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Business outlook of PR industry in 2011 stays positive: PRCAI report

The Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI), in their first ever report on the public relations consultancy sector, has reported a positive business outlook for the PR industry in 2011. More than half the PR industry expects an achievement of 15-20 per cent revenue growth, despite majority of respondents being conservative with their revenue forecast indicating the underlying degree of competition and uncertainty of retaining existing clients.

The report further outlines that with economic growth becoming broad-based, Tier II & Tier II cities will become relevant for most PR firms in India. In fact, nearly 55 per cent of the respondents acknowledged hinterland as an important area of growth in terms of business in the selected categories of premium products.

Sharif D Rangnekar, President, PRCAI, said, ”While industry is looking towards expanding horizons, PR firms in India are finding it difficult to fill vacant positions despite the recovery in job markets due to a talent mismatch and lack of requisite skill-sets. Nearly 80 per cent people believe that the Indian education system is not geared up to cater to the PR industry needs.
Similar to other industries, the hiring mood has been positive and showed an upward trend for the Indian PR sector. In spite of the dampening global economic reports, the industry is witnessing a tremendous spurt in the recruitment drive. Nearly 30 per cent respondents had been thinking of giving salary hike in the range of 20-30 per cent.”

Hiring is the top priority for PR industry at the moment and improving the writing skills of the PR executives is the focal point of training for most companies. Basics like meeting client’s expectation and increasing efficiency come second. Talent management has emerged as the biggest impediment towards growth in the PR industry.

Traditional media continues to play a major role in the overall account planning. More than 90 per cent executives who were surveyed still prefer newspapers over the web. However 98 per cent of people feel that social media will grow the most this year. Absence of gatekeeper in the form of editorial, lack of trustworthiness and a democratic set up that does not provide a greater degree of control over the message are some of the views about the lack of popularity of social media in the Indian domain so far.