PRCA reports rise in new business and budgets

More clients are increasing their PR budgets while the new-business climate appears to be buoyant, according to the PRCA’s trends barometer for the first quarter of 2006.

In the fourth study of its kind, 49 per cent of consultancies said clients had increased budgets since they were first set – a rise from 33 per cent in the last quarter of 2005. Small consultancies were particularly successful, with 64 per cent reporting increased budgets, compared with just 13 per cent in the previous quarter.

Senior executives from 49 of the PRCA's 135 member agencies took part in the poll.

Thirty-three per cent of respondents said their new-business departments were 'very busy', and 45 per cent said they were 'busy'.This is much improved from the final quarter of 2005, when the majority of respondents – 39 per cent – said the market was 'quiet'.

'The rise in new business indicates a much more optimistic outlook for the PR industry. This is affirmation of the confidence that business has in the necessity of good PR,' said PRCA director-general Patrick Barrow.

Respondents' optimism for the future of their own PR agencies rose accordingly to 65 per cent, having fallen to 50 per cent in Q4 2005.
In terms of industry views as a whole, in Q4 2005, 25 per cent were more optimistic than they had been in the previous quarter – for Q1 2006, the figure is 35 per cent. Only 16 per cent were less optimistic in Q1 2006, an improvement from the previous quarter's 27 per cent.

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