The Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI) released this year’s ‘State of Industry Survey 2017’ report at PRAXIS 2017 – India’s largest gathering of communication professionals – in Jaipur on Friday. This year, other than public relations consultancies, in-house communicators were also surveyed to understand the current status of the industry, size, key trends and challenges. According to the report, the industry grew by 18% to reach Rs. 1,315 in FY17, which is an up from last year’s Rs. 1,120 crore, with boutique firms performing remarkably well. The industry is expected to continue to register a double-digit growth and reach Rs. 2,000 crore by 2020.
The growth in 2017 has been driven by the retail, automobile and FMCG sectors. Large firms have reported a significant increase of 14% in FMCG & retail revenues. Auto & OEM has seen a growth as compared to FY 16. Interestingly, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, which was last year’s biggest clientele for PR firms in the country, accounting for over 20 percent of the revenue generated by agencies, is on the decline with a revenue share of only 8%. There has a decline in the revenue share of financial services as well. Overall, the private sector continues to account for 95% of the PPR spends.
Nitin Mantri, PRCAI President, and CEO, Avian Media said: “When we started this first-of-its-kind study last year we wanted to understand and address the issues facing the Indian PR industry in order to nurture and grow the PR industry. We increased the ambit of the survey this year by including in-house communicators. This year’s report has reiterated the fact that to stay on top of the game we need to work as a team – share experiences, explore new approaches and learn new ways – to reinvent ourselves. Communication trends and tools are changing in a heartbeat. Constant innovation and smart adaptation to the changing landscape are indispensable for PR firms today. Thus, PR firms that have kept a finger on the pulse of global trends and embraced them have grown faster in 2017. Newer customised products and non-traditional PR work are expected to grow in the coming years, with integrated PR solutions and visual communications holding the key to success.”
Commenting on the findings of the report, Ms. IV Rajashree, Vice President, Feedback Consulting, said: “It was an honor for Feedback Consulting to undertake the study for the second year running for the PRCAI. This year we expanded our base to cover in-house communicators as well. This has provided the industry with a client-side view of future trends.”
The report also examines the challenges facing the industry. Availability, attracting and retaining talent continues to be a key concern across stakeholders. As a result, the focus of all firms has been employee growth and motivation. The average spends on training has grown from last year’s average of 1.1%. The efforts are paying off as the attrition rate has come down to 21% from last year’s 28%. Another heartening finding in the report is that large and medium firms are ready to diversify and hire talent from the advertising and media industry due to the growth of content-driven campaigns and use of digital media.
Among services, Employee Communication and Employee Engagement are gaining importance as a distinct service offering. The service toppled core services – public relations and public affairs – to become the biggest source of revenue for PR consultancies, generating nearly 49 percent of the total revenue. This rapid growth is indicative of the changing needs of the PR industry. Meanwhile, digital and social media continues to contribute significantly (12%) to the revenues of the industry. Other services that are doing well include influencer marketing, India entry strategies, Creative design & website development.