Polish study highlights need to increase demand for PR

Sales income in 2003 amounted to 82.5 million zloty, and fee income totalled 40 million zloty, according to a KPMG study commissioned by the Polish Public Relations Agencies Association (ZFPR). 17 of the association's 22 member agencies took part in the study.

'On the fairly conservative assumption that ZFPR represents about 60% of the PR market, the whole of our sector will be generating about 70 million zloty fee income,' according to Rafal Szymczak, SFPR president. Szymczak went on to say 'this doesn't look all that impressive. For comparison: The Czech PR market is about he same size, but the Czech economy is a third of ours. One of the association's key tasks is to increase demand for professional PR services.'

According to the management of the agencies consulted the greatest opportunities for the sector come from Poland's overall economic growth, with equal opportunities arising from its accession to the EU. The study revealed that the largest purchasers of PR services are the pharmaceuticals sector, IT, financial services, the oil and automotive industries and the power industry.

The biggest threat to the sector's growth is seen as low awareness of the significance of PR, but general economic barriers were also listed along with an unstable political situation and uncertainty in tax and legislative systems.

The study also highlighted the threat to PR posed by the practice of buying text in the media, which is occurring more frequently. The ZFPR, supported by a EU Directive combating unethical business practices, and with the support of UOKiK, is taking positive steps to counteract these activities. A broad coalition is forming with the aim of developing awareness of the problem, and which will move to prepare regulatory practices.

The report is the first joint project between the association and KPMG, which plan to work together long-term. KPMG will be an auditor of this year's 'Gold Paper Clip' competition, now in its second year.

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