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The biggest PR salary increases in London are at account exec and account manager levels

Are PR salaries still on the rise? Well, for now, I think we can confidently say no (I hear a sigh of relief from MDs). PR agencies have been on a recruitment roller coaster ride for the past two years. Talent has been in short supply, salaries have jumped up every six months, quiet quitting came and went, and the need for a more flexible, balanced work culture landed on their doorstep.

Salary jumps

The latest PR salary guide from PR recruitment agency Latte showed the biggest salary movements were from Account Executive to Account Director level. Account Executive salaries jumped from an average of £24,000 to £28,000. Pre-pandemic Account Managers could typically expect a maximum of £35,000, whereas now they’re requesting and securing offers of around £40,000.

Job seekers have been asking for higher salaries and faster promotions. Hiring managers have obliged. However, signs are now showing that we’re settling into a more balanced PR job market. Salaries are no longer jumping every six months and our prediction is that they’ll stay steady until at least the end of 2024.

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Agencies push back

The biggest indicator of this is that candidates who are interviewing are asking for salaries within an agency’s salary band. When a candidate tries to go above this, agency leaders are confidently pushing back.

It’s interesting to note that even though the constant rise of salaries has slowed down and there are murmurs of various PR agencies making redundancies, hiring talent has not become easier. 

That’s because the gap between available jobs and available talent remains significant. The recruitment process no longer feels like it’s always on a knife’s edge but it is also not as simple as putting an ad up and keeping your fingers crossed.

Hybrid working

Another trend that has been thrashed to death is the topic of hybrid working. It’s clear that it’s here to stay. Interestingly, we’ve seen a slight increase in the number of MDs asking us if moving back to four or five days in the office would affect their ability to attract talent. The answer is yes.

It’s not that people don’t want to go into the office. It’s that they simply don’t want to face the daily commute. When we asked our LinkedIn PR network what they’d value most to promote work-life balance, 44% said they wanted more remote working options. They even put that ahead of a four-day work week.

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Stability returns

After the ups and downs over the past three years, the talent market has finally landed in a more stable place. Job seekers have finally received the pay rises they were looking for, agencies have adapted to a more flexible working model and we all look ahead to see what the next hiring trend will be.

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Methodology

The salary guide used the salary data from over 100 live PR job vacancies Latte were briefed on, salary bandings from over 20 PR agencies, data from over 30 job offers accepted and salary trends consultants were seeing in their conversations with over 400 job seeker calls. You can download the full guide here.

Article written by Dean Connelly, founder of Latte Recruitment

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