The 2008 U.S. financial crisis still feels fresh for many industries trying to rebound, but PR is one segment that has seemingly put the latest economic downturn in the past. New data from Sageworks shows that the past two years have recorded strong growth for communications companies, including public relations firms, advertising agencies and media buyers.
Just two years ago, in 2009, the industry saw a 7 percent drop in sales as companies across varying industries pulled back on their PR, advertising and marketing budgets. Quick to rebound, however, 2010 showed an average 9 percent growth and, now, as 2011 comes to a close, we see that communications services companies have breached double-digits with an 11 percent increase in sales.
Looking ahead, growth rates seem prime to increase even further, especially with several major upcoming events, including the 2012 winter Olympics in London and the 2012 U.S. presidential election, which companies across a variety of industries will be looking to capitalize on through PR initiatives. Indeed, Franchise Update’s Annual Franchise Development Report forecasts a 5 percent increase in PR spending for 2012.
With increasing numbers of digital mediums and news sources, it’s no wonder PR spending is continuing to escalate as companies strive to make their name known amidst the surge of online chatter. By leveraging innovative campaigns and targeted messaging, public relations investments can make a big difference in whether a company can rise up against competitors in its space and make a name for itself.