EDITORIAL: Corporate survey yields 10 insights

There is no shortage of information about PR agencies, but statistical data on the client side is hard to come by. PRWeek aims to change all that, and the process starts today with the publication of the first-ever PRWeek/BSMG Corporate Survey 2000 (see p25). Here are 10 conclusions that we may draw from the survey:

There is no shortage of information about PR agencies, but statistical data on the client side is hard to come by. PRWeek aims to change all that, and the process starts today with the publication of the first-ever PRWeek/BSMG Corporate Survey 2000 (see p25). Here are 10 conclusions that we may draw from the survey:

There is no shortage of information about PR agencies, but

statistical data on the client side is hard to come by. PRWeek aims to

change all that, and the process starts today with the publication of

the first-ever PRWeek/BSMG Corporate Survey 2000 (see p25). Here are 10

conclusions that we may draw from the survey:



1. PR budgets are growing at above average rates, but at 6.9%, it’s not

as fast across the board as it is among the biggest accounts (at the top

agencies) which have traditionally skewed the figures.



2. PR’s commanding a larger slice of the marketing budget, up from 17.1%

last year to 18.6%.



3. It’s a global economy, stupid: the top PR position is global in an

amazing 45.1% of cases.



4. There is plenty of business out there for agencies. As well as the

6.9% predicted growth in PR budgets, 34% of corporate clients do not

currently employ a PR firm. And of those that do, 17.7% intend to switch

to a new agency, with a further 26.6% undecided.



5. Despite all the talk about poor writing and the unavailability of

senior staff, the biggest problem so far as the client is concerned is

unexpected costs, cited by 38.5% of clients.



6. It’s often not possible to identify corporate PR pros by their job

title. As the Corporate Survey shows, in 27% of cases, PR as a function

is likely to come under the aegis of a marketing or marketing

communications department rather than a corporate communications or PR

department. We even found that in an astonishing 4.5% of cases, the head

of PR reports to the head of human resources. Keeping track of PR as a

profession - and as a business - is a job in itself, and creates a

challenge for all agencies touting for new business. As the duties and

the interests of the PR officer widen, it’s likely that business will

continue to come from unexpected quarters.



7. Despite all the hype about the money-making potential of the

Internet, in little more than 9% of cases is the company Web site used

for e-commerce. In the majority of cases (a staggering 80%) it’s

primarily a communications tool.



8. The Web is a great opportunity for PR agencies (see seven). Yet the

survey also shows that only 24.5% of corporate PR professionals would

even consider using PR agencies to provide the Web services they need.

This suggests that PR agencies do not possess the necessary Web skills

to advise on content.



9. There’s not enough money going into research. While PR pros pay lip

service to its importance, only 3% of PR budgets are allocated to

evaluating PR programs. To put that in context, that means that out of a

PR budget of dollars 1 million, the average company spends just dollars

30,000 on research. Is it any wonder that ad value equivalencies (AVEs)

are still so fashionable (see p18).



10. There’s not enough money going into PR, period. While its share of

the marketing budget creeps slowly upwards, it still represents an

average of 0.08% of revenue, while at the same time its responsibilities

and interests and the demands on it increase to unrealistic levels.

Senior corporate executives are short-changing their communications

efforts through inadequate resourcing.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.