In May 2021, when we surveyed over 3,700 global PR and communications professionals about their media relations practices, we also asked the taboo question: “How much do you make?”
And we didn’t stop there—we also asked survey respondents about their satisfaction levels in their current roles.
Our primary objective was to learn how salary and satisfaction levels differ among PR and communications professionals in the US based on work situation and job seniority.
Work situation was categorized into agency, in-house, and solo practitioner; seniority was categorized into interns and entry level, associates and specialists, managers and directors, vice presidents and C-Suite.
PR pros are overall very satisfied
No matter what level they are at, or where they work, PR pros are satisfied with their current roles. Over half of PR professionals in the U.S. rate their satisfaction level at an 8 out of 10 or higher.
Senior PR pros (manager level and above) are more likely than junior roles to rate their satisfaction at an 8 or higher. On the other hand, solo PR practitioners are less likely than their counterparts in agency and in-house departments to rate their satisfaction at an 8 or higher.
Most PR pros make under $81,000 USD a year
The most common salary levels are $30-45,999 per year at more than a quarter of respondents, followed by $46-60,999 at 17%.
Unsurprisingly, the higher your job seniority in the PR industry, the more money you make. However, there is a substantial difference in earnings between managers and directors and VPs and C-suite. Less than 30% of VPs and C-suite earn under $81,000 per year, whereas among manager and directors 64% of respondents earn less than $81,000 per year.
Solo PR pros are more likely to earn more
While the salary findings among the three work situation categories are similar, professionals working as solo practitioners have a slight advantage over agency and in-house, with 5.4% more solo respondents earning $81,000 or more. As well, solo practitioners have the lowest percentage (7.3%) of respondents earning less than $30,000 and the highest percentage (12.2%) earning over $151,000.
Salary doesn’t buy satisfaction—mostly
Breaking down satisfaction level into three categories: low 1-4, medium 5-7, and high 8-10, we found that while salary doesn’t necessarily seem to buy satisfaction, neither does it seem to hurt. With each rise in satisfaction level, the percentage of respondents earning over $30,000 per year increases by 11%.
Download the free report, How much do you make? The salary and satisfaction levels of professionals in the PR industry, for the rest of our findings and more about these highlights.