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March 26, 2010
PR Salaries Down, but Hiring Slowly Increasing

2009 was a rocky year for PR salaries and bonuses, and other trends weren't so great either, as Spring Associates, Inc. reports in its 14th annual corporate communications and public relations compensation study, "The Official PR Salary & Bonus Report - 2010 Edition." However, PR hires are slowly increasing in the first quarter of 2010.

Spring Associates gathered this information in daily contact with its PR clients from "more than 22,000 credentialed PR corporate and agency professionals nationwide."

As a sampling, "Overall, average corporate communications base salaries decreased 11.3% compared with the previous year's increase of 2.7%. PR agency base salaries decreased 10.6% compared to the previous year's increase of 2.9%."

"Those companies and firms that are hiring in the first quarter of 2010, tend to fall into the healthcare, pharmaceutical, consumer and high tech/social media specialties. In general, the hiring trend is skewed toward PR people with more than the usual amount of experience at depressed pay levels - as reflected in the 2010 edition of The Official PR Salary & Bonus Report."

"These days it's becoming more common for corporate candidates to report to human resources, marketing and sometimes legal departments. In spite of the recession some experienced PR pros are hesitant to accept positions that report to these departments rather than directly to the C-suite."

"Social media is starting to make its presence felt in the media relations area, but is not commanding the higher base salaries as a stand-alone discipline as yet. Most search assignments tend to bundle social media in with high tech and different aspects of media relations."

And, "There is much uncertainty about the effects of Obamacare and what benefits PR workers can expect from their employers going forward. At the moment, employers are asking employees for a greater percentage portion of their salary to cover spiraling healthcare costs."

Clearly, there have been brighter job scenes, but have we arrived at a new normal?




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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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