CIPR State of the Profession 2016

Delivered in partnership with Survation, the seventh edition of 'State of the Profession' gives evidence to burgeoning cross-industry convergence between PR and marketing, and the increasing demands for practitioners to be content creators and curators.

This year's benchmarking report also offers unprecedented detail on a range of industry issues from attitudes towards diversity and inclusion, to unparalleled salary and earnings data. This features an extensive breakdown of the gender pay gap, found to be the most prevalent at senior levels.

#StateOfPR 2016 reflects the views of more than 1500 practitioners who shared their thoughts on every aspect of public relations, delivering the most compelling snapshot of PR practice to date.

Key findings

No ease up on PR and marketing convergence

Up by 3% from 2015, 76% of PR professionals say that they're working more closely with dedicated social and digital, marketing, advertising and sales teams when compared with two years ago.

Evidence of evolution from media relations to content creation

For the first time in seven years, media relations is no longer the primary way in which most or at least some of PR professionals spend their time (as recorded by 72% of respondents - down 4% on 2015). In this year's survey, 81% indicate most or at least some of their time is spent on content creation.

Morphing from management to leadership

Weighing practitioners' confidence in skills against the demands of employers and recruiters indicates soft skills are the most comfortable for all PR professionals. Yet, the ability to strategically lead and manage the hard side of business development and financial planning are key areas of development across the board.

Annual pay rises by 5.6%, in consolidated earnings figures

For the first time, data relating to pay combines figures for all of those working in-house, in consultancy and as independent practitioners. This records an average annual earnings figure of £48,196 for 2016, up from last year's figure of £45,633.

Are the highest paid jobs in PR available to women?

Pay inequality is found to manifest itself at the most senior levels in PR and is particularly acute for those working in consultancies, as well as for independent practitioners. This is despite women constituting two thirds (66%) of the overall working population, and close-to 50/50 gender balance across senior roles.

Research report

View the full report (PDF format, opens in a new window)

Data tables

The full dataset from this study is available to download by request from Koray Camgoz.

Unfortunately it is not possible to publish the raw data. As respondents participated in the survey on the basis that their responses would all be anonymous, it would be unethical to release publicly information which could lead to them being identified. This also would be a breach of Survation's obligations under the Market Research Society code of conduct.

Further information

For any queries relating to the survey or the research report, please email CIPR's Koray Camgoz or contact Chris Hopkins at Survation.