Those who adapt can prosper in global market

Attending the ABTA 2012 travel industry conference in Turkey last week was a timely reminder of the hot growth markets that exist closer to home than the lauded BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries.

Danny Rogers: 'The message for UK PR consultancies is that growth and inspiration can be found without travelling thousands of miles'
Danny Rogers: 'The message for UK PR consultancies is that growth and inspiration can be found without travelling thousands of miles'

Quite apart from being one of the fastest-developing tourism destinations in the world - with 31.4 million visitors in 2011 - Turkey is one of the hottest prospects for PR and comms spend.

According to the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) World Report 2012, published recently, Turkey's PR market is now worth around EUR80m. It has enjoyed double-digit growth rates for the past five years, and is set to grow ten to 15 per cent again this year.

Despite some serious current concerns about the Turkish economy, GDP grew at around 8.5 per cent last year, according to the IMF's World Economic Outlook Database. Comms growth is fuelled by development of the country's infrastructure and the drive to address the needs of a young and growing population.

The ICCO report reveals that while many mature western markets continue to be sluggish, countries such as Brazil are enjoying growth in comms spend of up to 25 per cent. Brazil's buoyancy is of course boosted by the forthcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

We are even seeing sharp PR growth in some of the European nations. Denmark and Norway could see expansion by 15 to 20 per cent in 2012, while Sweden is looking encouraging. These countries are suffering less angst than the UK over sovereign debt and public sector cuts.

The message for UK PR consultancies is that growth and inspiration can be found without travelling many thousands of miles. Some groups are in an acquisitive mood for this reason.

But even the UK market is feeling more buoyant of late. This week the latest economic forecast from the Ernst & Young ITEM Club suggested the UK's economy would return to growth in the second half of the year, saved by consumers' spending power.

This is precisely why we are seeing a lively market for FMCG comms campaigns at present. And PR consultancies are picking up a significant slice of this spend because firms from Mars to GlaxoSmithKline are investing in content-driven campaigns using social media.

While the public sector remains moribund, ICCO also sees healthy expansion in b2b and finance campaigns here.

As Darwin pointed out, survival - indeed success - is not the result of simply looking great, but is down to those who adapt best.

danny.rogers@haymarket.com

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