UK consultancies riding wave of international opportunity

London, 03 June 2008 - A survey of the PRCA PR Leaders' Panel shows that significant levels of international PR business is directed and managed from the UK. International PR accounted for more than 90% of the business of 8% of respondents, while only 17% didn't have any revenues at all from international PR. Moreover, more than 36% of the panel reported significant increases in their international PR business over the past 5 years.

Francis Ingham, PRCA Director General said “With 25% of respondents saying that 21%-30% of their business came from international projects directed and managed from this country, we can truly say that the UK is the international hub for PR. There are a lot of opportunities out there for proactive consultancies.”

Andrew Last of Salt supports this saying: “We are seeing a marked increase in the proportion of our work that is focused on international programme development. Apart from the language and time zone benefits of being based in the UK, the prime driver for this is the respect in which UK PR expertise is held around the world, at a time when companies in more and more countries want to build PR into their marketing plans.”

Stuart Wilson of Manning Selvage & Lee agrees that London is the international centre for PR but while Matt Neale from GolinHarris has seen a huge rise in international briefs, he highlights that it is “important for London agencies to keep creativity sharp with edgy domestic work”. This sentiment is echoed by Ash Coleman-Smith of Ogilvy who has noted the emergence of other regional hubs such as the Czech Republic, Dubai, and South Africa.

- ENDS -


Notes to editors:

About the PRCA PR Leaders' Panel

The PRCA PR Leaders' Panel is made up of managing directors of members of the PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association), the UK trade association that represents the PR industry in the UK.

The results of this survey closed on 30 May 2008 are below:



What percentage of PR business that your consultancy works on is international and directed and managed from the UK rather than from the US or other countries?

  • 0% - 17%
  • 1-10% - 29%
  • 21-30% - 25%
  • 41-50% - 8%
  • 51-60% - 8%
  • 81-90% - 5%
  • 91-100% - 8%

Has this percentage changed over the last 5 years? And by how many percentage points?

  • Decrease - 5% (-25% on average)
  • No change - 59%
  • Increase - 36% (+20% on average)


A selection of other quotes:

Jennifer Paavola, CEO of Pleon said "Times are changing-we've seen many of our international clients shift comms senior staffers to  European countries where there are obvious savings incurred, but some also feel that the quality of life outside of London attracts more than would want to be based in London. Other clients are having their international media teams be based in the UK and allowing much more freedom in where other comms functions can be based. Overall there is more flexibility around location, yet each individual role seems to be required to have more responsibility to cover more functional responsibilities as well as increased remits around geographical coverage."

David Gallagher of CEO of Ketchum said:  “The laws of supply and demand are on the side of UK consultancies. There is now a truly global market for international PR services, and UK consultancies are uniquely placed to serve it without the baggage and biases assigned to other business centres.”

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