Public Relations Firms in Canada Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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Firms will increasingly use social media and digital technology to reach wider markets

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Los Angeles, CA

In 2013, the Public Relations Firms industry is expected to generate $567.2 million in revenue. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Caitlin Moldvay, “PR agents are responsible for developing clients' promotional strategies, publicizing events and maintaining media relations.” The industry's client list includes a diverse array of companies in health and medical service, telecommunications, banking and finance, retail, technology, nonprofits and government clients. In spite of its expansive client list, the Public Relations Firms industry has generated only muted growth during the past five years. From 2008 to 2013, industry revenue grew at a slow average annual rate of 0.1%. The industry's performance was weakened by the recent recession, which resulted in declining advertising and PR spending among its business clients. Nevertheless, a turnaround in corporate profit and improved media spending are expected to pave the way for industry revenue growth of 1.5% in 2013.

The Public Relations Firms industry is highly fragmented with an estimated 1,491 companies competing in the industry. “Over the past five years, industry operators have faced rising competition from advertising agencies, management consultants and marketing agencies that have increasingly expanded their array of services to include PR campaigns, presenting added competition for the industry,” says Moldvay. As a result of rising competition and lower downstream demand, the industry has consolidated, with the number of PR companies declining at an annualized rate of 0.4%.

The Public Relations Firms industry has a low level of market share concentration. In 2013, IBISWorld estimates the four largest PR firms account for less than 35.0% of industry revenue. Although there are a few prominent firms at the top of the industry, including major players Omnicom and WPP PLC, there are a large number of small PR firms. Large firms in the industry typically operate on a national and international level and focus on large, high-value clients. Large players are able to secure long-term contracts with clients and generate revenue from a wider array of services compared to small firms, increasing their proportion of total revenue. On the other hand, the industry has many owner-operators, including sole proprietors and firms with working partners but without employees. The increasing importance of PR firms and low level of barriers to entry has drawn more small players into the industry, and the resulting price competition has limited revenue for these smaller companies. Due to this competition combined with external competition, the number of public relations firms consolidated slightly over the five years to 2013, with the number of enterprises decreasing at an annualized rate of 0.4% to 1,491 companies.

Over the next five years, the Public Relations Firms industry is expected to generate robust growth as a result of improving corporate profit levels and greater advertising and PR spending. From 2013 to 2018, IBISWorld projects that industry revenue will increase. Over the next five years, public relations agencies are expected to increasingly utilize social media platforms, internet blogs and other forms of digital communication in order to craft their client's image in the media, to take advantage of rising online usage and mobile media technology.

For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Public Relations Firms industry to its growing industry report collection.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Public Relations Firms in Canada industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry includes companies that primarily provide communication strategies and create promotional events. These activities are designed to promote the interests and image of their clients as well as publicize activities and events. This includes communication with the general public as well as employees, investors, analysts and other stakeholders. In contrast to advertising, PR campaigns aim for exposure through public interest and news items rather than paid advertisements.
Industry Performance
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Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
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Globalization & Trade
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Market Share Concentration
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Major Companies
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About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US and Canadian industry. 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 Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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