Marketing, PR & Digital salaries

We can’t speak for others of course, but it might say something about the sector that marketing positions we handled in 2018-19 came very close to outnumbering those in fundraising for the first time in Harris Hill history.

Much of that’s due to the rise and rise of all things digital, which are now integral to every role in this field: it’s hard to conceive of a marketing, communications or PR strategy - at least a viable one - where digital channels don’t have a significant part to play. 

And while they’ve long been integrated in smaller organisations, separate marketing, communications and PR functions are fast becoming a thing of the past for even the largest: marketing is communication, communication is PR, and PR is marketing, so most roles and teams combine all three. All of which are increasingly digital, of course.

As such, many charities have been investing in their digital teams, and candidates with specific digital skillsets are in high demand, but not only from marketers. 

With the long-predicted ‘cashless society’ now close enough to touch (contactlessly, of course), fundraisers need fast and effective ways to drive online donations, while teams from supporter care to frontline operations increasingly rely on data derived by digital means – or as we might say in English, what people type into their website.

All of which calls for a site that’s up to the task, and explains why we’ve seen high numbers of ‘digital transformation’ roles, tasked with overhauling, redeveloping or replacing a charity’s website with something that’s fit for the alarmingly-imminent 2020s.

Many of these are on a one-year/contract basis, to deliver the change and move on, but we’ve seen rising numbers of permanent roles too. 

That’s because websites (or ‘digital solutions’ if you absolutely insist), like puppies, aren’t just for Christmas. They need constant care and attention, help adjusting to the world around them, and can’t be left alone too long or you’ll be clearing up the consequences for weeks. 

As a result there are plenty of permanent posts focusing on the user journey from end to end, which ideally won’t be a fleeting experience either, but one they’ll return for again and again. Digital staff will increasingly work with all teams throughout their charity to make sure the user – be they a supporter, reporter, volunteer, employee, partner or beneficiary – gets what they need from the site. Or the app. Or the social media channels, which also call for constant attention lest something reputation-ruining occurs while you’ve thoughtlessly gone home because it’s Sunday.​

Charity marketing and digital teams have long been more open than most to hiring talent from outside the sector – to some extent, they’ve had to – but we’re starting to see it more widely as charities become wiser to the value of their brand.

Seeing no reason that a smart and snappy brand should be the sole preserve of the private sector, some charity marketers (though by no means all) have been looking for experts in building strong brands, with less concern as to whether those brands have been charities.

But opinions differ significantly on the ease of securing their expertise: in our experience there’s rarely a shortage of candidates in this field, which can lead to a lack of urgency in the recruitment process, while CharityJob have a quite different experience, suggesting rather less plentiful numbers.

Speculation as to why that might be is perhaps for another time, but either way it’s vital to move fast: too often we’re seeing charities lose out on their dream candidate purely by virtue of deliberating over decisions for too long. Sure, there are plenty more fish, someone else will come along, but will you ever really look at them like the one you’d set your heart on?

Our advice? If they’re the one that you want - which you’ll know because of a) the chills, and b) the multiplying - act fast and offer quickly to secure the one you need.

Oh yes indeed…​

Contact your specialist consultant

If you'd like to know more about the market in your particular area of marketing, discuss recruitment requirements or potential career opportunities, why not talk to our specialist in your field?

Marketing, Communications and PR

Hannah Whittington

020 7820 7305 • Email Hannah


Lizzy Clark

020 7820 7333 • Email Lizzy

Temporary & Interim

Dagmara Wolosiuk de Paula

020 7820 7315 • Email Dagmara

Download the full 24-page 2019 Salary Report

Welcome and introduction 

Summary and market trends 

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Marketing, PR & Digital ►

Business Services ►

Policy, Advocacy & Campaigns ►

Finance ►

Human Resources ►

Projects & Programmes ►

Temporary & Interim ►

Executive salaries ►

Candidate insights ►

Career shifters ►

Regional updates ►

Methodology & FAQ ►

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