The survey revealed that average public relations budgets fell 29% to $2.3 million in 2001 vs. $3.1 million for the same period last year. Spending on Internet communications fell sharply; spending also declined in media relations, internal communications and special events.
Sectors devoting the greatest percentage of revenues to public relations are e-commerce (.57%) and entertainment/sports (.32%). Areas accounting for the highest budgets are energy ($4.7 million); transportation ($4.47 million); retailing ($4.22 million) and telecommunications ($4.18 million).
The survey, a written questionnaire, included a cross-section of 3,452 public relations executives from all major industries, with a response rate of 44%. Thomas L. Harris & Co. is based in Highland Park, Ill.; Impulse Research Corp. is in Los Angeles.