2018 salary survey: Marketing, PR & Digital

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2018 salary survey: marketing, PR and digital roles

Our brand new 2018 salary survey is out now, with current market rates for roles at all levels within charities and not for profit organisations.

Along with comprehensive salary tables for each specialist area, we also highlight some key trends we've observed in recruiting for them - here's the view from our marketing and communications specialists.

Marketing, PR and Digital

Candidate availability in marketing, communications, digital and PR is rather more mixed than in fundraising, but over the past year we've seen a particular shortage at marketing manager level in most areas.

However when it comes to senior media and PR-related roles, it's a slightly different story: candidates may be relatively plentiful, but often feel the salaries on offer don't adequately reflect their skills and experience. As a result, rather than going through a job move only to continue feeling undervalued, many will choose to wait things out for a better offer.

Press Officers aren't too impressed either, where the issue isn't a lack of candidates, but that the offers intended to attract them just aren't considered attractive enough.

Feast or famine?

There are mixed fortunes elsewhere too. The world of direct marketing has no shortage of job opportunities, but a significant shortage of candidates, and we've seen counter-offers to try and retain staff increasing sharply over the last year as a result.

Meanwhile there's no shortage of people looking to work in policy, advocacy and campaigns positions, but vacancies in these areas are less plentiful.

Digital expansion...

If you've visited a charity news site over the past few years, you'll rarely have been more than two clicks away from something about the need for charities to go digital and the many advantages of doing so.

And it's a message that's clearly been heeded, with charities investing more in their digital skills and strategy, creating more roles and making this a real growth area.

However as time progresses, and more and more of us become more digitally-proficient, the pool of suitably-skilled and experienced candidates is expanding too. Taken together, this means employers haven't needed to raise salaries as much or as quickly this year as they often have in the past in order to fill vacancies.

...and consolidation

As the digital market grows it's naturally also maturing, becoming more established and thus behaving rather more like others.

With an urgent need to rapidly develop digital offerings some years ago, charities typically faced tough competition for the few candidates available, causing rapid rises in salaries. Many of those initial roles will have been as the organisation's first/only digital specialist, responsible for the entire digital remit, justifying high rates and regular hikes.

These days however, larger digital teams often mean that responsibilities can be more widely shared, giving rise to more structured teams and specialised roles, each handling a smaller, more specific part of the overall remit, like social media or digital fundraising.

This has taken pressure off the pay pedal too, with salaries having become more stable and consistent across the sector as a result.

Recruitment and retention

It's not all about salaries in digital, nor necessarily the organisation's particular cause.

Many candidates (as you might expect) have a strong interest in new technology, but this means they can be difficult to retain for long: many will readily move for a charity with the latest/more innovative/better systems, so staff turnover can be fairly swift.

In comparison with many departments however, digital teams are often considerably more open to looking outside the sector to bring in the skills required, largely out of necessity, though this may gradually decline as the number of digital specialists within the charity sector grows.

For the rest of the guide including salary tables and trends for all of our specialist areas, you can view or download our 2018 Salary Survey here.

Alternatively if you have any queries for our marketing specialists, please call 020 7820 7300 or email the team.

Advice, news, events and specialist insight from the Harris Hill Blog