Bullish Top-Line Forecast for PR

After three years of client belt-tightening, companies are gradually increasing PR budgets.  That’s good news job seekers and the agencies where most of them hope to land.   

PR is becoming a growing big business as evidenced by a report from the media-focused private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS).  VSS predicts PR budgets will increase by a billion dollars by 2014.  In 2009, PR spending was estimated to be $3.4 billion.  Combined with social media, total PR budgets last year were $5 billion, down 2.8%. 

Between now and 2014 PR and social media will grow at a compound annual rate of 9.7%, reaching $8 billion in 2014, a growth rate faster than the rest of the U.S. economy, according to VSS.  Social media, including word-of-mouth, spending will enjoy the fastest growth rate, expected to increase 12.8% to $1.9 billion by 2014. 

As a side-bar to the report, it’s safe to say that the growing importance of social media requires aspiring PR pros to waste no time in becoming digitally savvy.

“Technology has changed the game,” said John Suhler, VSS co-founder and president. “Social networking is the real stress test for PR.” 

Before striking up the celebratory band, it’s still important to realize that it will take a while before PR spending again will reach its compound annual growth rate of 10.1% between 2004 and 2009.  Nevertheless, this is hopeful news for individuals wanting to enter this profession. 

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