PR Industry Trends: Salary Survey Results 2018

PR Jobs London Salary Survey Infographic 2018_1

It’s that time of year again, when we’ve asked our clients to kindly divulge their salary banding information, so that we can put a report together showing the average salaries in the PR industry, for both candidates and agencies to benchmark against. Here are our results!

As with last year, money, it seems, isn’t everything. The variation between salaries for the same level role is generally down to sector specialisation. Unsurprisingly, most people make decisions on whether an opportunity is right for them based on the full package – including agency culture, benefits offered and training opportunities. All of these elements have been included in our survey and you can find details below.

Although our clients span all sectors within PR, from corporate and financial comms, through to consumer lifestyle & the food and drink sector, we do tend to have a focus on working with B2B technology agencies. We think this is down to the ever-increasing demand for tech PR talent – nothing has changed on this front over the last few years, other than demand increasing. Bearing that in mind, our salary survey results do have a sway towards the tech PR sector.

 

We found that the average salaries from Junior Account Executive to Account Director level followed the same vein as last year, only varying around £1k-2k and have remained fairly steady. The more senior positions, however, seem to have jumped by around £7k-9k per annum on average. We personally feel, and from what we see in the market, that this is down to the fact the market has become even more candidate driven, therefore agencies are needing to remain highly competitive with salaries offered and in fact often, salaries are guided based on candidate’s requirements.

The individual results we received varied massively, with agencies offering anywhere from £20k to £35k for a Senior Account Executive. We expect this is most probably due to the industry in which the agency specialises, as we tend to see tech & financial PR professionals demanding the highest salaries.

Ultimately, in our humble but professional opinion, the average salaries are no surprise and pretty much exactly what we would expect for the cross section of PR agencies that we work with!

One thing that’s very different from our survey last year is that this time, we wanted to understand salaries for digital & content roles, in addition to the more traditional PR account handling roles. 44% of the agencies we asked confirmed that they recruit for digital, social & content roles separately to PR roles, and the averages make for interesting reading.

Benefits are also fairly similar to last year, with 100% of our clients offering a pension (phew!), the majority offering things like external training courses, birthday & Xmas off and a mobile phone allowance. Private healthcare is offered by over half (53%) and interestingly over 80% of our clients said that they offer their staff the opportunity to work from home – which is brilliant to see considering the desire for this from PR professionals when searching for a new role. Sabbaticals and equity options remain at the lower end, but benefits tend to vary quite wildly, with one of our clients offering unlimited holiday and another a bonus for just getting a year older! PRs generally are quite savvy when it comes to benefits offered by potential employers and have a good idea of what works for them and makes their work life/personal life better, so it’s fantastic to see such a high number of agencies investing in a diverse array of benefits.

Additional benefits infographic

Training is of massive importance to all of the agencies we work with and bespoke development programmes, external training from the PRCA & CIPR are almost universally adopted. See below for a snapshot of some of the training offered by those we surveyed:

To sum up, things are holding relatively steady in the world of PR when it comes to salaries & benefits. It’s still very much a candidate driven industry, so remaining competitive with salaries as an employer is imperative if you want to recruit and retain the best of the best. But clearly for the job seeker, it’s not just about the money – the overall package is what candidates are looking for and hopefully the insight we’ve put together here will help potential employers put forward the best packages they can, and give job seekers an insight as to what is on offer in the PR agency world.

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