Council of PR Firms: Industry Expanded in ’08, 67% Predict ’09 To Be Flat or Down

The Council of PR Firms released their “2009 State Of Public Relations Survey” today and the results are somewhat along the lines of what one would expect. 2008 saw growth, although not at levels seen in 2007, while a vast majority of agencies are not optimistic about growth in 2009. Among the findings from the survey, conducted with Kelton Research:

– 61% percent of firms grew last year, at an average rate of 4%; a drop off vs. 2007 growth of 10%.

– 28% of firms predict a decline in revenue for 2009, 33% predict growth, 39% expect to stay flat. The average revenue projection for the year among the 57 participating firms was essentially flat (-0.2%).

– Special events (60%) and celebrity spokespeople (44%) are most likely to be cut from PR campaigns in 2009 due to economic concerns, while social media (79%) and digital content creation (55%) top the list for growth potential.

One number we certainly welcome, but find hard to beleive: 30% of participating executives say their firms are currently hiring. “The public relations industry enjoyed a healthy and steady expansion mid-decade but experienced a slowdown in business toward the end of 2008…We are realistic about what to expect in 2009.” said Kathy Cripps, president of the Council of PR Firms in a statement. View the complete report on the Council of PR Firm’s website.