Corporate PR concerns

Just 42 per cent of in-house comms directors believe their corporate affairs function is 'fit for purpose', a new survey has found.

Executive search firm Watson Helsby surveyed more than 40 corporate affairs and comms directors from major brands and public sector firms - including British Airways, BBC, PepsiCo and Vodafone - quizzing them on how the recession has affected their corporate comms function.

The research found the majority of directors had concerns about their department's ability to weather the downturn, with respondents pointing to significant headcount reductions, pockets of inefficiency and a lack of influence as key factors hampering their effectiveness.

Some 67 per cent of interviewees said they had been asked to find cost savings, with 33 per cent saying they had sought cost savings with agencies and 28 per cent cutting in-house headcount.

However, more than half of those surveyed (53 per cent) had no plans to decrease their agency spend and five per cent were planning to increase agency expenditure.

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