Ad agencies are more reliable source of ideas than PR agencies, survey says

Communication directors find that ad agencies are more likely to deliver great creative ideas than PR agencies or their own team, according to the sixth annual PRWeek/Brands2Life Communication Directors Survey.

Office talk: PRWeek's survey of comms directors
Office talk: PRWeek's survey of comms directors


The in-house comms team is generally the first port of call, with 60% of comms directors briefing their own teams to come up with a new creative idea. But only 42% of directors find that their teams deliver on this brief. 

Agencies are approached by only around a third of clients. But although asked less, agencies tend to deliver – 48% of directors said the company’s ad agency come up with ideas ‘very often’, and significantly more often than PR agencies, which 38% named as their main ideas supplier. 

‘I wonder if this is because ad agencies are often dealing with bigger budgets, and are used to creating the kind of large brand repositioning jobs that can effect fundamental change in a business,’ says David Sawday, head of comms at Halfords.

‘PR agencies are more likely to offer a menu of options that might be more linked to what they think the comms director can afford.’ 

The survey also found that a lack of time to think and contribute strategically was voted as the biggest issue facing in-house teams by almost half of comms directors. Integrating comms activities across the business is the top challenge for 62% of comms directors. 

Find more detail on all the research findings here

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