The PR industry is rebuilding stability despite the pandemic crisis!

The results of cyclical industry research EXACTO and Think Tank SAPR

Polish PR specialists assess their industry as stable, but in need of improvement in sensitive areas. Despite the pandemic, the level of sense of stability in this work environment is growing. These are the results of the research by the EXACTO research team, which for the third time calculated the indicator reflecting the condition of the PR industry – this time in cooperation with the Think Tank of the Association of Public Relations Agencies (SAPR). Such research has been carried out periodically every two years since 2017. In three editions, a total of over 800 specialists and experts were surveyed, who evaluated individual dimensions of the structure of the PR industry condition indicator. This indicator was 55% in 2021, compared to 52% in 2019 and 57% four years ago, which shows a tendency to rebuild the sense of industry stability despite the pandemic.

Cyclical studies of the Exacto Strategic Research and Analysis Department have been carried out since 2017 among a wide group of PR consultants from various organizations and professional environments – from teaching staff, through corporate experts to PR specialists in agencies. The current edition from 2021, carried out with the participation of the SAPR Think Tank, is based on a particularly large research group, as many as 421 respondents. Cooperation with SAPR made it possible to examine the opinions of over one hundred PR specialists from the agency environment of people employed in companies associated in this organization. In 2017, the survey was conducted among 157 PR specialists from various backgrounds, and in 2019 the research group consisted of 253 PR specialists. In three editions of this survey, it was possible to create an opinion benchmark at a level exceeding 800 PR specialists, which is an unprecedented scale of the survey in the Polish reality of the PR industry.

The PR industry condition indicator is a kind of signpost in defining and assessing parameters that are inscribed in the way public relations advisers function in Poland. „The indicator allows you to describe changes in the area of professionalism in the industry, allows you to better understand the conditions in the communication environment and gives you the opportunity to determine the potential of the PR industry when analyzing intertemporal trends ” – indicated the co-author of the research and its organizer, dr hab. prof. UW, Dariusz Tworzydło, president of SAPR and EXACTO.

In a pioneering study from 2017, the condition of the PR industry in Poland was assessed at 57% (average indicator 4.42 on a scale of 1-7). After two years, there was a decrease to 52% (average 4.14), then we are now seeing a rebound, confirmed by a result of 55% in 2021 (average 4.27). In each measurement, the value index was within the range defined as the stable situation. The opinions of the surveyed PR specialists on the situation in their industry can therefore be summarized by the words “consensus despite the passage of time and changes related to the pandemic”. Nevertheless, the crisis with the coronavirus in the background did not weaken Polish PR, as it might have initially seemed, as we observe a slight increase in the indicator compared to 2019.

“The research has shown a paradox that in the pandemic period, the sense of stability in the professional group of PR experts has increased. On the brink of the pandemic in 2019, this feeling was clearly lower and on a downward trend. Thanks to this research, we know that the trend has turned in the time of COVID and the condition of the industry has strengthened. This would indicate that the pandemic crisis has shown how much PR specialists are needed in difficult times, when professionally and effectively conducted communication plays a key role in the fight against the problems of macro and micro scale “ – said Adam Łaszyn, vice president of SAPR supervising the work of Think Tank in this organization and added: “It bodes well for the prospect of working in PR, because the feeling of being needed gives professional stability, which is noticed in the labor market and among young people who decide to choose their path life. And now, we as an industry need to take care of these young PR adepts so that the PR profession is attractive to them. “

The interpretation of the result uses intervals based on the school grading system (a mechanism also used in primary tests), which are helpful diagnostic material. In-depth analyzes have shown that education remains the key challenge for the industry. In the opinion of the surveyed PR specialists, the education system still does not fully prepare for the profession of a PR specialist – says prof. Dariusz Tworzydło. The intensity of these opinions is independent from the place of employment, i.e. even the scientists themselves see the problem, which translates into the final result obtained. In the field of education, it becomes extremely important to strengthen its practical side through internships or other forms of improving students during their studies, from the first year of study. There is also a lack of strongly empirically oriented studies that would show, for example, good practices and model models.


This year, the research sample was the largest, which shows the potential of this research and the increasing involvement of practitioners in participating in this type of research initiatives. The key information is also how individual professional groups, including the SAPR agency sector, perceive the condition of the industry. It can be noticed that in the PR industry it is not important to belong to a professional group or organization, because everyone is struggling with exactly the same problems. Therefore, it is not surprising, for example, that the indicator of the condition of the PR industry in the group of employees employed in SAPR agencies fluctuates at a similar level as in the entire surveyed sample.


It is also worth noting that individual aspects in specific measurements are distributed in a similar way in 2017, 2019 and 2021. There are no significant changes that would indicate a significant decrease or increase in any of the analyzed areas. The industry speaks with one voice when assessing its condition. Nevertheless, it was rated relatively best in 2017, which is confirmed by the radar chart presented (which shows that the largest circumference has an orange figure representing the 2017 edition).

For more information, please contact:

Dariusz Tworzydło, e-mail:, tel. 602 445 596.

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