PR industry to double in size to US$10.5bn by 2012: Assocham

Over 90% of PR professional at entry levels with enthusiasm and passions for hard work are shifting for greener pastures with in the industry in a year’s time.

Jan 27, 2011 04:01 IST India Infoline News Service

Indian PR industry is growing at an annual rate of 32% and likely to double its size to over US$ 10.56 billion by 2012 from over US $6 billion presently since corporates are relying more on PR professional to hike their brand image to take maximum benefits of current economic boom for increased sales & turnover volumes.
These findings are arrived at a random survey carried out by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) on “PR & ITS FUTURE PROSPECTS” in which over 500 PR professionals views were interviewed, however, adds that a result of growing opportunities costs in PR industry.
Releasing its findings, the ASSOCHAM Secretary General, D S Rawat said that over 90% of PR professional at entry levels with enthusiasm and passions for hard work are shifting for greener pastures with in the industry in a year’s time.
The ASSOCHAM survey confirms the trends that a large number of corporates are opting to rope in PR professional for their increased sales turnover as one of finest marketing strategies”. 
A majority of PR professional said that in the economic boom, a huge competition has emerged for brand building as result of which PR agencies are in demand and quoting a very market driven prices for their services for which takers are available.
Since demand for PR professional are rising and so are opportunities galoring for relationship industries and it is because of this reason it has shown a growth rate of about 22-25% in last couple of years  which has now risen to 32%  and the trend will continue in future and even grow for better, said Mr. Rawat. 
The finding of survey, Mr. Rawat said that by 2012, the PR industry size would grow to more than US $10.56 billion.  
According to estimates, the Indian PR industry comprises 1000-2000 agency with their manpower strength of between 30,000 to 40,000. Business is booming for the public-relations (PR) industry.
It is in this discipline that the industry has seen most growth and expects to see continuing growth in the future. In terms of vertical markets, healthcare has been identified by several of the industry as the fastest-growing sector; however, the public sector, the environment and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are all emerging as growth areas for PR.
The overriding concern of the industry is the skills shortage. Almost all agencies are hiring, a trend that is itself indicative of growth, and some are looking outside the PR industry to bring in new skills.
Although there are many thousands of small agencies and individual consultants serving very local markets, larger agencies are forging partnerships across the globe to meet demand from clients that themselves are extending their global reach. 

There are more than 100 agencies-big ones with 10-15 branches across India like Perfect Relations, Genesis PR, and Vaishnavi, medium size ones with 4-5 branches and smaller city specific PR 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 affiliation with Lexicon.  There are industry specific agencies like Text100 and 2020 for IT companies, Imprimis for health care companies, and Adfactors majorly to financial companies.
Public relation is being used as a supplement along with advertising to form an effective communication strategy. This is primarily because at times advertising does not suffice in communicating the exact message. Public relation services not only help in communicating their message but can also help in generating a favorable response. Any average PR agency's normal retainer fee can be anywhere between Rs 2.5 to Rs 10 lakhs.  
Shortage of professionals in PR

1. Lure of better pay: If skilled manpower is scarce, professionals will inevitably be poached for higher salaries.

2. Leadership crisis: Being a fairly new industry it does not have too many established players. Hence, there are very few veterans and worthy leaders in top management positions. This presents a crisis of leadership in smaller firms, which makes people move onto larger and more reputable companies.

3. Lack of understanding of PR: It may come as a surprise but most people still have a very vague notion of PR. 

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