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PR and Communications Census 2018: my view

So we have the numbers. And they’re good ones. PR is worth £13.8bn, up by seven percent over the past two years. And it’s composed of 86,000 people -again, an increase on a couple of years ago.

Beneath those headline numbers is, of course, plenty of detail. And most of it is positive.

PR’s efforts to become more diverse are succeeding- In 2018, its composition is 89% White, down from 91%; and it is 86% British, down from 89% in 2016. Nonetheless, we shan’t be complacent.

We are evaluating our work more intelligently – just 12% of PR and communications practitioners use AVEs, down from 16% in2016. AMEC’s work here has been determined and successful.

Salaries are up -albeit marginally.

Our apprenticeship programme is working -19% of our fellow practitioners do not hold a degree.

And we are increasingly professional. 56% of practitioners describe PR as a profession, just 35% see it as an industry. This represents a 5% shift towards ‘profession’ since 2016. Let me be clear here. I've always chosen to use the word industry rather than profession. But times change. As of today, I’m going for the P word. It’s clearly more appropriate.

What’s not so good?

The gender pay gap.

It’s become worse over the past two years. It’s 21%-3.2% higher than two years ago. In an industry which is 66% female, this is simply intolerable.

On the back of this, we will redouble our efforts with Women In PR and Global Women In PR, under the respective leaderships of Bibi Hilton, Sue Hardwick, and Angela Oakes. This situation simply cannot be allowed to persist.

So there are challenges. But they are challenges that we can face with confidence. Because PR’s story is a success story. And the future is bright. The profession is, one might say, in rude health.