Public Relations Integral to Brand Communications: PRCAI

The Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI), the leading trade association of PR consultancies in India, along with Feedback Business Consulting released the country’s first comprehensive report on the PR business titled State of Indian Public Relations Industry: 2016. According to the findings of the report, the business more than doubled in size between FY08 and FY16 from Rs. 490 crores in FY08 to Rs. 1,120 crores in FY16. The report further states that the growth will substantially increase in the coming years and the business will be worth Rs. 2,100 crores by FY20, almost double its present size. Increased maturity in public relations has allowed the business 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% of the revenue generated by PR firms, closely followed by financial services and the FMCG sector which accounted for 12% and 9% of the revenue respectively. The PR business, which grew by 19% this year as compared to 13% last year, is on a strong growth trajectory and is expected to play a much more structural role in delivering brand messages. More brands are waking to the potential that PR has to offer and are moving towards it to deliver a unified message to all stakeholders.

Nitin-Mantri-PRCAICommenting 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 business 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 business which is expected to double in size by 2020 and be worth over Rs. 2,100 crores. Constant innovation and smart adaptation to the changing landscape are indispensable for PR firms today. PR practitioners are also waking 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.”

deepak-hCommenting on the findings of the report, Deepak. H, Head Emerging Sectors BU, Feedback Consulting said,“Owing to the growth in the PR industry, there has been 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 business 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 business is largely driven by the Services & Manufacturing Segment.

The biggest & common challenge in the business is acquiring the right set of talent and retaining them. The talent gap is seen across the skill areas required in the PR business. Research & Innovative lead individuals with marketing & 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% of the total revenue, the rapid growth seen at the digital and social media front is indicative of the changing dynamics of the PR business.

Clients today are slowly shifting towards a project based relationship with the firm over the retainer based model.

PR consultancies have been pushing for more investment towards training and skill development to bridge the talent gap that the industry currently faces. Over 75% of the professionals in the coming years will be hired to cater to new and growing services such as digital and social media communications, risk and crisis management and CSR management. The business currently employs over 7,750 professionals and 5-10% of this figure is added to the workforce every year. Most of this workforce is employed in Delhi and Mumbai, both of which continue to be the business hubs.

PRCAI is a trade association set up in 2001, that represents India’s public relations consultancy sector while providing a forum for Government, public bodies, industry associations, trade and others to confer with public relations consultants as a body.  It seeks to establish benchmarks in Standards, Knowledge, Ethics and Expertise and encourages and promotes the progression of Public Relations Industry in India.  To widen representation and participation from our members, 4 Regional Chapters have been created. Most leading PR consultancies are its members.

PRCAI is a member of International Communication Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and EPACA – European Public Affairs Consultancy Association.

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