PR census 2016 shows growth but pay gap remains

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The PRCA launched the results of the 2016 PR Census last Friday which confirmed there are more PR people than journalists in the UK.

The number of people working in PR has reached 83,000 and the value of the UK PR business grown to £12.9bn.

Technology and healthcare have seen the biggest leaps in growth, along with retail, food, business services, consumer services, media and marketing.

Issues around diversity and gender pay discrimination stood out. Little has changed on these fronts since previous reports in 2011 and 2013. 91% describe themselves as white and 89% as British. The make-up of the PR industry’s employees clearly doesn’t reflect the audiences they are trying to reach, however the survey finds that diversity improves among the younger generation of PR professionals.

In an industry where 64% of people are women the gender pay gap still looms large, on average women are paid £9,111 less than a man in the same role. The difference is at it’s largest for those at account director level and above, only levelling out at the very top.

Gender pay gap in agencies (chart from PRCA)

Another challenge facing PR is adopting a form of measurement industry wide. Only 23% of those surveyed use the Barcelona Principles 2.0 while 16% are still using AVEs despite this method not being deemed as good practice for many years.

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