOfPR
Absence from work on the grounds of stress, anxiety
or depression by organisation
ORGANISATION TYPE YES NO
PREFER
NOT TO
SAY
Independent Practitioner 21% 79% 1%
Consultancy/agency 18% 81% 1%
In-house not-for-profit / NGO 23% 74% 3%
In-house public sector 24% 74% 2%
In-house private sector 24% 75% 2%
Workplace mental-health policy by organisation type
ORGANISATION TYPE YES NO
DON’T
KNOW
Consultancy/agency 23% 49% 29%
In-house not for profit organisation/NGO 45% 26% 29%
In-house public sector 74% 11% 15%
In-house private sector 59% 25% 16%
Workplace mental-health policy
RESPONSE %
Yes 54%
No 25%
Don’t know 21%
54%
25%
21%
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 36#StateOfPR
Result of discussing mental health concerns with manager
RESPONSE %
Counselling 36%
Other 30%
Time off 28%
Nothing 23%
Work re-allocation 19%
Training 3%
Discussed mental health concerns with manager
RESPONSE %
Yes 53%
No 44%
Don’t know /
prefer not to say
2%
	RESPONSE	 %
	1	 13%
	2	 6%
	3	 5%
	4	 5%
	5	 7%
	6	 8%
	7	 10%
	8	 19%
	9	 10%
	10	 14%
Rating of contribution of work to diagnosed condition
13%
53%
36%
30%
28%
23%
19%
44%
2%
6%
5%
5%
7%
8%10%
19%
10%
14%
3%
#StateOfPR
The State of the Profession survey places a renewed
spotlight on increased reporting of mental issues in
the PR industry. Whatever is driving the increase –
be it a greater willingness to talk about mental health
or a previously hidden truth about our sector – we can
say with certainty that this comes at a huge human and
financial cost to our business.
The CIPR Health group calls on employers to do more
to recognise, support and nurture the mental health
needs of their employees. Talk openly about mental
health and act today to adapt the work environment
to meet the needs of staff.
It is in everyone’s best interests to support good
mental and physical health: a happier and healthier
workforce will be more productive, have reduced
sickness and retain skilled talent. We owe it to ourselves
to look after each other.
Rachel Royall
Chart.PR MCIPR,
Chair of CIPR Health
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 37
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 38#StateOfPR
06	
DIVERSITY
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 39#StateOfPR
Practitioner ethnicity
ETHNICITY %
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British 81%
Irish 3%
Gypsy or Traveller 1%
Any other White background 7%
White and Black Caribbean 1%
White and Asian 1%
Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background 1%
Indian 2%
Pakistani 1%
Any other Asian background 1%
African 3%
Caribbean 1%
Any other Black/African/Caribbean background 1%
Arab 1%
Any other ethnic group 1%
Year after year PR professionals reveal their belief
that public relations is more effective when
practiced by diverse teams. Despite this, the
profession is becoming less diverse, both in
terms of its ethnicity and sexuality.
The vast majority (92%) of practitioners classify
themselves as white, compared to 88% in 2015.
This year 89% of practitioner respondents
identified as heterosexual, up from 85% the
previous year.
DIVERSITY
Sexual orientation
RESPONSE %
Heterosexual 89%
Lesbian 1%
Gay 3%
Bisexual 2%
Asexual 1%
Other 1%
Prefer not to say 5% 89%
1%
3%
2%
5%
#StateOfPR
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 40
The PR industry agrees that diversity is important
for attracting the best talent to bring fresh thinking,
creativity and insights into new audiences, but our
actions speak louder than our words. And our actions
are building a profession of white public school alumni;
we are less diverse than we’ve been for the past five
years, with 92% of our industry being white and nearly
one in three practitioners (28%) coming from fee paying
schools, compared to only 16% in 2015.
Who can make our industry a fairer place where there is
opportunity for all? You! Every manager, every employee,
every agency leader – we all need to challenge
outdated and bias recruitment and retention policies.
We are all responsible for shaping the future of our
industry by establishing workplace cultures in which all
talent is judged fairly and given an equal opportunity
for progression. Without those inside changing the
status quo, those outside will remain locked out and
our profession will be the poorer for it.
Avril Lee MCIPR,
Chair of the CIPR Diversity
and Inclusion Forum
STATE OF THE
PROFESSION
2019 41#StateOfPR
ABOUT CIPR
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
was founded in 1948, the CIPR is the Royal
Chartered professional body for public relations
practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR
is the largest membership organisation for PR
practitioners outside of North America. By size
of turnover and number of individually registered
members, we are the leading representative
body for the PR profession and industry
in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public
relations by making its members accountable
to their employers and the public through a code
of conduct and searchable public register, setting
standards through training, qualifications, awards
and the production of best practice and skills
guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional
Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered
Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).
ABOUT CHALKSTREAM
Chalkstream specialises in in-depth, intelligent
reputation and market research for education
and membership body/trade association clients.
