‘Only 9% of First Generation PR Firms Still in Existence’

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Raheem Akingbolu

Fresh findings have indicated that the public relations arm of the marketing communications industry is still struggling to survive, despite continuous effort by stakeholders to earn government respect and institutional recognition.

According to the country’s 2020 edition of the Public Relations annual report, only 12 per cent of the existing agencies have remained in operation for five years while only nine per cent have survived for over 20 years.

Insights from the report, which was a collaborative effort of BHM Research & Intelligence, an arm Black House Media, in collaboration with Compass Insights, also revealed that only 19 per cent of the firms have been in operations for more than five years. Perhaps more disturbing in the report was the revelation that 70 per cent of the professionals within the industry have less than five years of work experience.

It further stated that most of the PR agencies are within the SME band, with the 64 per cent of respondents qualifying by the number of employees as micro-enterprises based on the number of employees as defined by The Small and Medium Enterprises Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

“56 per cent of PR agencies in Nigeria are reporting revenues of less than N5 million. Together with the new entrants into the industry corroborating this finding, 64 per cent of the new agencies have fewer than 10 employees, 14 per cent are small enterprises with 11- 20 employees and 22 per cent with more than 21 employees.

“One of top five challenges plaguing the industry and captured in the report is the difficulty of the industry to attract and retain the right talent within the PR industry in Nigeria. To this end, the promoters of the report urged seasoned professionals and institutions to begin establishing teaching faculty in PR management to equip new graduates seeking career opportunities in PR.”

Since its debut five years ago, the Nigeria PR Report is believed to have lived to its billing as the most authoritative voice in PR measurement and evaluation in Nigeria and has supported practitioners in navigating their careers and the PR space in general.

A cursory look at some of the findings from the report showed that the insights presented are prognostic at the very least, creating a framework for practitioners to successfully manoeuvre these momentous times brought about by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to theLead Researcher, Compass Insights, Adun Okupe, “The Nigeria PR Report does not come at a better time than this. The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world and now more than ever, PR agencies are having to prove their worth to their clients leaving consultancies with unanswered questions as to how to make sure that their businesses are providing the right services and the 2020 Nigeria PR Report helps to shape thoughts in this direction.”

Also speaking about the report, the Founder and CEO of BHM, Ayeni Adekunle captured the volatile nature of the year for the PR industry.
“When we planned for the 2020 Nigeria PR Report, we had no idea of how the year would turn out. These are very unique and interesting times as our choice to have the report focus on sustainable growth has now come into focus with the adverse effects of coronavirus.’

“The importance of the report to the Public Relations industry in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. By modeling well-founded world reports such as the Holmes Report, World Development Report, Relevance Report, the Nigerian PR Report team continues to hope to create a standard global report that can easily be used for referencing details, instances and facts about the industry,” he added.