The PRCA launched the latest PR and Communications Census today and it makes for interesting reading. It shows the business is booming and the sector is growing which is all really great news. However, there are also some worrying findings within it.
We are still an industry that is not representative of communities. It is massively concerning because how can we really provide a service if we don’t have a diversity of views, opinions and ideas? Alongside that we have actually seen an increase in the gender pay gap and this is despite 66 per cent of the business being made up by women.
I also found it hugely concerning that there are still PR and communication practitioners that are using AVEs to evaluate their work. More than one in 10 of us still thinks that is an acceptable way to review what they do and we have to change this. After all if we can’t effectively evaluate what we do then I am sure the upward trend will get turned around. No CEO or senior manager is going to keep funding PR and communication activity if they cannot see and understand the impact, and also that impact has to boost the business objectives.
The press release launching the Census includes a quote from PRCA Director General Francis Ingham “As an industry, we should be proud but not complacent”. I agree with that there is a lot to celebrate that we do. We boost businesses, we help people, we protect communities, we educate and the list goes on. But what next?
It is vital that we use the information and figures within the Census to improve what we do. We need to look at accelerating work to make the industry more representative, to improve social mobility and to remove inequality. We need to push standards and share best practice.
We all have a responsibility to ensure we continue to build the reputation of the profession. The information is useful but it is what we do with it that matters and that includes using it to help explain the role of PR and communication within business and society. If you haven’t looked through the Census I would recommend you do.