PR firms scramble to respond to Sarbanes-Oxley…

The Council of Public Relations Firms put out a press release the other day that, to us, didn't feel like much of a release at all. The release was distributed by the Council
to announce its annual review of industry revenue among 214 independent PR firms. Although it estimates the industry to be down in 2002 compared with 2001 -- hardly earth-
shattering -- the Council was not able to quantify the change due to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The new regulation has kept most of the communication holding companies from releasing
information for their individual PR firms. Among the firms that did submit data in both 2001 and 2002, however, 48% reported an increase in revenue compared with 2001. "I don't
think we'll see other [revenue] numbers for this year," says Kathy Cripps, president of the Council. "Once there's more clarity around Sarbanes-Oxley we hope they'll be able to
come back with revenues."