Public Relations in the UK Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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Despite the recent tightening of marketing budgets since the onset of the recession, the Public Relations (PR) industry has benefited from the shift away from communication through traditional media towards more-direct contact with the target audience via social media networks, blogs, mobile media applications and podcasts. Over the next five years through 2017-18, PR firms are expected to benefit from rebounding business activity and increased spending on marketing and PR activities, particularly in the field of new media and online communication, and industry revenue is forecast to continue to increase over the five years through 2017-18.

IBISWorld industry market research
Using online media platforms increases industry revenue growth

The Public Relations industry offers communication services, reputation building, branding and marketing services through the management of public image to businesses, not-for-profit organisations and official institutions. The industry has performed well during the past five years with continuing demand for industry services keeping revenue streams positive. During 2012-13, IBISWorld estimates industry revenue to grow by 8.0% to amount to £2.82 billion.

Demand for public relations (PR) and communication services depends on the share of the marketing budget and business expenditure, which tend to fluctuate with changes in the economic climate. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Andrew Johnson, “increasing awareness of the benefits of effective PR and communications activities, however, has protected the industry from major losses during the recession”. The industry has benefited from many businesses choosing to focus on PR and communication services provided by industry operators as a cost-efficient alternative to more comprehensive advertising and media agencies. In addition, strong revenue growth during 2007-08 and 2010-11 has led to compound annual revenue growth of 4.4% during the five years through 2012-13.

Despite the recent tightening of marketing budgets, industry operators have benefited from the shift away from communication through traditional media towards more-direct contact with the target audience. Johnson adds, “the increasing trend of launching and specialising in communication divisions devoted to social media networks, blogs, mobile media applications and podcasts is being capture by an increasing number of PR agencies and provides scope for future growth opportunities”.

Despite several PR firms being integrated into large advertising agencies operating on a global scale in response to the globalisation of clients, the industry remains fragmented with many small PR agencies serving the UK market. Industry expansion has coincided with strong growth in employment and wages, as competition for experienced and well-connected professionals remains strong.
Over the next five years, PR firms are expected to benefit from rebounding business activity and increased spending on marketing and PR activities, particularly in the field of new media and online communication. Industry revenue is forecast to continue to increase over the five years through 2017-18.

The top four companies in the UK Public Relations industry account for an estimated 38% of industry revenue in 2012-13 giving the industry a low level of market share concentration. The industry comprises a few multinational groups, small- and medium-sized businesses as well as sole practitioners. Almost 80% of industry players employ up to four people, with another 10.8% employing between five and nine people, stressing the dominance of small-scale businesses in communication and public relation (PR) activities. Major companies include WPP, Omnicom Group & Chime Communications.

For more information on the Public Relations industry, including latest industry trends, statistics, analysis and market share information, purchase the full report from IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research.

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Operators in this industry provide public relations and communication advice, guidance and operational assistance, including lobbying activities, to businesses, not-for-profit organisations and official institutions. This industry excludes advertising agencies and media representation services.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalisation & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on many UK industries. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in London, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.co.uk or call (020) 3008 6568.

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Gavin Smith
IBISWorld
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