CIPR State of the Profession report reveals Public Relations at a crossroads
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has today published the results of the 2013/14 ‘State of the Profession’ survey reporting on the opinions of over 2,500 public relations professionals on issues and trends impacting current practice, standards, budgets and skills.
The 2013/14 ‘State of the Profession’ survey highlights that whilst nine out of ten respondents wish to be acknowledged as ‘professional’, results indicate a practice which seemingly struggles to embrace its desired professional ambitions. This is emphasised by the low level of academically or professionally qualified practitioners in PR and an overwhelming preference for ‘on the job’ experience as the most important indicator of professional standards.
This year’s report also indicates that the increasing diversity of expertise required to practice public relations continues to be top of the agenda with one in three stating that the biggest challenge to Public Relations in the next five years will be an expanding skill set required of professionals.
On top of this, the integration of public relations and marketing communications departments continues to be on the rise, with more than two-thirds stating that they are now working more closely with at least one other department compared to two years ago.
Results also highlight that CIPR Members have greater confidence than non-members in embracing the challenges of the future; high satisfaction with their current skill set; a tendency to have more responsibility for directly briefing the board; and that on average, CIPR members earn just less than £10,000 more per annum than those outside of the Institute.
In relation to gender, the 2013/14 ‘State of the Profession’ survey continues to show a disparity in pay between men and women, with the mean salary for men being £12,390 greater than that for women. Additionally, from Officer level and above, men also earn more than women when performing the same roles, a disparity that continues to rise with seniority.
Embracing all facets of professionalism will bring about a fundamental change in how public relations practitioners are perceived. Without a shift to professionalism, the reputation of public relations will continue to suffer.
There is a terrific opportunity in the public relations business for anyone willing to embrace change. As social forms of media and communications impact upon every department within an organisation, we must grab the opportunity to lead that dialogue. In this climate, developing our own set of professional standards has never been more important.
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public relations (CIPR) is the professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK. With over 10,000 members involved in all aspects of PR, it is the largest body of its type in Europe. The CIPR advances the public relations profession in the UK by making its members accountable through a code of conduct, developing policies, representing its members and raising standards through education and training.