This is according to the late Francis Ingham, former director general, Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and chief executive, ICCO.
"If we are honest, the perennial problem of the UK and the US industries is that when they were first established, they understandably undervalued themselves. Having set an initial price point, it is difficult to shift it upwards. As global inflation bites, this will pose a problem for us all, and for this reason, I urge our African colleagues not to underestimate the value they bring and bill accordingly."
One of the areas examined by the first-ever African PR and Communications Report (APCR) was income statistics for PR practitioners on the African continent.
Launched by BHM Research & Intelligence (BR&I) on Monday, July 3, 2023, the report comprises verified data, facts and insights into the current state of the PR industry in Africa from over 500 industry practitioners across 29 countries in North, Southern, East, Central and West Africa.
The report found that South African public relations (PR) practitioners are the highest-paid PR professionals on the African continent. While 12% of South African PR practitioners earn less than $1,000 monthly,40% earn a monthly salary exceeding $10,000.
In Nigeria, 65.9% earn less than $1,000 monthly, while 11.5% enjoy salaries of $10,000 and above.
In Ghana, the majority of PR practitioners, specifically 69.2%, earn less than $1,000 monthly, while a mere three percent receive salaries exceeding $10,000.
Kenya follows a similar pattern, with 65% of PR practitioners earning less than $1,000 monthly and 6.2% earning $10,000 or more.
While South Africa leads in Africa, the average remuneration pales in comparison to countries outside the continent.
The average salary for a PR And communications manager in South Africa is $26,716 per year while the average salary for a PR practitioner in the US is $63,000 per year.
In London, UK the average salary is $44,000 per year, and in Canada, it is $66,000, with entry-level positions attracting up to $49,000 per year.
A major issue with PR in Africa, the APCR reveals, is that many industry professionals are operating without proper certification or regulation which not only creates difficulty in estimating the industry size and revenue but also causes a distortion in industry-standard prices.
“A major issue that the industry is facing is trying to compete with charlatans (unqualified lowball competitors who distort prices) while still maintaining a standard of professionalism,” says the report.
As the PR industry in Africa continues to evolve and global firms continue establishing their presence on the continent, there is the need to properly harness the prospects of the PR industry to not only create lucrative financial opportunities but also the chance to make a substantial impact on businesses.
The deputy managing director of Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants, Mary Gearing, says, “With the industry on the brink of a new chapter, we can no longer win at the expense of others. If we don’t review, tweak or reinvent the way we work and the solutions we put forward, we will be left behind or cancelled.”
“The BHM Research Intelligence team has put together worthy material as a global reference to how we do PR in Africa over the next few years and the plethora of opportunities available.
“It will optimistically serve as a spring in our steps to building an environment that is beneficial to all — PR practitioners, stakeholders, clients, investors and more importantly, the African people,” says Ayeni Adekunle, BHM founder and Africa PR & communications report committee chair.