Job growth lukewarm at B.C.’s biggest PR firms

Median employment at top 20 PR firms grows by 7.7% over five years

Source: BIV List

Employment growth in the province’s public relations industry has been somewhat lacklustre over the past five years, according to data collected for Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Public Relations Companies in B.C. list (page 13).

Since 2015, the total number of people employed in the province by the 20 biggest public relations firms has grown by 26 people or 7.8%.

One of the major contributors to the total employment growth was No. 2-ranked Context: An Argyle Company, with 38 employees.

The average B.C. employment at the province’s largest public relations firms grew by 20.8% to 17.4 employees in 2019 from 14.4 employees in 2015. The median employment grew 7.7% to 14 in 2019 from 13 in 2015, suggesting that larger companies higher on the list grew more than smaller firms lower on the list.

The top five public relations firms for which complete data was available had their employment grow an average of 18% over the five-year period. The average growth was burdened by the 26.2% employment decline at No. 1-ranked Edelman, where the workforce dropped to 45 employees in 2019 from 61 in 2015.

Over the past year the top five, including Context: An Argyle Company, had an average growth of 9.3%, compared with an average growth of 6.4% for the entire list. No. 3-ranked Talk Shop Media had the largest employment growth on the list, increasing by 25%, or seven employees, to 35 in 2019 from 28 in 2018. Talk Shop Media also had the largest five-year growth among the top five companies on the list, increasing 59%, or 13 employees, from 22 in 2015.