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The PR Census 2016: the future

It's been a good few weeks for PR industry surveys. The PRCA Census 2016 charts what PRCA chief Francis Ingham notes as "our industry surging ahead" , while the PR Week Global PowerBook research has 80% of PR leaders around the world expecting 2016 to be an even better year for their businesses than last year despite the continuing economic, political and security issues.

Meanwhile the Kingston Smith report on the financial performance of marketing services firms notes that our industry is close to knocking media buying off its perch as the most profitable marketing discipline.

My own anecdotal evidence backs this up. Whether is was the mood of ambition and optimism for PR's development in Africa I felt at the first African Holmes Report Innovation Summit a few months ago, to the quality, passion and diversity of the young people who applied for our apprentice scheme in the UK.

Diversity of course remains an issue, particularly on race and social background. On the latter we are not alone. Over half of UK journalists were privately educated, as opposed to just 7% of their readers (or lost readers). But for me the headlines are we have to work harder to bring in people who are not just mini-us, and while we are hiring more and more women, we have to pay them better, promote them faster, and get serious about flexible working.

We also need to look to the next generation of talent. GenZ will be emerging into the workplace in a few years time. Assuming they are just mini-Millenials would be a mistake as the research from my friend Dr Noreena Hertz shows. We also need to get into schools now and talk about PR, so they don't go to college with the same Ad Fab, sweary spin doctor image that dogged us in the past.

So we are growing, we are evolving, but we can never be complacent.