Our work involves secondary and primary
research exploring attitudes, awareness and
behaviours among diverse groups. We turn
expert research design, first-class fieldwork
and powerful analysis into clear, straightforward,
practical recommendations that drive intelligent
decision-making.
Current and former clients include NATO, City 
Guilds Group, Association of Colleges,National
Union of Students, Association of School and
College Leaders, ZSL, University of Sussex,
the UK Government.
CIPR
4th Floor, 85 Tottenham Court Road,
London W1T 4TQ
+44 (0)20 7631 6900
#StateOfPR
cipr.co.uk

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CIPR State of the Profession 2019

  • 2. #StateOfPR For almost a decade, the CIPR’s annual State of the Profession report has explored the trends, issues and challenges facing public relations. It is the largest and most statistically robust investigation of its kind. From skills and salaries to diversity and gender pay, State of the Profession delivers industry-leading data on every aspect of the PR profession. This year’s research digs deeper into diversity and takes a closer look at the mental wellbeing of PR professionals. The report, validated by 2017/18 Office of National Statistics data on the PR population, delivers a compelling snapshot of the entire public relations industry. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 2
  • 3. #StateOfPR METHODOLOGY Changes in reporting structure 04 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY An upbeat take on growth and professionalism 05 PR’s diversity and inclusion problem 06 PR facing mental health epidemic 07 PR’s strategic ambitions are a work in progress 08 EMPLOYMENT DEMOGRAPHICS Age 10 Gender 10 Educational background 11 Attendance at fee-paying school 11 Attendance at fee-paying school by age 11 Professional qualifications in public relations 11 Years in PR 12 Seniority 12 Seniority by gender 12 THE PROFESSION Agency/consultancy recruitment 14 Department recruitment 14 Challenges facing the industry 15 2018 challenges 15 Workplace region 16 Organisation type 17 Organisation type by gender 17 Workplace region by organisation type 18 SALARY Annual income 20 Average annual income by age 20 Average annual income by years in PR 20 Average annual income by location 21 Average annual income by organisation type 21 Average annual income by seniority 21 GENDER PAY GAP Average annual full-time income by seniority and gender 22 Annual income by gender 23 Average annual income by years worked 23 SKILLS, ATTRIBUTES AND KNOWLEDGE Public relations activities most commonly 25 undertaken in current job Senior Practitioners 27 • Perceived strongest skills and experience 27 • Skills most valued by recruiters 27 • Perceived strongest attributes 27 • Attributes most valued by recruiters 27 • Perceived strongest areas of professional knowledge 27 • Specialist knowledge most valued by recruiters 27 Junior Roles 28 • Perceived strongest skills and experience 28 • Skills most valued by recruiters 28 • Perceived strongest attributes 28 • Attributes most valued by recruiters 28 • Perceived strongest areas of professional knowledge 28 • Specialist knowledge most valued by recruiters 28 Senior practitioner board responsibilities 29 Responsibilities of senior in-house practitioners 29 Responsibilities of senior consultancy/agency 30 practitioners Responsibilities of independent practitioners 30 STRESS AND HEALTH Physical disability 32 Stressfulness of job 32 Stressfulness of job by seniority 33 Stressfulness of job by organisation type 33 Factors making jobs stressful 34 Diagnosed mental health condition 34 Absence from work on the grounds of stress, anxiety or depression 34 Workplace mental health policy 35 Workplace mental health policy by organisation type 35 Rating of contribution to work to diagnosed condition 36 Discussed mental health concerns with manager 36 Result of discussing mental health concerns with manager 36 DIVERSITY Practitioner ethnicity 39 Sexual orientation 39 STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 3
  • 4. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 4#StateOfPR METHODOLOGY For the second year running, the CIPR chose to work with Chalkstream Ltd, an agency with a research specialism led by a Chartered PR Practitioner. Last year’s report was supported by a second study looking into the number of public relations professionals based on the Office of National Statistics (ONS) Annual Population Survey. This provided a higher level of assurance for the survey and the methodology used. It was decided to not repeat the ONS research each year but to benchmark against it in the future for the purposes of monitoring and ensuring the published data remains credible. Chalkstream surveyed 1,503 respondents (compared to 1,752 in 2018) between 9 November and 14 December 2018. Invitations to complete the survey – which was incentivised by a prize draw for £100 of Amazon vouchers – were emailed to CIPR members and those signed up to the Institute’s non-member mailing list. Responses were screened for ‘speeding’ and answer quality. As a result one response was quarantined and disregarded in the analysis. Three new areas of information were introduced this year: The numbers of practitioners who attended a fee-paying school Exploring details of professional qualifications Unpacking the sharp rise in reported mental health issues from the previous year’s survey 1 2 3 Changes in reporting structure A small number of changes have been made to the way results are reported compared to the 2018’s State of the Profession report. These are: • Intern, trainee, executive, associate and officer roles are described in this report as ‘junior’ rather than ‘non-manager’ roles. As set out in the recruitment section, one fifth of respondents in these roles play a part in recruitment, which suggests line- management responsibilities among at least some of this group. Thus, ‘non-manager’ is not an appropriate descriptor. • Only two interns/trainees responded to the survey invitation; their results do not appear in the tables or charts analysing response according to role. Percentages in data tables have been rounded up or down where relevant and may not add up to 100% in all cases.
  • 5. #StateOfPR EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The profession continues to grow; more than half of agencies are growing and in-house PR departments are more likely to have grown than reduced in size. Average salaries amongst full-time employees grew by almost £1,500 to £53,044 per year. The average salary for all practitioners is £51,804 (median figure is £30,000). There is, once again, a close correlation between region and income; those working outside the UK, in the Channel Islands and in London earn the most with those in Wales and Northern Ireland earning the least. There is evidence to suggest a move towards professionalism. Those who hold CIPR membership, professional qualifications and partake in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are financially rewarded. Chartered Practitioners earn an average of £18,000 more per year than the average respondent, while those with a professional qualification earn an average £3,800 more. Full time CIPR members earn £2,963 more than non-members. Practitioners identify their strengths as copywriting, strategic thinking and research, planning and implementation. There remains a noticeable difference, particularly at a senior level, between what employers want and what practitioners have to offer; at a junior practitioner level, recruiters value ‘technical and digital’, ‘research and evaluation’ and ‘project and account management’ skills, attributes and knowledge highly but practitioners do not identify these as strengths. At a senior level this gap exists on matters such as ‘research, evaluation and measurement’, ‘PR and corporate governance’ and ‘people management’. AN UPBEAT TAKE ON GROWTH AND PROFESSIONALISM STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 5
  • 6. #StateOfPR PR’S DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PROBLEM Public relations is failing to make progress on diversity. More than nine in ten (92%) now classify themselves as white – compared to 88% in 2018 and 90% in 2017. This is despite the widely held belief that public relations is more effective when practiced by teams comprised of ethnically diverse professionals. The results raise serious questions over public relations’ ability to keep pace with the changing nature of the society it seeks to engage. The results are compounded by data on respondents who attended fee-paying schools. More than a quarter (28%) of respondents said they had attended a fee-paying school. This is four times higher than the national UK average of 7% and a significant rise on the 16% figure reported in the 2015/16 State of the Profession report. Crucially, there is a strong correlation between attendance at fee-paying schools and career progression and pay. Those who attended a private school are more likely on average to hold a senior post and be paid accordingly compared to those who did not. The industry is two-thirds (67%) female but men occupy nearly half (44%) of the industry’s most senior roles. As in previous years, the data suggests women face difficulty in obtaining the highest-paying roles, but there is cause for optimism on the gender pay gap. The average difference between full-time income for males and females, before regression analysis, is now £9,991 – £579 less than 2018 and £2,325 than 2017. When a multiple linear regression analysis of full-time income is conducted, which takes into consideration all factors that influence pay such as seniority and length of service, the true gender pay gap is £5,202 – £1,523 less than in 2018. Together these findings, each unique in their causes and required responses, paint a picture of a profession which lacks self-awareness and consciously or unconsciously disadvantages people based on who they are rather than what they do. While the profession may look to changing recruiting processes, these statistics beg the question; does public relations suffer from a cultural problem, resulting in a failure to support and retain diverse talent? STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 6 of respondents said they had attended a fee-paying school.
  • 7. #StateOfPR said they had taken sickness absence from work on the grounds of stress, anxiety or depression. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 7 PR FACING MENTAL HEALTH EPIDEMIC Last year’s survey highlighted a 10% annual rise in the number of practitioners living with a mental health condition. This year’s survey explored those concerns further and, with the help of the mental health charity, Mind, a series of questions were developed which separated matters related to stress and mental health. Just over one fifth (21%) of respondents live with, or have previously lived with, a diagnosed mental health condition. Based on the Office of National Statistics UK PR population data, this percentage equates to more than 16,000 PR professionals. More than half (53%) of respondents said their work contributes highly to their diagnosis. While employers are commonly supportive in these circumstances, an alarming number are yet to develop mental-health policies to support employees. Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents who discussed concerns about their mental health with a manager said that nothing happened as a result of those conversations. PR is an industry that the majority of practitioners find stressful, with workload, unsociable hours and unrealistic expectations driving stress. 63% of respondents rated the stressfulness of their job at 7 out of 10 or above. The average score among practitioners was 6.7. Just shy of a quarter (23%) said they had taken sickness absence from work on the grounds of stress, anxiety or depression.
