A new study says organizations have avoided drastic cuts in PR and communication staffs—so far
Could PR and communications finally be getting a little respect?
In economic downturns past, those departments have been among the first to experience major cuts—and sometimes elimination.
Not this time, according to a study released this week that found PR and communications functions of U.S. companies have suffered only moderate budget reductions in 2009 and few layoffs.
The study of nearly 200 organizations by the University of Southern California Annenberg Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center found that on average, communicators’ planned budgets for 2009 were 7.4 percent less than last year. Thus far in 2009, organizations have further reduced spending by an average of 3.9 percent.
Instead of cutting internal communications staff, in most cases organizations have opted to freeze or reduce staff compensation, or reduce the rates paid to external agencies.
The online survey of senior PR/communication professionals was conducted between Jan. 13 and Jan. 27. Sixty-one percent work for companies, 27 percent for non-profits and 13 percent for government agencies.