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The Industry Today

The public relations industry grew by more than 8 percent in 2010 over the previous year, to nearly $9 billion in revenue, according to findings from the Holmes Report’s 2011 Global Rankings study. The upward trend is particularly heartening because PR revenue had been down 7.5 percent in 2009 over 2008. Independent public relations firms reported $3.75 billion in revenue in 2010, which was a 10 percent increase over 2009. Publicly traded companies—WPP Group, Interpublic, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Havas, and Chime, which did not release numbers to Holmes but provided their numbers publicly—had slightly slower growth but still reported an increase in revenue, at $3.85 billion, up 6 percent compared to 2009. The networks of independent public relations firms reported combined revenues of about $900 million. Edelman had the highest revenue for public relations agencies in 2010, reporting $531.5 million in income. For general information, Holmes also reported that publicly owned companies have an annual budget that averages to about $9.9 million, while government agencies have an average annual budget of about $16.4 million.

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