  • 8. #StateOfPR Despite calls for public relations professionals to shift away from tactics towards strategic influence, practitioners are still overwhelmingly engaged in tactical delivery. In both senior and junior roles, ‘copywriting and editing’ and ‘media relations’ are the two most commonly undertaken activities. The activities commonly undertaken are consistent with last year’s findings, however there was a significant fall in the number of PR professionals saying they spend most or some of their time on social media relations – this fell from the 5th most commonly undertaken activity to the 9th. A majority of senior in-house practitioners (59%), consultancy and agency practitioners (57%) and independent practitioners (68%) influence their organisations or clients’ overall business strategy. When asked if they are directly responsible for business strategy these figures drop significantly – 4% for senior in-house practitioners, 23% for consultancy and agency practitioners and 16% for independent practitioners. Under-representation of public relations practitioners at board level was identified as the second biggest challenge facing the profession (down from first place in the previous two years). Less than 1 in 10 (9%) of respondents in senior roles are executive members of a Board (compared to 11% in 2018) and 5% are non-executive members (up slightly from 2018). Amongst senior practitioners just under 40% are directly answerable to one or more Board of Directors. PR’S STRATEGIC AMBITIONS ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 8 Amongst senior practitioners just under 40% are directly answerable to one or more Board of Directors.
  • 9. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 9#StateOfPR 01 EMPLOYMENT DEMOGRAPHICS
  • 10. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 10#StateOfPR This section explores the PR population by age, gender, region and education. The issue of social mobility was explored via private education. This section examines the split between in-house and agency practitioners as well as their role, level of seniority and years of experience. The ONS data research from the previous year’s research showed there were around 71,000 practitioners working in public relations in 2016. The profession has continued to grow so it can be assumed this figure is now higher. Of the 1,503 responses, 138 were retired or students and not currently working in public relations and 263 respondents partially completed the survey. 50% of those who responded they no longer worked in PR had recently left the sector for either a break in career to work in other sectors entirely. 16 to 24 = 4% 25 to 34 = 31% 35 to 44 = 31% 45 to 54 = 23% 55 to 64 = 10% Over 64 = 1% Male 33% Female 67% EMPLOYMENT DEMOGRAPHICS Age Group % Gender 4%1% 31% 33% 67% 31% 23% 10%
  • 11. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 11#StateOfPR I have an undergraduate degree in a subject other than public relations or communications 62% I have a Masters degree in a subject other than public relations or communications 20% I have an undergraduate degree in public relations or communications 14% I have a Masters degree in public relations or communications 13% I have another university qualification 12% I do not have a higher education qualification 7% I have a Doctorate/PHD in a subject other than public relations or communications 1% I have a Doctorate/PHD in public relations or communications 1% These figures show that PR professionals over the age of 55 and under the age of 25 are most likely to have attended a fee-paying school. This trend suggests that public relations may be disproportionately represented by privately educated professionals for years to come. Yes 28% No 71% Don’t know / Prefer not to say 2% Educational background Attendance at fee-paying school Attendance at fee-paying school by age group AGE YES NO DON’T KNOW Over 64 34% 64% 2% 55 to 64 34% 64% 2% 45 to 54 28% 70% 3% 35 to 44 21% 77% 2% 25 to 34 30% 69% 1% 16 to 24 33% 65% 2% Yes 45% No 53% Don’t know 2% Professional qualification in public relations 28% 71% 2% 45% 53% 2%
  • 12. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 12#StateOfPR 0–4 18% 5–8 21% 9–12 16% 13–16 13% 17–20 13% 21+ 20% ROLE MALE FEMALE Assistant/Executive 3% 6% Officer 13% 21% Manager 35% 33% Head of Communications/Associate Director 19% 19% Director/Partner/Managing Director 27% 16% Other 4% 5% ROLE % Assistant/Executive 5% Officer 18% Manager 34% Head of Communications/Associate Director 19% Director/Partner/Managing Director 20% Other 4% Years in PR Seniority Seniority by gender 18% 16% 34% 19% 20% 13% 13% 20% 21% 5%4% 3% 6%5% 21% 4% 13% 35% 33% 19% 16% 19% 27% 18%
  • 13. 13 STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 #StateOfPR 02 THE PROFESSION
