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Global PR set to grow in 2020

Global agency heads are optimistic about the growth of public relations, according to International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) World PR Report, published in partnership with research firm Opinium.

There are high levels of optimism and profitability in every region. When asked to express their levels of agreement with the statement ‘I am optimistic about the growth of the public relations market’ on a 10 point scale, PR leaders revealed a global average of 7 out 10, with levels of optimism particularly strong in North America (7.7).

Average levels of agreement on a 10 point scale

Increased profits

In terms of making money, across all regions, participants scored an average of 6.7 in confidence in increased profits, with market confidence prominent in Latin America (7.3) and Eastern Europe (7).

Other key findings

  • Global AVE usage has fallen to 46% from 52% over the past year
  • LinkedIn is the most popular B2B social media platform for agencies in the Middle East and Africa, followed by Twitter and Facebook
  • Influencer marketing is the most likely area to see an increase in investment from consultancies in Asia Pacific
  • Western European leaders believe creativity skills will be the most important skills for PR professionals over the next decade
  • Agency heads cite retaining top talent as the biggest industry challenge and believe high salaries are the most significant barrier to sourcing talent from outside the industry

Barriers of sourcing talent from outside the industry

Discussing the latest report, and its positive findings, Francis Ingham, PRCA director general and ICCO chief executive, says: “Today’s World PR Report is the definitive analysis of the state of global public relations. The data from the report demonstrates that our industry is in fine shape. It shows that CEOs – across all regions of the world – continue to invest in corporate reputation because they know it is their company’s most valuable asset. I’d urge communications professionals around the world to familiarise themselves with the findings and learn more about ICCO’s work on championing global standards of PR. “

Companies are paying more attention to corporate purpose


The results are based on findings from an online survey conducted between July and September 2019. 291 PR leaders were surveyed, including 179 CEOs/ MDs/ owners. Surveys were conducted across the following regions:

  • Africa and the Middle East
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Eastern Europe
  • Western Europe
  • United Kingdom
  • North America
  • Latin America

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