What’s the news for Heads of Comms in PR and Corporate Communications salaries?

25 Jun 2015 by Sarah Leembruggen.

The survey focused on PR and corporate communications professionals in and around London primarily. The companies that took part were mainly from the private sector with 52% of those polled coming from in-house firms and 44% from agencies. 65% of the respondents were women and 35% were men.

2014 saw the UK’s economic recovery gather momentum – and this was certainly reflected in the results of our survey. With the market continuing to strengthen and businesses stepping up hiring efforts, creating new roles and expanding their teams, the mood has been buoyant in the corporate, financial and consumer sectors. Our survey revealed that 42% of companies increased the size of their teams, reflecting the renewed confidence to grow businesses and fulfil high-reaching goals.

This has had an impact on pay rises as employers understand the value of offering more meaningful salary increases to encourage employee retention. 65% of employees participating in our survey received a salary increase between January 2014 and December 2014.

So what’s happened with salaries in Corporate, Financial and Consumer PR?

In-house Corporate PR

It’s great news for senior roles in the corporate sector. Global Heads of Communications can now expect to earn an average salary of £130,000. Heads of Corporate Communications benefited from a hefty £15,000 increase from the previous year and now receive an average of £120,000. Communications Directors fared fantastically with an average uplift of £20,000, with their average salary now at £95,000.

In-house Financial PR

There was an equally impressive clean sweep in Financial PR with Global Heads of Communications receiving an additional £20,000 on average compared to the previous year, making their salary £150,000 on average.

Heads of Communications were handsomely rewarded with an extra £25,000 on average compared to the previous year, bringing their average salary to an impressive £130,000.

In-house Consumer PR

Employees in this sector have plenty to smile about too. Global Heads of Communications received on average a 5% uplift on the previous year and now earn an average of £115,000. Heads of Communications received increases bringing their average salary to £90,000 and Communications Directors benefited from an average uplift of 6%, giving them an average salary of £80,000.

We believe that these salary results highlight more than ever the increasing importance that companies assign to PR. More and more businesses are placing a high value on reputation management, and employers are giving out bigger salary increases as a result.

What’s the scoop on bonuses?

54% of employees polled received a bonus – further highlighting the desire among employers to recognise the effort of their teams and keep them performing at their best to bring optimum value to the business.

Global Heads of Corporate Communications fared the best, receiving an average bonus of £58,000.

It was a similar story in Financial PR, with Global Heads of Communications bringing in the biggest bonuses – an impressive average of £76,000. Communications Directors received an average of £37,000.

Have these hearty pay increases put smiles on faces?

60% of employees polled in our survey are happy with their salary increases. This is a 19% increase on the previous year – good news for employers looking to retain their key players and keep them performing at their best.

However, it’s not all smiles. Our survey revealed a quite staggering statistic – 98% responded that they felt as though they were not being paid enough, or were at best, adequately paid. The message here is pretty clear – working in Corporate and Financial Communications is no walk in the park, with long hours and high stress levels, and employees still do not feel as though this is sufficiently recognised.

While the figures look impressive on paper, we believe that employees in these sectors are still smarting from a string of poor (or no) pay rises in the years when the economy slumped and now that the market is stronger and companies are hiring, we have returned to a candidate-driven market. This means that high performing employees are in demand, and with 90% of the people we speak to on a daily basis looking for an in-house role. However, for Heads of Communications seeking in-house roles paying £100k+, there are fewer opportunities on the market to move as teams are much slimmer at the senior end. People at the top also stay in their roles for years – often five years plus – which means there is less movement on the market the more senior you get. As a result, the top-end roles are very sought-after, high in demand and when companies do hire, they are highly selective and quite cautious, often choosing candidates they feel are the ‘safest pair of hands’.

For full results of the survey, visit our website.

Or if you would like to find out more, contact Sarah Leembruggen, Managing Director on 020 7559 6597 or email

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