  • 14. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 14#StateOfPR The growth in the profession continues from previous years with agencies/consultancies and in-house teams more likely to have grown or remained stable in the last year than those that have reduced in size. This is despite a backdrop of economic uncertainty and points to a recognition of the value of public relations amongst businesses. The challenges to the profession remain largely the same from the previous year with the changing social and digital landscape now seen as the biggest challenge that practitioners face. This section also reveals where public relations is practised geographically, as well as the types of organisation practitioners work for. STATUS % Growing 58% Stable 35% Reducing in size 7% I don’t know 1% STATUS % Growing 27% Stable 56% Reducing in size 13% I don’t know 3% Agency/consultancy recruitment Department recruitment THE PROFESSION RECRUITMENT 7% 13% 3% 1% 58% 27% 56% 35%
  • 15. #StateOfPR RANK ITEM 1 Changing social and digital landscape 2 Under-representation of public relations practitioners at board level 3 Not being seen as a professional discipline 4 An expanding skill set required of professionals 5 Convergence with other disciplines 6 Unethical public relations practice 7 Emergence of fake news 8 Lack of analytical skills 9 Lack of diversity amongst PR professionals 10 A lack of collective self-belief and confidence 11 Automation/Artificial Intelligence Last year’s challenges 1. Under-representation of public relations practitioners at board level 2. Changing social and digital landscape 3. Unethical public relations practice 4. An expanding skill set required of professionals 5. Not being seen as a professional discipline STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 15 CHALLENGES FACING THE INDUSTRY
  • 16. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 16#StateOfPR Workplace region REGION % • Channel Islands 2% • East of England 5% • East Midlands 4% • London 26% • North East 3% • Northern Ireland 3% • North West 6% • Scotland 9% • South East 11% • South West 9% • Wales 5% • West Midlands 6% • Yorkshire and the Humber 4% • Outside of the UK 8%
  • 17. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 17#StateOfPR CURRENT EMPLOYMENT % I work in-house in the private sector 25% I work in-house in the public sector 27% I work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation / NGO 19% I work in a consultancy / agency 16% I am an independent practitioner 13% RESPONSE % I work in-house in the private sector 28% I work in-house in the public sector 20% I work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation / NGO 18% I work in a consultancy/agency 17% I am an independent practitioner 17% RESPONSE % I work in-house in the private sector 24% I work in-house in the public sector 30% I work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation / NGO 19% I work in a consultancy/agency 16% I am an independent practitioner 11% Organisation type Organisation type by gender – men Organisation type by gender – women 25% 28% 24% 30% 19% 16% 11% 20%18% 17% 17% 27% 19% 16% 13%
  • 18. #StateOfPR Workplace region by organisation type REGION IN-HOUSE PRIVATESECTOR IN-HOUSE PUBLICSECTOR IN-HOUSENOT FORPROFIT ORGANISATION /NGO CONSULTANCY /AGENCY INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONER Outside the UK 38% 17% 7% 20% 18% Yorkshire and Humber 20% 29% 10% 29% 12% West Midlands 23% 29% 19% 19% 10% Wales 13% 36% 27% 15% 9% South West 21% 35% 20% 14% 9% South East 21% 31% 12% 13% 22% Scotland 27% 30% 25% 11% 8% North West 32% 37% 12% 8% 12% Northern Ireland 8% 35% 19% 30% 8% North East 11% 32% 19% 14% 24% London 32% 18% 25% 15% 10% East Midlands 17% 21% 19% 27% 15% East of England 21% 37% 16% 10% 18% Channel Islands 33% 0% 61% 0% 6% STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 18
  • 20. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 20#StateOfPR AVERAGE INCOME FORMULA Annual income (including dividends and/or bonuses) before tax Average (all) Average (full time practitioners only) Mode (all) Median (all) £51,804 £53,044 £40,000 £30,000 ANNUAL INCOME AGE GROUP Average annual income by age 16 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 54 55 to 64 Over 64 £25,257 £40,178 £53,368 £63,109 £68,713 £81,000 ANNUAL INCOME YEARS IN PR Average annual income by years in PR 0 to 4 5 to 8 9 to 12 13 to 16 17 to 20 21+ £31,627 £39,349 £52,352 £57,309 £60,727 £76,983 SALARY This section examines the average salaries of public relations professionals by age, role, experience, location and organisation type. Although incomes have grown slightly this has been at a slower rate compared to recent years.
