As per a report by the Public Relations Consultants Association of India, the size of the public relations industry in India is projected to reach Rs.2,100 crore by fiscal 2020. Apart from hard core Public Relations, digital, social media and content will contribute 25% to the revenue of PR firms.
Almost all agencies including the leading PR agencies in Mumbai , New Delhi and elsewhere acknowledge the fact that new kinds of services such as digital and social media communications, crisis communications and CSR have witnessed stellar growth in the industry that is expected to become twice its size by 2020. With the proliferation of the smartphone and the internet, rural areas are also witnessing increasing consumer demand, thereby making PR very important in Bharat as well.
The growth witnessed in the PR industry is not just limited to larger multinationals and bigger Indigenous firms but also smaller boutique firms. Although, like most industries in India now, consolidation is happening at the top of the pyramid, however, PR companies on the whole, is positive in their outlook and expect an estimated 15 – 16% year on year growth, over the next 4 years. Most PR firms are looking at segments such as Start-ups, Sports & Entertainment as the emerging ones, ready for great growth. Services and manufacturing are legacy segments that continues to grow till date.
Moreover, the innovative ICT sector continues to supply the hugest number of clients to the PR sector, accounting for more than 20% of their revenue, closely followed by financial services firms and the fast moving consumer goods sector which accounted for 12% and 9% respectively.
An important aspect to be noted is that – Many leading PR agencies in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore are making a switch towards project clients from retainer-based models of business. Retainer based business models currently account for 74% and project clients’ account for 26%. This dynamic is changing given the rise in the number of freelancers and agencies mushrooming one after the other, each and every day.
Amongst all the pressing challenges that are bothering the industry, the lack of right talent reigns supreme. The industry currently provides employment to 7,750 candidates and every year, another 5-10% of this number is added to the industry. Mumbai and New Delhi still continues to remain the major hubs for this sector.
Other challenges include the lack of a standard, efficient, industry recognized measurement tool, lack of tech advancements and a huge number of bad debt cases plaguing the sector.
PR agencies in India and the world over are in many ways, compelled to keep pace with the changes in digital technology and social media if they want to be relevant and successful. With the advent of social media, it’s easier for everyone to get their views published and therefore companies need to be able to react quickly to mitigate negative coverage and maximize positive ones. Moreover, people today hop on to websites and social media as the most immediate and reliable news sources. We live in an ‘instant’ news culture era in which we get to know about stories as and when it unfolds.