Skip to content
New study finds that PR must make itself visible among young talent to tackle global recruitment crisis

Press release -

New study finds that PR must make itself visible among young talent to tackle global recruitment crisis

To address a global talent and recruitment challenge within the public relations field, the new report titled ‘Seeking a New Way of Working in the Public Relations Industry – A Global View from Emerging Young Public Relations Professionals’ carried on by the PRCA International University Advisory Group, underscores the need for greater outreach to young individuals prior to their entry into university education.

The study took soundings from international PR and communications students to find out their perceptions and expectations of working in the industry.

The research found that over 40% of the students who responded to a question about why they had chosen to study public relations, explained that they were initially interested in marketing, psychology, or journalism. It was through taking undergraduate modules in public relations that they found out more about the subject and then either switched their undergraduate course or chose to undertake a postgraduate course in public relations.

The report’s authors recommend a global push to explain and promote public relations to younger people as an attractive and viable career with a great range of specialisms. The study found that fashion and lifestyle, technology, digital media and the entertainment industry were the most popular amongst the cohort studied. But grouping politics, not-for-profit and activism together, a fifth of respondents had an interest in policy and making a difference.

Other key findings:

  • Students desire hybrid and flexible workplaces.
  • Students expect on-the-job continuous professional development and upskilling.
  • Diversity and inclusion and its impact on career development require attention.
  • Both industry and academia should focus on providing role models from BAME communities to foster greater diversity.

Professor Sian Rees, Swansea University, one of the authors of the new study said:

“One of the reasons why the public relations industry has a restricted talent pool is because the profession is so invisible to young people when they are thinking about the careers they would like to have. Typically, young people find out about the profession late in their educational journey. Many students first really encounter public relations on MA courses having had a taster of it as a small part of their undergraduate courses. But many students do not go on to post-graduate study and so the sector is losing out as graduates enter other jobs.”

Stephanie Umebuani, PRCA Head of Apprenticeships, said:

"Today's global talent and recruitment challenges in the PR industry demand a proactive approach. The findings from this study underscore the imperative for our industry to make itself more visible to young talent well before they embark on their university education. At the PRCA we are already taking steps toward this through our Schools Outreach Programme and PR Apprenticeships by engaging with young individuals, showcasing the diversity and opportunity that the world of public relations offers. We want public relations to be on their radar as a compelling and accessible career path. That way, we can bridge the gap in our talent pool and equip the next generation with the skills and knowledge they need for a thriving PR profession."

Institutions involved in the authoring of this study:

  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Swansea University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Bournemouth University
  • Brunel University
  • Belmont University
  • APCO Worldwide

To download the study scroll down to 'Related media'.


The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body.

Representing 35,000 PR professionals in 82 countries worldwide, we are a global advocate for excellence in public relations. Our teams across Europe, the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific work with professionals around the world to co-ordinate our operations across six continents.

Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous PR industry. We champion - and enforce - professional standards around the world through our Professional Charter and Code of Conduct. The Code compels members to adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice.

We deliver exceptional training, authoritative industry data, and global networking, and development opportunities.

We also manage the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) - the umbrella body for 41 PR associations and 3,000 agencies across the world. Additionally, we support the delivery of the Motor Industry Communicators Association (MICA).


Gabriela Weiss

Gabriela Weiss

Press contact Communications Manager +44 (0) 207 233 6026

Welcome to PRCA!

The PRCA is the world’s largest professional PR association, representing more than 35,000 PR professionals in 82 countries worldwide. Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous global PR industry.

7-8 Stratford Place
W1C 1AY London
United Kingdom