  • 21. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 21#StateOfPR AVERAGE INCOME REGION Average annual income by location Channel Islands North East Scotland East Midlands North West South East East of England Northern Ireland South West West Midlands London Outside of the UK Wales Yorkshire and the Humber £59,422 £45,970 £43,403 £40,271 £41,468 £51,996 £42,868 £40,805 £43,727 £43,827 £66,648 £75,058 £37,878 £43,051 ANNUAL INCOME ANNUAL INCOME ORGANISATION ROLE Average annual income by organisation type Average annual income by seniority Independent practitioner Assistant/Executive Work in a consultancy/agency Officer Work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation/NGO Manager Work in-house in the private sector Head of Communications/Associate Director Work in-house in the public sector Director/Partner/Managing Director £54,774 £25,196 £68,593 £30,985 £44,496 £41,615 £54,638 £61,849 £44,292 £94,395
  • 22. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 22#StateOfPR Though PR’s gender pay gap persists, this year’s data suggests the gap is shrinking. A multiple linear regression model, which factors in the variables including years of experience and seniority, detailed below, has been applied to the income data of those working full-time. This calculation reveals women working full-time earn £5,202 less per year than men, which is lower than the £6,725 difference reported in 2018. GENDER PAY GAP AVERAGE Average annual full-time income by seniority and gender ROLE £24,114 £28,950 -£4,836 Male Female Difference Assistant/Executive £31,190 £31,971 -£781 Male Female Difference Officer £41,211 £45,449 -£4,238 Male Female Difference Manager £60,157 £68,200 -£8,043 Male Female Difference Head of Communications/Associate Director £101,463 £98,846 £2,617 Male Female Difference Director/Partner/Managing Director
  • 23. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 23#StateOfPR GENDER PAY GAP CONTINUED £52,126 £73,728 -£21,602 Male Female Difference 13 to 16 £58,386 £71,795 -£13,409 Male Female Difference 17 to 20 £79,145 £84,802 -£5,657 Male Female Difference 21+ AVERAGE Average annual income by years worked (full-time practitioners) YEARS WORKED IN PR 0 to 4 £29,295 £38,671 -£9,376 Male Female Difference 5 to 8 £38,681 £44,029 -£5,348 Male Female Difference 9 to 12 £57,233 £49,633 £7,600 Male Female Difference AVERAGE MEDIAN Annual income by gender (full-time practitioners) Male Male Female Female Difference Difference £59,726 £40,000 £49,735 £45,000 -£9,991 £5,000
  • 24. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 24#StateOfPR 04 SKILLS, ATTRIBUTES AND KNOWLEDGE
  • 25. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 25#StateOfPR Respondents were asked to reveal how they spent their time by selecting from a range of specific work activities. Those with a role in recruiting staff were asked which skills, attributes and specialist knowledge they value most when hiring junior and senior staff. The options were developed using the Global Alliance’s ‘Global Body of Knowledge’ framework. All respondents were also asked to list their strongest skills, attributes and areas of specialist knowledge, and the results compared to see where the biggest gaps are between what employers want and individuals have to offer. Public relations activities most commonly undertaken in current job RANK ACTIVITY % OF RESPONDENTS CITING THIS AS A COMMON ACTIVITY MOVEMENT FROM PREVIOUS YEAR (LAST YEAR’S POSITION) 1 Copywriting and editing 57% =(1) 2 Media relations 50% +1 (3) 3 PR programmes/campaigns 47% -1 (2) 4 Crisis, issues management 42% +2 (6) 5 Strategic planning 38% -1 (4) 6 Internal/employee communication 37% +2 (8) 7 Community and stakeholder relations 35% =(7) 8 Events, conferences 31% +1 (9) 9 Social media relations 28% -4 (5) 10 Management of people, resources 26% =(10) 11 Marketing 18% +1 (12) 12 Research, evaluation, measurement 15% -1 (11) 13 Project, account, client management 15% =(13) 14 Public affairs 13% =(14) 15 Defining mission/values, corporate governance 9% =(15) 16 Technical/digital (exc social media) 6% =(16) 17 Financial, investor relations 4% =(17) Social media relations fell by four places from 5th to 9th. Crisis, issues management climbed from 6th place last year to 4th place this year. Internal communications jumped from 8th place last year to 6th place this year. SKILLS, ATTRIBUTES AND KNOWLEDGE
  • 26. #StateOfPR Senior roles – manager, head, associate director, managing director, partner Junior roles – intern, trainee, executive, assistant, officer RANK RESPONSE % 1 Copywriting and editing 50% 2 Media relations 48% 3 PR programmes/campaigns 48% 4 Strategic planning 46% 5 Crisis, issues management 45% RANK ACTIVITY % 1 Copywriting and editing 73% 2 Media relations 58% 3 Social media relations 45% 4 PR programmes/campaigns 45% 5 Events, conferences 41% STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 26
  • 27. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 27#StateOfPR PERCEIVED STRONGEST SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE SKILLS MOST VALUED BY RECRUITERS Copywriting and editing 55% Strategic Planning 70% Strategic planning 51% Management of people, resources 69% Crisis, issues management 45% Crisis, issues management 57% Media relations 45% PR programmes/campaigns 42% PR programmes/campaigns 42% Research, evaluation, measurement 31% PERCEIVED STRONGEST ATTRIBUTES ATTRIBUTES MOST VALUED BY RECRUITERS Strategic thinking 61% Strategic thinking 91% Problem solving 40% Problem solving 48% Emotional intelligence 39% Emotional intelligence 41% Writing ability 38% Active, critical listening 30% Creativity 32% Oral communication and presentation 26% PERCEIVED STRONGEST AREAS OF PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE MOST VALUED BY RECRUITERS Research, planning, implementation, evaluation 57% Research, planning, implementation, evaluation 70% Crisis communications management 48% Business acumen 58% Business acumen 39% Crisis communications management 57% Media and social channels, use of technology 38% Media and social channels, use of technology 31% Communication models and theories 26% Communication models and theories 27% SENIOR PRACTITIONERS
