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PR and Communications Census: reflections

As much as I love London I always jump at the chance to travel to the rest of the UK. Like it or not the capital city is a very different playground to many of the locations we visited during the PRCA Census launch events.

Being a data collection specialist, we collect an awful lot of data (did I hear a gasp of surprise?), however we rarely get to be involved with what happens to the spreadsheets after they’ve left our office. Being involved with collecting the data for the PRCA census and travelling to the launches has given us an amazing chance to see the research in action!

The PRCA census is a temperature gauge of the PR and comms industry: from Diversity and the gender pay gap to changing roles and responsibilities it covers a multitude of sins. The good news is: on the face of it, many things are moving in the right direction. The slightly more troubling news, is this isn’t the case in all regions. We had several conversations about diversity – businesses crying out for gender diversity, for more CVs from different ethnic backgrounds. Without a doubt the rhetoric was one of embracing and encouraging differences and yet the population outside of London is still predominantly white British which makes recruiting a diverse workforce much more of a challenge!

The gender pay gap surprised many people. The majority agencies have fewer than 250 employees and therefore are exempt from the government compulsory reporting. However while the numbers are troubling, there was nothing but a positive attitude and willingness to tackle the problem head on.

Perhaps my favourite take away is the passion and excitement for the next generation of workers who are coming through the ranks. As a young industry (average age of 29!) there is a great commitment to make sure these new recruits stay in the industry, that women do make it to higher positions and do not feel forced to leave the industry if they do decide to start a family. There is a commitment to flexible working, shared paternity and work-life balances.

It is great the PRCA are able to facilitate so many of these important discussions and bring these topics to the fore. I for one am looking forward to seeing how this commitment to change impacts the cold hard figures in the coming years.

The full report can be found here: