PRCA census 2021 shows PR industry roaring back after lockdown

The PRCA Census 2021 shows an industry that is roaring back to life after the pandemic. The census claims the industry has grown by 6% since 2020 and contributes a record £16.7 billion to the economy with an all-time high of 99,900 practitioners.

The Public Relations and Communications Association annual UK PR and Communications Census research reveals that 9% of practitioners were furloughed after March 2020, and that 2% were made redundant. Of those, 69% are back to work full-time and 26% are back to work part-time.

It also shows a significant change in working patterns, with only 16% of practitioners having returned or planning to return to their office full-time. I’m actually surprised by how high that number is as my own anecdotal experience of working with clients and talking to colleagues is that most people are hybrid, with a huge variety of different models and definitions of what hybrid means.

The census also has the usual concerning data on mental health, the gender pay gap and diversity. It’s important these issues are acknowledged and that we continue to work together to improve them and fix the many problems that exist in the PR and communications industry. It continues to paint a depressing picture of social mobility with a shocking 20% of respondents having attended a private fee-paying school – instead of the 6-7% which is the reality for the population as a whole.

You can read the full PRCA Census 2021 on the PRCA website.

It reflects what I’ve found talking to both PR agencies and in-house communications teams. The industry and profession is changing, if not week by week, then at least month by month. Never has the need to keep up, get ahead and transform been so important.