Confidence amongst in-house comms departments weak despite little recent change PRCA survey finds
General confidence among In-house Communications teams is weak despite the majority of them having seen little change in their budgets, according to the PRCA’s economic barometer.
The barometer, which covered the final Quarter of 2011, found that between 1 October and 31 December, with 44% of teams reporting that their PR communications budget remained the same, while 33% of those questioned said that their budgets decreased ‘marginally’. 11% however did say that their budgets decreased ‘significantly’ during the period.
The research, which included over 50 in-house departments in the UK, also found that 56% of department’s PR or communications consultancy spend stayed the same, while 33% said that their budget decreased ‘marginally’.
78% also said that they expected their staff numbers to remain the same over the next year however over half (56%) expected the scope of their work to increase.
56% of communication departments said that they expected the economic condition to get worse by the end of 2012, while 33% thought it would remain the same. Only 11% said that they expected an improvement.
Francis Ingham, chief executive of the PRCA, commented: “In-house PR leaders are not immune to the general economic sentiment in the country. Confidence is weak, and budgets remain under pressure.
“There are two very positive findings, however. First employment prospects are stable; it seems reasonable to conclude that communications directors have already taken their necessary HR decisions. Secondly, while being asked to do more with less is a legitimate challenge, it reflects the fact that in the downturn, CEOs are recognising the central importance of their communications experts. Both of those are positive indicators for when the economy improves.”