South Africa: PR agencies could suffer as companies stop outsourcing comms
New research into the communications landscape in South Africa has found that PR & comms is becoming an increasingly in-sourced function where the skills of the in house communicator are becoming crucial for service delivery. This may not bode well for the PR agency market with over half (52%) of respondents stating that they do not outsource any work to agencies.
The research, carried out by corporate and marketing communications recruitment & training specialists VMA Group Africa, collected data from senior communication practitioners around salary, spend, recruitment patterns, growth plans and skills development.
Other key findings included:
Over 40% of respondents said that their companies were looking to expand the communications function into other key African locations including Windhoek, Gaborone, Lagos, Accra and Nairobi. Despite a tough economic climate and low GDP growth, just over 60% of organisations are looking at expanding their comms teams within the next two years. This is underlined by VMA Group’s European offices’ research where 40% of global organisations said that they already operated in Africa and a further 6% indicating that geographical expansion would be most likely into Africa.
A quarter of respondents felt that skills shortages were a key concern and almost half (49%) felt that creative and strategic thinking development in order to identify business priorities and build the strategic framework was a key priority. Other skills development areas included employee engagement, change management, the use of technology and influencing skills.
Recruitment & careers
Interestingly 1 out of 5 respondents (20%) said that their top method for finding a new role remains through the use of recruitment consultancies. Over half (55%) of jobseekers took under three months to complete their job search – a reflection of the local economy where vacancies requiring specific skills are quick to fill.
In terms of motivations to move job, 45% moved due to enhanced career development opportunities – only 14% moved for a higher salary alone. Interestingly, 40% of respondents had become incumbent in their current position through a recruitment consultancy.
Overall, it appears that South African communicators are very positive with almost 60% feeling that the role of communications is likely to increase in their businesses within the next two years. This supports the premise that communications plays a strategic role across a number of business critical areas such as reputation management, internal communication and leadership training.
You can download a copy of the report here –http://www.vmagroup.com/just-released-2016-african-communications-survey/