  • 28. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 28#StateOfPR PERCEIVED STRONGEST SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE SKILLS MOST VALUED BY RECRUITERS Copywriting and editing 67% Copywriting and editing 82% Media relations 44% Social media relations 62% Social media relations 38% Media relations 52% PR programmes/campaigns 37% PR programmes/campaigns 42% Internal/employee communication 31% Research, evaluation, measurement 28% PERCEIVED STRONGEST ATTRIBUTES ATTRIBUTES MOST VALUED BY RECRUITERS Writing ability 49% Attention to detail 58% Attention to detail 41% Writing ability 56% Creativity 39% Creativity 46% Strategic thinking 38% Emotional intelligence 28% Emotional intelligence 37% Problem solving 26% PERCEIVED STRONGEST AREAS OF PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE MOST VALUED BY RECRUITERS Research, planning, implementation, evaluation 60% Research, planning, implementation, evaluation 70% Something else 55% Business acumen 58% Crisis communications management 28% Crisis communications management 57% Communication models and theories 27% Media and social channels, use of technology 31% Business acumen 13% Communication models and theories 27% JUNIOR ROLES
  • 29. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 29#StateOfPR RESPONSIBILITY % I am directly answerable to one or more Boards of Directors 40% I am a non-executive member of a Board of Directors 5% I am an executive member of a Board of Directors 9% None of the above 51% Senior practitioner board level responsibilities Responsibilities of senior in-house practitioners I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR I INFLUENCE BUT I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR I DO NOT INFLUENCE The marketing budget 27% 40% 34% The public relations budget 48% 38% 14% Other budgets in the organisation 23% 36% 41% The communication strategy 62% 36% 2% The organisations’ business strategy 4% 59% 37% 40%51% 9% 5% SENIOR PRACTITIONER RESPONSIBILITIES
  • 30. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 30#StateOfPR Responsibilities of senior consultancy/agency practitioners I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR I INFLUENCE BUT I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR I DO NOT INFLUENCE The organisation’s budget 39% 36% 26% Client marketing budgets 30% 49% 21% Client public relations budgets 46% 43% 11% Client communication strategies 69% 30% 1% The organisation’s business strategy 40% 46% 14% Client business strategies 27% 57% 16% Responsibilities of independent practitioners I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR I INFLUENCE BUT I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR I DO NOT INFLUENCE Client marketing budgets 16% 48% 36% Client public relations budgets 24% 58% 18% Client communication strategies 55% 43% 2% Client business strategies 16% 68% 16% SENIOR PRACTITIONER RESPONSIBILITIES
  • 31. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 31#StateOfPR 05 STRESS AND HEALTH
  • 32. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 32#StateOfPR A series of questions were developed with the mental health charity, Mind, to explore the reported increase in PR professionals experiencing a mental health issue. This exercise saw the separation of issues related to stress and mental health conditions. These issues were explored further by seniority and organisation type, as well as time taken off work as a result. The results point to a profession which is not only stressful to work in, but fails to provide support to those living with a mental health condition. The data also suggests public relations plays an active role in damaging the mental health of practitioners. RESPONSE % Yes 6% No 92% Prefer not to say 2% RESPONSE % 1 1% 2 2% 3 5% 4 5% 5 11% 6 15% 7 25% 8 26% 9 9% 10 2% Physical disability Stressfulness of job (rating 1 lowest to 10 highest) Average rating: 6.7 6% 2% 92% 11% 15% 25% 26% 9% 5% 5% 1% 2%2%
  • 33. #StateOfPR AVERAGE RATING ROLE Stressfulness of job by seniority 5.9 6.8 7.3 6.7 6.4 Assistant/Executive Officer Manager Head of Communications/Associate Director Director/Partner/Managing Director Stressfulness of job by organisation type ORGANISATION PROPORTION OF RESPONDENTS RATING STRESSFULNESS OF WORK AT 7+ I work in-house in the private sector 64% I work in-house in the public sector 67% I work in-house for a not-for-profit organisation / NGO 59% I work in a consultancy/agency 73% I am an independent practitioner 44% STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 33
  • 34. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 34#StateOfPR Factors making jobs stressful FACTOR % OF RESPONDENTS CITING AS A CAUSE OF WORKPLACE STRESS Heavy/unmanageable workload 59% Unrealistic deadlines or expectations from colleagues 46% Unsociable hours/'always on' culture 32% Unrealistic deadlines or expectations from clients 32% Conflicting responsibilities 28% Lack of clarity about role 27% Unfair distribution of work 21% Under-utilisation of skills/boring or repetitive work 20% Poor supervision 19% Limited influence over role (including performance targets) 18% Something else 14% Job insecurity 12% Excessive travel time 12% Inflexible schedule 6% RESPONSE % Yes 21% No 75% Prefer not to say 4% RESPONSE % Yes 23% No 76% Prefer not to say 2% Diagnosed mental health condition Absence from work on the grounds of stress, anxiety or depression 21% 23% 76%75% 4% 2%
