R&E is low PR priority for public sector majority

Only 50 per cent or less of public sector clients allocate any of their overall PR spend to research and evaluation (R&E), according to agencies working in the public sector questioned in a PR Week straw poll.

Only 50 per cent or less of public sector clients allocate any of

their overall PR spend to research and evaluation (R&E), according to

agencies working in the public sector questioned in a PR Week straw

poll.



The average R&E spend by those clients which do spend money on R&E was

five per cent of total PR budget, according to the poll of five clients

and five agencies. The spend was particularly high among transport

sector clients, where the extent of pre-campaign research required was

said to be extensive.



The large majority of organisations questioned said R&E spend was

unlikely to increase and added that they regarded methods for R&E as

merely acceptable.



According to agencies, public sector organisations are investing

increasingly in professional PR, spurred on by the Government’s emphasis

on increased accountability and partnership with the private sector. But

most agencies believe that R&E is not yet regarded as an important part

of PR.



One agency source said: ’The only evaluation that captivates them is

whether the campaign runs on budget rather than whether it achieved its

key objectives.’



The source added that a number of public sector clients use their

in-house PR teams to conduct evaluation rather than including it in

their agency’s brief.



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