CIPR reveals the ‘State of the Profession’ in 2017

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has today published the 2017 edition of the 'State of the Profession' - the industry's most authoritative exploration of the trends and issues impacting public relations.

Reflecting the views of over 1500 professionals, #StateOfPR 2017 evidences the continuing professionalisation of public relations, with more practitioners than ever dedicating time to strategic planning.

Seven out of ten respondents (69%) indicated they spent most, or at least some of their time on 'strategic planning' - the largest rise of any area of practice (10%), compared with last year's research. The findings mean strategic planning is now the third
most common way PR professionals spend their time, behind content creation (81%) and media relations (73%).

Other key findings reveal:

  • Tightening budgets and reduced fees - Almost a third (32%) of in-house professionals report budget cuts and double the number of agencies and consultancies (15%) cut fees, compared with last year.
  • Brace for Brexit - Fewer than 1 in 10 believe Brexit would have a positive impact on their organisation and just over half (51%) have implemented post-Brexit strategies or plan to do so soon.
  • Mixed outlook on pay - Average salaries rose to just over £50,000, but PR’s gender pay gap persists, with post-regression analyses revealing a pay inequality gap of £5,784 - a modest reduction of £220 on last year's figure.
  • Evolving attitudes to diversity - A significant spike in the number of practitioners believing in the business benefits of diversity, but ethnic diversity across the workforce remains extremely limited.
CIPR President, Jason MacKenzie Found. Chart.PR, FCIPR
Professional practitioners think beyond tactics and use strategic planning to deliver long-term value to organisations across the UK. The jump in the number of respondents working strategically offers evidence of public relations' continuing professionalisation.

However, there are still challenges ahead. The hard truth is that our industry is 90% white. It's in our business interest to establish inclusive cultures that promote opportunities for professionals from all backgrounds.

We also face challenges around developing new skills. 65% of recruiters look for budgeting and financial capabilities in senior hires but only 3% of practitioners ranked those skills amongst their strongest competencies. We must develop our understanding of these core business functions to justify our seat at the boardroom table.
CIPR President, Jason MacKenzie Found. Chart.PR, FCIPR
Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).