Even better news: nearly six out of 10 polled firms expect bigger budgets this year. Only two percent expect budget cutbacks. Eighty percent-plus of respondents say that beat 2009 revenues last year.
Social media, according to the Council, is growing like gangbusters, while corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives are losing their appeals. The well-regarded Andy Polansky, Weber Shandwick president and Council chair, is “enthusiastic about the market dynamics right now.” He's bullish about PR transforming itself to "better partner and engage with clients across the full spectrum of marketing and corproate communications services."
Polansky is confident that PR, not advertising, will lead the charge in the digital and social media space.
The Council has some good news for the thousands of PR people who were axed during the Great Recession. Sixty-four percent of the respondents are hanging up “hiring signs.” There is bullish news for mid-level managers, a group savaged by cutbacks: Come on, back.
Half the Council’s respondents had revenues between $3M and $10M. About 30 percent had revenues between $10M to $50M.
A majority of respondents say they have bolstered measurement capability to show green eye-shaded procurement officers that PR offers a decent return on investment. PR will truly hit its stride when it is no longer judged a commodity to be nickeled and dimed to death by procurement people.
Council, get to work.
That will be when Corporate America appreciates and values PR for its creativity and ability to move products, join conversations and shape opinions.