State of the Public Relations Industry

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Public RelationsRecently, PR Underground shared this post based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. In it, I learned that public relations specialists are paid on average $66,540 per year, and public relations managers earned $123,360 per year.

But here is the thing: specialists’ pay has shown virtually no growth in nearly a decade.

The growth is 0.9% versus more than 10% growth in salary for those in management levels.

While the recession certainly had something to do with it, what do you think are some of the other causes? Perhaps there is a blurred line between the two job titles that might have something to do with the skew? Or maybe management factors in commissions? Other?

While the full blog post is available here, I also had a few other surprising takeaways in addition to the above worth noting:

  • Salaries for entry level PR workers have dropped over the past decade
  • The pay gap between managers and their team members has doubled over the past 17 years
  • While PR folks from San Francisco, San Jose and Washington D.C. earn 40% more than the national average, the highest wages relative to the living wage is actually Providence, Rhode Island
  • Perhaps more shocking, coming in at number three for the highest wages relative to the living wage – Detroit
  • The worst place to be a PR person – Oklahoma City

And finally – a positive note: employment for PR folks has risen over the past four years. There are more than 290,000 men and women in the industry today, and we are getting close to the numbers of people in this sector pre-recession (though not there yet)

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

1 Comment

  1. David Landis says:

    Alison, it’s true that you would probably earn 40% more in PR here in San Francisco/Silicon Valley; but with 1 bedroom rentals going for $3,600/month, that won’t leave you much left over for cocktails at the end of the month. Cheers, David

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