The Indian PR industry remains cautiously optimistic about its prospects for 2014 despite signs that the country’s economic slowdown has impacted revenues and budgets.
The findings come in a report published by the MSLGroup.
The report details the findings of a countrywide survey focusing on the business environment and how India’s economic downturn has affected the PR industry.
This year’s survey focused on those who deal most closely with the business side of their business handling revenue generation, clients’ changing expectations, budgets and growth.
The survey was restricted to senior PR professionals, account directors and above, to understand their view as to the industry’s direction in 2014..
Most respondents felt that growth would be strong but there were serious challenges: squeezed cash flows, clients expecting more for the same fees, and shrinking budgets in some cases.
The talent shortage continues to remain a major concern.
About 20% of the respondents said industry growth would be in the 15%-20% range in 2014.
Despite the downturn, 30% of respondents said clients had increased budgets either ‘somewhat’ or ‘drastically’. Most felt that the tough times would last for several months more.
An overwhelming majority, 90% said clients were demanding more for the same fees.
Respondents identified integrated marketing communications as the best way to grow business.
Apart from digital, clients are demanding crisis communications, training, content and research and insights from their PR agencies.
Jaideep Shergill, CEO of MSLGROUP in India, said: “This is a time of great churn for the industry. Ground realities, from the evolution of media to the increasing number of stakeholders to what clients want are changing fast and it’s a challenge to keep up. Thankfully, the industry has shown the capacity and resilience required, and this is evident from the survey’s findings.”
The second section of the report examines the rise of cheap smart phones and their impact on marketing communications.
This section assesses how communications strategies are being aligned and integrated with smart phones and other handheld devices and how the messaging and content have changed to engage a different set of demographics.
To learn more about the PR report, please click here