Survey finds PR rising in marketers' eyes

NEW YORK: The PR industry has seized the challenge posed by a rapidly changing marketplace and is gaining ground as a go-to for marketers seeking better ways to reach consumers using nonmainstream tactics.

NEW YORK: The PR industry has seized the challenge posed by a rapidly changing marketplace and is gaining ground as a go-to for marketers seeking better ways to reach consumers using nonmainstream tactics.

Many of the findings of the third annual PRWeek/MS&L Marketing Management Survey point to a growing sophistication in the ways that CMOs and brand/product managers are using PR. One of the most encouraging findings was that while every other kind of agency - including advertising, direct marketing, and marketing consultancies - had declined in how often marketers were turning to them for nontraditional advice, the number turning to PR agencies doubled, from 12% to 24%.

The survey also showed a disconnect between how companies divide marketing tasks among the advertising, PR, and direct marketing departments, and the things they actually believe to be best-suited to these disciplines. For example, while the advertising department is largely charged with "brand identity," for the majority of the things that contribute to that, including building awareness, message development, and brand reputation, it was PR that was deemed the most effective discipline.

"There is definitely positive movement in terms of the perception of PR as a discipline that moves across the full spectrum," said MS&L CEO Mark Hass. "But in big companies, budgets and relationships reside in two separate pots."

Click here to read the Marketing Management Survey.

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