New agency compensation study consistent with PR benchmarking research

by | Mar 21, 2019 | Public Relations

PR and creative agency consulting firm Gould+Partners recently released its fourth PR industry annual survey report, The Trusted Authority in PR Industry Trends and Best Practices. The study comes on the heels of the company’s previously published research reports, Best Practices Financial Benchmarking Report, the Billing Rates/Utilization Report and the Industry Growth Report.

These three previous surveys all had the same conclusion—the >$10-$25 million size firms were the most profitable, had the highest billing rates and were the fastest growing firms. The new survey also concludes that the C-suite salaries and bonuses were also the highest for the >$10-$25 million group.

“As firms get larger the level of expertise needed to properly manage a PR agency becomes critical and the need for experienced C-suite executives, especially at the CEO, COO and CFO level becomes critical to grow, increase profitability and build value to the firm,” said Gould+Partners managing partner Rick Gould, CPA, J.D. “To retain quality executives in the C-suite, a firm must compensate them with above market salary, substantial bonuses and other perks. Ultimately what an executive will want to keep them motivated and committed to the firm is equity in the firm.”

New agency compensation study consistent with PR benchmarking research

For example, CEO salaries + bonuses for participating firms went from $287K for firms up to $3 million, to $325K for firms over $3 million to $10 million, to $469K for firms over $10 million to $25 million, and down to $312K for firms in excess of $25 million.
The same was true for chief operating officer salaries and bonuses going from $154K to $233K, to $427 for firms over $10 million-$25 million and then down to $288K for the over $25 million group.

New agency compensation study consistent with PR benchmarking research

“We have been ongoingly attempting to determine ‘why’ the sweet spot in the PR industry appears to be the over $10 million- $25 million,” said Gould. “I believe the reason is because that group is also the fastest growing and most profitable, per our Best Practices Benchmarking Report. We will continue to analyze this when we see the results for the 2019 surveys/reports.”

New agency compensation study consistent with PR benchmarking research

Those interested in receiving a copy of the full report can contact Gould at rick@gould-partners.com, or (212)-896-1909.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter