Monday, 27 January 2014

Growth: a double-edged sword?

Growth: a double-edged sword?

Economic data from around the world seems to indicate that the global economy has turned a corner in its recovery. The UK experienced the fastest pace of growth in three years in 2013. A rise in employment, lower government borrowing and low inflation also indicate that the economy may have returned to steady growth.

In the GCC, GDP’s rose by between four to five per cent in most countries. The UAE and KSA have earmarked hundreds of billion of dollars for infrastructure development and by almost every measure, the economies of the region are growing quickly: retail, construction, financial services, automotive, oil and gas, renewables – the list goes on.

Such growth poses good and bad news for the PR industry. The good news is that PR – as one of the least expensive forms of marketing – bounces back quickly. Throughout 2013 PR consultancies grew busier and the number of vacancies grew in both the UK and the Middle East. We expect this trend to gather pace in 2014. The bad news is that it has become harder for PR consultancies and client-side PR departments to find the talent they need – particularly in specialist areas such as oil and gas, technology, healthcare or financial services.

Whilst there are still more applicants than vacancies, it is often the case that the best practitioners in the UK and Middle East have been tied in to their existing employees or simply chosen to knuckle down and avoid the risk of moving jobs.

2014 may prove to be a milestone year when the PR industry grows – but also a year when it faces the challenges of a double-edged sword: new clients, bigger budgets and a scramble for talent.
Justin Kent - Managing Director