So what's the reason? Why have all other marketing disciplines seen an increase in spend while PR budgets have again decreased?
Surely it must be down to tangibility and transparency. The PR industry has always struggled with ROI.
There are, of course, many ways of evaluating PR that include AVE, reach, key messaging, engagement levels or column inches.
But Bellwether focuses on the output of the agency - i.e. we got you some coverage - and not what the output actually means on a commercial basis. And that's not really enough for a sophisticated marketing/comms director - not in these difficult economic times.
They want to understand the true impact of every pound spent and what it means to their business - whether it drives footfall or sales, etc.
The PR agencies that want to succeed in these challenging times need to have their eyes wide open about the kind of results clients are looking for.
Leave out the fluff and look for tangibility.
The industry as a whole needs to be more focused on outcomes, not outputs, and then maybe we will see more growth in future Bellwether Reports.
Adam Clyne, commercial director, TVC Group