PRCAI releases study on state of Indian PR industry

27 Sep,2016

By A Correspondent


The Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI) released a comprehensive report on the PR industry titled ‘State of Indian Public Relations Industry: 2016’. According to the findings of the report, the industry more than doubled in size between FY’08 and FY’16 from Rs 490 crore to Rs 1120 crore. The report further states that the growth will substantially increase in the coming years and the industry will be worth Rs 2100 crore by FY’20, almost double its present size. Increased maturity in public relations has allowed the industry to become more integral to brand communications.


The survey also reports that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is the biggest clientele for PR firms in the country. The sector accounted for over 20 per cent of the revenue generated by PR firms, closely followed by financial services and the FMCG sector which accounted for 12 per cent and 9 per cent of the revenue respectively. The PR industry, which grew by 19 per cent this year as compared to 13 per cent last year, is on a strong growth trajectory and is expected to play a more strategic role in delivering brand messages. More brands are waking up to the potential that PR has to offer and are moving towards it to deliver a unified message to all stakeholders.


Commenting on the findings of the report, Nitin Mantri, President PRCAI and CEO, Avian Media said, “Storytelling will be key for brands going forward. Delivering content-driven integrated campaigns which can engage and captivate varied audiences will be crucial to the survival of brands in the near future. The sources of revenue in the industry have diversified beyond public relations and public affairs. New services such as digital and social media communications, along with crisis and CSR management, have enabled strong growth of the industry which is expected to double in size by 2020 and be worth over Rs 2100 crore. Constant innovation and smart adaptation to the changing landscape are indispensable for PR firms today. PR practitioners are also waking up to the huge potential, majority of which is still untapped, that lies in the fast growing rural markets. Despite limited retail access, consumer demand is booming in these markets, being fueled by mobile transactions.”


Commenting on the findings of the report, Deepak H, Head (Emerging Sectors Business Unit) at Feedback Consulting said,“Owing to the growth in the PR industry, there has been a significant increase in the number of boutique firms, while consolidation is happening at the top of the pyramid. PR companies are positive about the future outlook of the industry and estimate a 15 – 16% year on year growth in the next 4 years. Start-ups, Sports & Entertainment are seen as emerging business segment, while the industry is largely driven by the Services & Manufacturing Segment.


The biggest and common challenge in the industry is acquiring the right set of talent and retaining them. The talent gap is seen across the skill areas required in the PR industry. Research & Innovative lead individuals with marketing and business development ability are highly desired skills as indicated by companies during the survey.”


While the core services – public relations and public affairs – continue to be biggest source of revenue for PR consultancies, together generating over 70 per cent of the total revenue, the rapid growth seen at the digital and social media front is indicative of the changing dynamics of the PR industry. Brands are also fortifying themselves against possible negative consumer sentiment in the future by investing more towards crisis and risk management and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) management.


Clients today are slowly shifting towards a project based relationship with the firm over the retainer based model. While today 74 per cent of the total revenue comes from retainer businesses and 26 per cent from project businesses, this dynamic is expected to change in the near future. The increasingly competitive agency landscape and mushrooming of freelancers has increased the options for the brands.

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