Public relations firms are continuing to experience very positive revenue and profitability trends, according to Davis+Gilbert LLP’s 10th annual survey of the PR industry.
Davis+Gilbert, the go-to law firm for public relations and marketing communications firms, found that 81% of the more than 130 PR firms that participated in the survey increased revenue this year. In addition, 61% reported a profit increase, which is remarkable given investments the firms are making in attracting and retaining talent.
Click here to access the Davis+Gilbert Public Relations Industry 2022 Survey Trends + Highlights full report.
“The data shows that the year-over-year revenue and profit increases firms are experiencing is not merely a one-year aberration from a boost in crisis communications related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Davis+Gilbert Public Relations practice group Chair Michael Lasky. “What’s developed is a ‘new normal’ of PR firms not just surviving but thriving in a world where communications and earned media have become exponentially more important — as some industry insiders have been saying even before the pandemic.”
Other notable takeaways from this year’s report indicate that the PR industry has learned to be remarkably nimble in many ways. These include reducing their brick-and-mortar footprints in favor of some virtual and satellite locations. The firms have also implemented creative financial arrangements to incentivize top performance. For example:
- 82% of the firms created more flexible working arrangements
- Approximately half the firms say they are not asking employees to return to the office
- 25% of the firms eliminated more than half of their office space
- Firms focused their staff trainings on leadership and client management, as ways to grow revenue
- 46% of the firms conducted a pay audit in the last year to evaluate equitable pay practices by gender, race or other criteria
Meanwhile, merger and acquisition activities grew stronger with 59 consummated deals from January 1 through September 30 — 17 more than last year in the same time frame.
“More than half of those reporting stated that they are interested in acquiring at least one firm in the next three years,” added Davis+Gilbert Corporate + Transactions practice group Co-Chair Brad Schwartzberg. “This continuing appetite to acquire seems to indicate that firms believe deploying a strategic M&A initiative can further enhance their overall growth objectives.”
As it has for the last 10 years, Davis+Gilbert’s report also looks at top-performing firms’ activities and trends, which gives valuable insight into the industry’s strengths and future. “From DEI initiatives to expanding digital services to clients, PR firms are making meaningful changes that are that are enhancing their client’s business objectives, generating revenue for their firms and securing the firms’ futures,” Lasky added.