A new survey of U.S. public relations firms suggests 2011 was a profitable year.
According to the annual StevensGouldPincus
survey of PR agencies, profitability at firms spiked to 18.6 percent of revenues. That’s a significant boost from 2009, when profitability was at a four-year-low of 13.5 percent, and nearly that of pre-recession, 2007 levels of 19.7 percent.
The survey by the New York-based merger and managing consulting firm StevensGouldPincus included 105 PR agencies in the U.S. and Canada. The firm has conducted the survey since 2002.
StevensGouldPincus broke down survey results even further:
• Firms with revenues under $3 million were at 20.5 percent profitability;
• Firms from $3 million to $10 Million netted 17.4 percent;
• Firms from $10 Million to $25 Million netted 16.8 percent;
• Firms in excess of $25 Million netted 19.2 percent.
All four categories improved from the previous year.
Other noteworthy findings (pulled from the press release on the study):
• The average monthly minimum fee stipulated by agencies was $9,867; up from the $8,385 reported a year ago—reflecting a rebound from the past couple of years. This benchmark varied widely between sizes of firms.
• Firms between $10 and $25 million averaged $9,291 and firms in excess of $25 million averaged $15,340, a 20 percent increase from the previous year.
• Revenue per professional staff was up to $209,945 from $205,941 last year. Firms in excess of $10 million in net revenues averaged in excess of $238,000, consistent with last year.
• Total overhead averaged 25.5 percent a drop of almost 3 percent, indicative of tighter managing of costs.
• Staff turnover for the year averaged 22.5 percent, slightly under the previous year.