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PR industry to battle attrition and grow to $6bn by 2010

PR industry to battle attrition and grow to $6bn by 2010
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First Published: Mon, Mar 10 2008. 03 29 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Mar 10 2008. 03 29 PM IST
New Delhi: High rates of attrition notwithstanding, the public relation sector is likely to register an annual growth rate of 32%. This would be double its size to over $6 billion by 2010 from over $3 billion presently.
According to Assocham’s recent study where over 400 PR professionals were interviewed, it was found that inspite of attrition rate being as high as 40% , corporates are increasingly relying on PR to supplement advertising to help clients form an effective communication strategy.
There are more than 100 agencies-big ones with 10-15 branches across the country; medium sized with 4-5 branches and smaller city-specific agencies. Many of these are affiliated or are Indian subsidiaries of global PR companies. For instance, Weber Shandwick and O&M have their India offices. Likewise, Fleishman Hillard has an affiliation with Lexicon. There are industry specific agencies like Text100 and 2020 for IT companies, Imprimis for healthcare companies, and Adfactors that look largely at financial companies.
Key Findings
*Growing opportunity cost in PR industry is one reason for constant job shuffles
* Over 90% PR professionals come in at the entry level with enthusiasm and passion for their work but within a year shift to greener pastures
* Brand building and image management are emerging as key areas where corporates seek services of PR firms to enhance visibility and promote services/ products/ top management
* Majority of PR professionals confirmed that during the economic boom, huge competition emerged for brand building as a result of which PR agencies are in demand and quoting high market driven prices for services
* PR sector registered growth of 22-25% in last few years which further went up to 32% in 2007 and by 2010, size of PR industry is expected to grow to more than $6 billion
* Indian PR industry comprises 1200-1500 agencies with manpower strength of 30,000 to 40,000
* In terms of vertical markets, healthcare is the fastest-growing sector; however, public sector, environment and corporate social responsibility are emerging as growth areas for PR
* Overriding concern of industry is skills shortage; almost all agencies are hiring, a trend that is indicative of growth, and some are looking outside the PR industry to bring in new skills
* Although there are thousands of small agencies and individual consultants serving very local markets, larger agencies are forging partnerships across the globe to meet demand from clients
*Retainer fee on an average can be anywhere between Rs2.5 to Rs 5 lakh
* Reasons for high attrition could be the temptation of moving to the higher pay master; leadership crisis within the industry; inability of PR outfits to meet evolving needs of companies/ clients and to understand the dynamics of the present-day market place
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First Published: Mon, Mar 10 2008. 03 29 PM IST