MSL Group India has released its latest executive report on ‘Public Relations in India: Inside the Industry’s Mind and the 2013 Outlook’.
Last year, the company had released its first such industry outlook, highlighting critical issues such as talent crunch, the low level of PR fees, need for strategic and integrated communications, and misperception of the industry’s size.
For the second edition, MSL Group India commissioned a third-party India-wide survey of PR professionals. The objective was to understand PR professionals’ view on trends that will define the industry in 2013. The survey was conducted across the executive hierarchy to ensure that the newest entrants have their say alongside veterans. Media professionals and clients were also engaged to make the survey holistic.
A majority of respondents (51 pc) said the industry would grow more than 20 per cent over the next 12 months. Sixty three per cent respondents said they believed clients’ PR budgets were intact, while 33 per cent were of the opinion that the budgets have in fact increased. Forty eight per cent of respondents said digital media would be the hottest category for 2013, followed by lifestyle and technology. Among issues in the PR industry, talent crunch was top-of-mind. Knowledge-based PR emerged as a trend with 41 per cent respondents stressing on the need for thought-leadership initiatives.
The report further said that in 2013, more organisations will recognise the need to marry marketing with reputation management. It also predicts that 2013 will be a year where the industry will see successful brands work collaboratively with communities, governments, customers and organisations to co-create solutions. The report takes a closer look on issues such as agency-client relationship, PR fees, re-pitching and business assurance norms.
Jaideep Shergill, chief executive officer, MSL Group India, said, “The PR industry in India is witnessing a transformation. The industry is making an extra effort to be viewed as a strategic partner and clients are acknowledging its value. With this study, we wanted to give the industry a voice. Having spoken to all stakeholders, from PR professionals to media to clients, I can say with certainty that a unified industry approach is the way ahead.”
Olivier Fleurot, chief executive officer, MSL Group, noted, “The fact that the industry is fragmented, it is quite difficult to quote any number. The industry struggled a bit in 2012. More prominent and stronger companies grew by 5 per cent and other by about 1 to 2 per cent.”
He further added, “2012 was a year where we saw organic growth of 30 per cent in Asia. India and China are showing good progress. Talking particularly of India, I think there is a lot of potential in this market. The biggest challenge is to ensure that we as a strategic communication firm get the recognition we deserve from clients. The report, which we’ve released, has shown positive results on that front. Clients now understand the value of PR practices, strategic communications, social media etc. The industry is well and truly on its way to grow over 20 per cent in India.”