New reports suggest PR poised to survive tough 2008

The PR industry looks set to keep its head above water in 2008, according to predictions in the latest Bellwether Report.

Pringle: 'PR is increasingly important'
Pringle: 'PR is increasingly important'

The report, by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, was released this week. At first glance, its findings appear to contradict Chadlington's gloomy forecast for the industry.

IPA director general Hamish Pringle said: ‘For the first time in the survey's history, our panel of around 250 marketers has been asked to report on what percentage of their total marketing spend went to PR.

‘The report's methodology means this should only be taken as a rough guideline, but it is encouraging nonetheless to see that in 2007 PR accounted for approximately 8.5 per cent of total spend. PR is increasingly being seen as an important component in the communications mix.'

The report also found that one in three surveyed companies in the ‘all other marketing' category - which includes PR and corporate communications - reported an increase in budgeted spend for the coming financial year. Just 13 per cent ­reported a decrease.

More generally, the report found marketing budgets, ­including everything from TV commercials to ­direct marketing, were revised down in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Plimsoll also bullish on PR

Market res­earch company Plimsoll has also published figures showing that the PR ind­ustry is well equipped to weather any possible ­recession.

Its analysis showed that 79 per cent of the 982 PR agencies polled would survive 2008, with about 30 per cent poised to ­improve their standing.

Plimsoll senior analyst David Pattison said: ‘Competitors will go under and cheap acquisitions will ­appear on the market.

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