Entry, top level salaries up, mid level professionals need more training: PRogress Careers and Competencies Report 2022

The pandemic has not put a stopper in the growth of the PR business in India, if anything its value has only enhanced as brands realised the role of PR in guarding reputational value during a global crisis.

Even as there are global headwinds of recession, India is expected to not be impacted much and PR professionals are very optimistic about the future.

PRogress Careers and Competencies Report 2022

In order to find out what skills PR professionals value most, what kind of compensation and benefits are being offered to PR professionals and what are their challenges for the future in terms of upskilling and expectation of benefits; PRmoment India conducted a survey report in partnership with MSL from August to November 2022.

The anonymous survey report designed and conducted by Censuswide covered communication professionals working both with PR firms (115 respondents) and brand side (84 respondents).

Amit Misra, CEO, of MSL South Asia and South-East Asia stated, "Even as the PR industry is posed for growth post-pandemic, we need to understand this significant shift in the PR world.

This report will help us benchmark current competencies across PR Consultancies and In-house

The information about what areas and experience levels require more training in will help us support our colleagues to meet the upskilling gap as businesses evolve rapidly in the presence of a digital-first eco-system and create a greater understanding of the challenges of working in PR.

Finally, we hope to work with the industry to help create a set of recommendations that will assist in creating industry standards for the empowerment of our people."

Salaries and Benefits 

PR firms: Entry Level Salaries are Up

One of the biggest findings of the PRogress report is a rise in entry-level salaries at PR firms. 

Let's look at the numbers. In 2019 the average overall lower range fell between 1,80,000 to Rs. 3,00,000 annually. But now a mere 0.99% figure in the 1,80,000 range in 2022 and less than 5% in the under 3,60,000 lakh range. In 2022, the average annual salary for respondents fell in the range of Rs. 3,60,000 rupees to 6,00,000.

PR Firms Salary Results (in lakhs per annum)

PRogress Careers and Competencies Report 2022


Key Insight: Bengaluru is the best city for salaries for senior PR firm professionals

PR Firms: Top Benefits 

Among the top benefits received at PR firms are Hybrid work benefits, Covid and health insurance, and maternity benefits.

Other benefits 

We also asked respondents to add any other benefit they would like to highlight. The answers are revealing. 

Types of benefits sharply rise in 2022 from 2019 to include menstrual leave, 'pawrental' leave, marriage leave and week-long Diwali breaks to D&I policy, mental health support, responsive management and incentives on winning pitches.

It is also a positive sign to see that 39% of respondents said they have access to mentoring and coaching at the workplace. Another 36% said they could counselling services at work.

Salaries and Benefits

Corporate Communication: Top and Entry Level Salaries are Up

While the mean salary settled at 36 lakh rupees per annum, 25% of corporate communications respondents earned between 50 and 89 lakhs per annum. In 2019, the maximum earned salary cut off at 40 lakhs per annum. 

Insight: Gurgaon is the city to be for high salaries. 55.56 % of the respondents in Gurgaon said they were paid between 50 to 80 lakhs annually. This was followed by Bengaluru ( 31.82%), Mumbai (25%) and Delhi (20%).

Benefits 

Corporate communicators enjoyed strong work benefits in 2022. Maternity leave (63.10%) was at the top of the list, followed by hybrid work benefits (55.95%), vaccine support (55.95%), paternity benefits (42.25%) and paid vacation (34.52%).

Skills and Training 

PR Firms: Top Skills

PR firms said that their top skills were client management, mentoring a team and writing.

ESG, purpose and campaign planning has entered as a fresh skill set in 2022 as compared to 2019.

Want more training in Metaverse, content marketing

PR firms clearly listed ESG, metaverse, social listening tools, public affairs and content marketing as areas they want more training.

Frequency of Training

Insight: In 2019, 25% said they have never received any training at work, this has now dropped to 18%. Few in 2019 said they received training more than once a year, in 2022 this is the top-rated answer pointing to an increase in training opportunities.

Top Skills

Corporate Communications Professionals

Corporate communications professionals listed the following as their top skills in 2022:

Integrated strategic planning and counsel

51.19%

C-suite management

42.86%

Writing: story pitches, press releases, Q and A documents, briefing documents, opinion pieces

39.29%

Insight: C-suite management has entered a top 3 skill, this is a change from 2019 when it did not figure as a top skill. Media management has also dropped out from a top 5 skill as compared to 2019, pointing to changing media trends post Covid.

More training

The areas in which corporate communication professionals want further training clearly reflect the evolution of the communication role. The graph below reveals the most sought-after skills:

PRogress Careers and Competencies Report 2022


Insight: A much higher percentage of professionals overall, as compared to PR firms, said they did not receive any training at work. 36.9% of corporate communication respondents said they never received any training at all in 2021-22. Compare this to PR firms. In 2019, 25% of respondents from PR firms said they have never received any training at work, this has now dropped to 18% in 2022.

Main Drivers at Work

The top 3 drivers at work for professionals at PR firms and brand side are identical. Both groups have top priority to work culture, salary and growth opportunities as the main reasons to stay at a job.

PR firms: City Results 

Delhi NCR above all cities gave priority to work culture, but Bengaluru also gave top billing to culture.

Insight: Delhi NCR was most concerned among all the metros about immediate leadership and its impact on their happiness at work.

Corporate Communications: Gender preferences for drivers at work

While culture and salary were common drivers for both men and women.

For men, in a tie, the top 3 drivers at work were work culture, salary and growth.

Women picked work culture, salary, and independence at work as their main motivation to stay in a job.

City Results 

Leadership at work (72.73%) by a strong margin was the most important motivator at work for Bengaluru. This was followed by work culture and salary.

Delhi NCR gave high preference to independence at work followed by leadership at work.

Challenges at work: Salary, Demands for coverage

PR firms 

Dealing with journalists was a top challenge at work as was dealing with client demands for coverage for PR professionals. Inspite of a rise in entry-level and top salaries from 2019, the salary was another concern.

Respondents were also concerned about getting the team to focus on a larger objective, client fixation on coverage and investment for strategic thinking

Corporate Communicators 

In line with the results that corporate communication professionals want more training as their role evolved, respondents said that their main challenges brand side were lack of training, explaining the role of PR to the C-suite and salary.

Respondents were also concerned about blurred lines between paid and earned content.

Evolving mandates for corporate communications 

Post-pandemic the mandate for corporate communicators have changed. The graph below shows the major changes in mandate in 2022:

PRogress Careers and Competencies Report 2022

Thanks to MSL for supporting this effort 

PRogress Careers and Competencies Report 2022

Thank you Censuswide for designing and conducting the survey report:

PRogress Careers and Competencies Report 2022

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