The North American PR industry grew by 4.8 percent last year, according to an annual survey conducted by PR merger and acquisition consultancy Gould+Partners.
Gould+Partners’ annual poll, which focuses on agency net revenue growth, suggests that revenue gains in the PR industry have remained essentially at a period of stasis for the third year in a row, as growth was also 4.8 percent in both 2017 and 2016, compared to the industry’s 6.6 percent growth in 2015 and 7.8 percent growth in 2014.
Midsize firms—or PR firms accounting for between $3 and $10 million in net revenues —brought in the highest net revenues last year, growing 9.1 percent (or average annual net revenues of about $6.4 million). PR agencies boasting between $10 million and $25 million in revenue reported growth of 8.6 percent (or about $15 million). The smallest firms—those with under $3 million in revenue— were up to 6.4 percent (or about 1.8 million), while the largest firms—those in excess of $25 million— netted the lowest average growth, gaining only 4.2 percent (or about $156 million).
The survey also found that PR firms located in the U.S. Northwest lead as the top region for revenue gains, followed by the Northern California, Southwest and Washington D.C. metro regions. Last year, Northern CA topped the list as the leading growth region, followed by D.C., the Southwest and the Southeast.
Gould+Partners’ seventh annual Net Revenue Growth report was based on data provided by approx. 250 North American PR agencies.