Flush Times Ahead for PR Pros Says Comp Expert

Dennis Spring - Spring AssociatesThis is the year of fat bonuses and pumped up salaries for PR pros on both the agency and corporate side, according to Dennis Spring (left) of Spring Associates, who just released the 11th annual “Official PR Salary & Bonus Report.”

“We haven’t seen this kind of full employment in PR since the dot com boom,” Spring told PRBlogNews. “Agencies are getting new business and growing existing business. The pace accelerated in the last quarter of ’06 and it is continuing through this year. Now that business has been good for a couple of years the benefits are filtering down to employees.”

There was a sharp jump in bonuses last year, according to the report, although base salaries on the agency side declined and corporate communications salaries increased slightly (see summary of report here, and graph below).

“The PR business always lags the economy by about a year,” explained Spring. “The dot com boom bred caution into the Spring Associates PR Salary & Bonus Reportmarket but this economy has legs. With full employment and business booming across the board it is harder to find and retain good people.  You get into negotiations with candidates, and there is a sense of urgency from the agency or corporation. A lot of activity in this market.”

In other words, for the opportunistic and ambitious, this is a great time to find a new job or negotiate a higher salary or bonus. It’s a candidates’ market. There is more business than can be serviced, and there is more in the pipeline.  I’ve been around long enough to know that this moment doesn’t last. It’s a dance that goes on between the PR person and employer and it all revolves around the economy.

“There is a high confidence level out there,” said Spring. “That makes all the difference. The feeling is that we’re going to have a great year.”

The Official PR Salary & Bonus Report is compiled from Spring Associates’ proprietary database of more than 17,000 credentialed corporate communications and agency public relations professionals nationwide. Founded in 1980, Spring Associates, based in New York, has emerged as the premiere public relations executive search consultancy through innovation, relevancy, and results. 


TITLE (all specialties, nationwide) Average annual base salary Base salary % change from 2006 Average annual bonus Bonus % change from 2006
Sr Vice Pres $157,000 1% $50,240 0.0%
Vice President 138,000 1% 44,026 0.3
Director 120,000 2% 33,567 29
Manager 93,000 0% 13,487 27.7
Comm Specialist 70,000 -1% 5,767 27.7


TITLE (all specialties, nationwide)

Average annual base salary Base salary % change from 2006 Average annual bonus Bonus % change from 2006
EVP $144,000 5.40% $40,528 2.30%
SVP 122,000 7.3 23,874 5.8
Vice President 100,000 8.4 14,398 13.8
Account Supervisor 71,000 7.1 7,805 18.6
Sr AE 56,000 8.8 3,960 23
Account Executive 47,000 11.8 2,950 46.5


  1. [...] relations would be fast-tracked to a higher salary.  This came to mind when reading Flush Times Ahead for PR Pros (link from Media Mindshare) which cites the 11th annual survey by Spring Associates showing [...]

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