  • 35. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 35#StateOfPR Absence from work on the grounds of stress, anxiety or depression by organisation ORGANISATION TYPE YES NO PREFER NOT TO SAY Independent Practitioner 21% 79% 1% Consultancy/agency 18% 81% 1% In-house not-for-profit / NGO 23% 74% 3% In-house public sector 24% 74% 2% In-house private sector 24% 75% 2% Workplace mental-health policy by organisation type ORGANISATION TYPE YES NO DON’T KNOW Consultancy/agency 23% 49% 29% In-house not for profit organisation/NGO 45% 26% 29% In-house public sector 74% 11% 15% In-house private sector 59% 25% 16% Workplace mental-health policy RESPONSE % Yes 54% No 25% Don’t know 21% 54% 25% 21%
  • 36. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 36#StateOfPR Result of discussing mental health concerns with manager RESPONSE % Counselling 36% Other 30% Time off 28% Nothing 23% Work re-allocation 19% Training 3% Discussed mental health concerns with manager RESPONSE % Yes 53% No 44% Don’t know / prefer not to say 2% RESPONSE % 1 13% 2 6% 3 5% 4 5% 5 7% 6 8% 7 10% 8 19% 9 10% 10 14% Rating of contribution of work to diagnosed condition 13% 53% 36% 30% 28% 23% 19% 44% 2% 6% 5% 5% 7% 8%10% 19% 10% 14% 3%
  • 37. #StateOfPR The State of the Profession survey places a renewed spotlight on increased reporting of mental issues in the PR industry. Whatever is driving the increase – be it a greater willingness to talk about mental health or a previously hidden truth about our sector – we can say with certainty that this comes at a huge human and financial cost to our business. The CIPR Health group calls on employers to do more to recognise, support and nurture the mental health needs of their employees. Talk openly about mental health and act today to adapt the work environment to meet the needs of staff. It is in everyone’s best interests to support good mental and physical health: a happier and healthier workforce will be more productive, have reduced sickness and retain skilled talent. We owe it to ourselves to look after each other. Rachel Royall Chart.PR MCIPR, Chair of CIPR Health STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 37
  • 38. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 38#StateOfPR 06 DIVERSITY
  • 39. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 39#StateOfPR Practitioner ethnicity ETHNICITY % English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British 81% Irish 3% Gypsy or Traveller 1% Any other White background 7% White and Black Caribbean 1% White and Asian 1% Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background 1% Indian 2% Pakistani 1% Any other Asian background 1% African 3% Caribbean 1% Any other Black/African/Caribbean background 1% Arab 1% Any other ethnic group 1% Year after year PR professionals reveal their belief that public relations is more effective when practiced by diverse teams. Despite this, the profession is becoming less diverse, both in terms of its ethnicity and sexuality. The vast majority (92%) of practitioners classify themselves as white, compared to 88% in 2015. This year 89% of practitioner respondents identified as heterosexual, up from 85% the previous year. DIVERSITY Sexual orientation RESPONSE % Heterosexual 89% Lesbian 1% Gay 3% Bisexual 2% Asexual 1% Other 1% Prefer not to say 5% 89% 1% 3% 2% 5%
  • 40. #StateOfPR STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 40 The PR industry agrees that diversity is important for attracting the best talent to bring fresh thinking, creativity and insights into new audiences, but our actions speak louder than our words. And our actions are building a profession of white public school alumni; we are less diverse than we’ve been for the past five years, with 92% of our industry being white and nearly one in three practitioners (28%) coming from fee paying schools, compared to only 16% in 2015. Who can make our industry a fairer place where there is opportunity for all? You! Every manager, every employee, every agency leader – we all need to challenge outdated and bias recruitment and retention policies. We are all responsible for shaping the future of our industry by establishing workplace cultures in which all talent is judged fairly and given an equal opportunity for progression. Without those inside changing the status quo, those outside will remain locked out and our profession will be the poorer for it. Avril Lee MCIPR, Chair of the CIPR Diversity and Inclusion Forum
  • 41. STATE OF THE PROFESSION 2019 41#StateOfPR ABOUT CIPR The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) was founded in 1948, the CIPR is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe. The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR). ABOUT CHALKSTREAM Chalkstream specialises in in-depth, intelligent reputation and market research for education and membership body/trade association clients. Our work involves secondary and primary research exploring attitudes, awareness and behaviours among diverse groups. We turn expert research design, first-class fieldwork and powerful analysis into clear, straightforward, practical recommendations that drive intelligent decision-making. Current and former clients include NATO, City Guilds Group, Association of Colleges,National Union of Students, Association of School and College Leaders, ZSL, University of Sussex, the UK Government.
  • 42. CIPR 4th Floor, 85 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4TQ +44 (0)20 7631 6900 #StateOfPR cipr.co.uk