PR Industry Experiences Global Growth in 2014

Patrick O’Reilly is an accomplished public relations professional residing in Riverside, California. He has more than two decades of experience in the industry, having spearheaded the development of the Inland Empire division of Stoorza Communications, one of the state’s largest PR firms, before founding his own venture, OPR Communications, in 2001. With Patrick O’Reilly at the helm, the Riverside firm has received numerous industry honors from both PRWeek and the Public Relations Society of America, developing communications strategies for corporate, institutional, and governmental clients throughout the western United States.

Recent industry reports indicate that the public relations sector grew significantly during 2014, also suggesting that the industry will experience increased growth in the years to come. According to the 2015 World PR Report published by the Holmes Report and the International Communications Consultancy Organisation, which comprises data from over 400 PR firms worldwide, the industry experienced growth of 7 percent in the past year. The report also noted that the world’s leading 450 PR firms collectively brought in more than $10 billion in fee income in 2014, up from $9.7 billion in 2013. Considering the top global 250 PR firms in addition to smaller independent firms, the Holmes Report estimates the value of the international public relations industry to be $13.5 billion, representing a $1 billion increase since 2013.

These figures match the findings of PRWeek’s Global Agency Business Report. Analyzing 181 U.S. public relations firms along with the top 30 global agencies, the leading industry resource estimated average industry growth at 7 percent, in addition to noting a 9 percent increase in international staff numbers.

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Strategies for Effective Multicultural Communications

An experienced public relations professional based in Riverside, California, Patrick O’Reilly serves as president of OPR Communications. In this capacity, Patrick O’Reilly spearheads the creation of PR strategies spanning public affairs, media relations, and crisis communications. His Riverside firm has received a number of accolades since its inception in 2001, including the title of PRWeek Public Relations Firm of the Year and multiple Public Relations Society of America honors in specialty areas such as multicultural programs.

As organizations seek to be successful in a culturally diverse world, it is imperative that they consider elements of effective multicultural communications. According to public relations scholars such as Virginia Sheng, this practice involves first acknowledging the interdependence of their cultural publics, noting the ways that the company and its customer demographics impact each other. While cultural sensitivity training can support the effectiveness of communications efforts, PR professionals should also consider the impact that their own backgrounds and attitudes may have on their multicultural communications strategies.

In addition to being sensitive to the experiences and perceptions of different cultures, effective multicultural PR strategies highlight the value of diversity. Showing respect for diverse perspectives may include developing symmetrical communication strategies that allow a firm’s PR representatives to open two-way dialogues and build long-term relationships with the company’s target audiences. When conflicts arise, meaningful multicultural public relations strategies focus on negotiation and compromise as effective methods of resolution.