Communications professionals in Australia and Singapore make the most money in Asia-Pacific, although all markets are seeing lower salary increases than in previous years.
According to the 2017 State of the Industry report from Prospect and PublicAffairsAsia, Australia has the highest average salary for senior executives in communications roles, at US$199,000, followed by Singapore at US$151,000.
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Then come China (US$149,000), Hong Kong (US$133,000), Southeast Asia (US$95,000) and India (US$91,000).
The report surveyed 420 regional industry respondents and interviewed 50 heads of communications and leaders of communications agencies across APAC.
It found that despite tough economic conditions, salaries increased by 5 percent in the region. However, this rise is lower than in the past two years.
Moreover, average in-house salaries remain higher than average agency salaries, and in terms of sectors, public affairs and government relations roles are better paid.
“There are opportunities in the fast-moving digital space, but also concern around budgets, talent retention and the lack of certain skills,” said Emma Dale, Asia managing director and co-founder of Prospect. “Despite a challenging economic climate, salaries and bonuses are on the rise, and findings of our 2017 State of the Industry report give grounds for optimism in 2017 for our industry.”
The industry has also become more comfortable with flexible working, with a third of all organisations offering it. However, talent remains a significant issue, both hiring and retaining, and is made mor complicated by the need for traditional communications skills together with digital and content curation abilities.
Craig Hoy, executive director of PublicAffairsAsia, said: “The growth in digital is by far the biggest industry shift seen in recent years. It has not, however, supplanted traditional media nor the need for direct public affairs engagement, which remain vitally important. Companies need staff with new skills, such as digital and content curation, but not at the expense of fundamentals such as good writing and credible story-telling capabilities.”