Letter - PR still losing out to big-spend marketing

It didn't come as a surprise to me to read that research has found PR to be more effective than advertising ('Research "proves" PR is more effective than ads,' 7 July).

PR is third-party endorsement - a neutral saying good things about you, not you saying good things about yourself.

In brand recognition surveys that I have seen - aimed at captains of industry and senior corporate decision makers - PR scored as more effective than marketing and advertising every time and by some considerable margin. It was also much more cost-effective.

Given that this is so, why don't many companies switch their budgets to where they are going to be more effective? It is because CEOs very often listen to the man or woman at the table with the biggest budget, not the brightest ideas.

In my experience of sitting at such a table, that is the marketing director, not the comms or media relations director. In the past when I brought this up at the table I got whacked on the shoulder for my troubles more than once. After a few whacks I realised I was fighting a losing battle.

Until top executives change their attitudes, the dominance of big-budget, ineffective campaigns will continue.

Sam Jaffa, MD, BrandNew Communications

Feature, p22.

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