The public affairs field is a broad one, encompassing everything from government relations to media relations to community outreach. And within those sub-disciplines, there are even more specialized skill sets. So when it comes to salaries, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
However, we can give you a general idea of what public affairs professionals in different roles and at different experience levels in the UK can expect to earn. Before we do that, we will take a brief look at the state of the public affairs recruitment market in the UK at the moment.
State of the UK Public Affairs Recruitment market in 2022
After COVID and the “Great Resignation” struck, the public affairs recruitment market in the UK has been up and down. In the immediate aftermath of these events, many predicted that there would be a sharp decrease in demand for public affairs professionals. This was due to the fact that many companies and the Government were cutting costs and some even shedding entire departments.
However, what we have seen instead is a steady increase in demand, albeit at a slower rate than before COVID hit. The main driver of this increase has been the lack of high-caliber candidates. With many experienced public affairs professionals leaving the field, there are now more opportunities for those with less experience to step into roles that they may not have been considered for in the past. Also, with the UK having left the EU in 2020 and still dealing with the consequences of COVID,there has been a heightened need for public affairs professionals who can help navigate these uncharted waters.
As a result of this increase in demand, salaries for public affairs professionals have also increased. This is especially true for those with in-demand skill sets such as digital communication and stakeholder engagement. After the experience of working from home, during the darker phases of the pandemic, companies have also understood how a large majority of employees value flexibility. This is why they have started placing more focus on mental health initiatives, giving employees the opportunity to work remotely or from abroad, and creating a work-life balance. Additional benefits may include private healthcare, company cars, and gym memberships.
In general, we expect the public affairs recruitment market in the UK to continue to grow in the coming years, albeit perhaps at a slower rate as the situation stabilises. This growth will be driven by the ever-changing political landscape in the UK and abroad, as well as businesses’ need to adapt to these changes quickly.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what public affairs professionals in the most common roles and at different experience levels can expect to earn.
Digital Communication Specialists:
As we mentioned before, those with digital communication skills are in high demand at the moment. This is due to the fact that many companies have realized the importance of having a strong online presence. As a result, salaries for public affairs professionals with digital communication skills have increased.Those in entry-level positions can expect to earn between £24,000 and £28,000 per year, while those with more years of experience can expect to earn between £40,000 and £60,000 per year.
Stakeholder Engagement Specialists:
Another group of public affairs professionals who are in high demand at the moment are those with stakeholder engagement skills. This is due to the fact that many companies are now placing a greater emphasis on stakeholder engagement. As a result, salaries for public affairs professionals with stakeholder engagement skills have increased. Those in entry-level positions can expect to earn between £20,000 and £25,000 per year, while those with more years of experience can expect to earn up to £60,000 per year and more.
Government relations professionals:
These are the professionals who lobby on behalf of their organisation or client, working to influence government policy. In the UK, salaries for government relations professionals can vary widely depending on experience, with entry-level positions starting at around £28,000 and senior-level positions reaching up to £80,000.
Media relations professionals:
The job of a media relations professional is to manage an organisation’s or client’s reputation with the press and other members of the media. In the UK, salaries for media relations professionals also vary widely depending on experience, with entry-level positions starting at around £23,000 and senior-level positions reaching up to £70,000.
Community outreach professionals:
Community outreach professionals work to build relationships between an organisation and the communities it serves. In the UK, salaries for community outreach professionals start at around £21,000 for entry-level positions and can reach up to £60,000 for senior-level positions.
Researchers play an important role in public affairs, conducting research and analysis to support the work of public affairs professionals. In the UK, salaries for researchers start at around £22,000 for entry-level positions and can reach up to £45,000 for senior-level positions.
So, as you can see, there is a wide range of salaries within the public affairs field. The best way to determine how much you can expect to earn in a public affairs role is to consult with a recruitment specialist who understands the market and can give you tailored advice based on your specific skill set and experience.
Of course, as with any other jobs, your specific salary will depend on a number of factors such as your location, the size of the company you work for, and the specific role you are in. For example, those working in London or for large companies will tend to earn on the higher end of this salary range. Also, it has to be noted that there can be exceptions to these salary ranges and that some public affairs professionals may earn more or less depending on their particular skill set and experience.
Summing up, public affairs professionals in the UK can earn a wide range of salaries depending on their skill set, experience, and location. However, as a general guide, entry-level public affairs professionals can expect to earn between £20,000 and £28,000 per year while those with more years of experience can expect to earn up to £60,000 per year and more. So, if you’re thinking of a career in public affairs, be sure to consult with a recruitment specialist or look at websites like LinkedIn to get an idea about what salaries you can expect to earn in the UK at any given time.
Minoas graduated with a Merit upon studying the full-time MPA Public Administration – International Development degree (MPA-ID) at the University of York. He is currently working as a freelance EU affairs consultant in Belgium.
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