Study of PR & Communication Sector Highlights Career Opportunities for Graduates

By Gemma Creagh - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email

Study of PR & Communication Sector shows over €1 billion contribution to the Irish economy, strong female representation at senior levels and a need for more males to enter the profession.

A nation-wide study carried out by Amárach Research for the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) which delivers the PRII Diploma in Public Relations finds the sector is contributing almost €1.2 billion to the Irish economy and has more women than men in senior roles. There were 471 respondents to the survey which was carried out in April.

Study of PR & Communication Sector: Key Findings

  • It is estimated that over 2,800 are working in public relations and communications.
  • 68% of the profession are female and there are more females than males in senior roles. However, a higher proportion of the men in the profession occupy senior roles.
  • Just over half work in-house in organisations: 25% in the public sector and 27% in the private sector. 38% work in agencies and 9% are self-employed.
  • 45% of respondents earn between €45,000 and €80,000.
  • Almost half reported receiving work-related calls or emails outside office hours every day. However, 66% say they have a good work-life balance and 75% plan to stay in the sector.


At the launch of the PRII Census report, Padraig McKeon, President of the PRII, said that the study of PR & Communication Sector shows an increasing recognition of the value of effective professional communications across a range of sectors, with growth in practice areas such as public affairs, community, and internal communications. There are also increasing demands for communication specialists in finance, technology, healthcare and agri-food. “Through the study we can also see that public relations has a highly educated workforce who are committed to keeping pace with the fast-changing media and corporate environment by investing in continuous professional development. Of those surveyed, 82% have a qualification relevant to their work and over half spent time on training or upskilling in the past year,” said McKeon.

Positive Trends

“Overall the findings are very positive,” said Dr Martina Byrne, Chief Executive, PRII, “and should encourage graduates from a range of disciplines to enter the profession. The work is varied, the range of organisations is wide, it’s well paid and there are life-long opportunities for women and men. In fact, to ensure a balanced gender mix in the future we need more male entrants to enter the profession,” she said.

“Since the roll-out of rural electrification in the 1920s was overseen by the first PR professional in the country, Ned Lawler, a founder of the PRII, the public relations profession has made an important contribution to the economic, social, cultural and political life of the country,” said Dr Byrne.

The PRII Census 2019 Report is available here.

The Public Relations Institute of Ireland

The PRII is the professional representative body for public relations and communications practitioners in Ireland.  Established in 1953, the Institute is dedicated to promoting the highest professional and ethical practice of public relations. There are currently over 1,000 members of the Institute working across all sectors: in-house in private and public companies; in national and local government and in semi-state bodies; in voluntary and charitable organisations; and in agencies. Search their courses online here.

Gemma Creagh

Accounting Technician Apprenticeship
The Learnovation Summit 2019


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We'd love to send you the latest news and articles about evening classes, further learning and adult education by email. We'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care and will never sell them to other companies for marketing purposes.

Comments and Reviews Policy