CHICAGO: Client PR spending fell 29% over the past year to an
average $3.1 million, according to the Harris/Impulse Research
Client Public Relations Survey.
The size of the decrease reflected the dramatic reduction in spending on
hi-tech, claimed the researchers.
Corporate communications budgets fell 40% to an average $963,000
from $1.6 million, while PR budgets for agency work fell 17% to
$1.3 million from $1.5 million.
The largest spending cuts came in corporate media relations, which fell
an average $173,000 to $180,000; internal comms, down
$149,000; and special events PR, down $126,000.
While clients are spending less on PR, they seem more satisfied with the
work they're getting. Sixty-nine percent of clients rated their agency's
performance as "outstanding" or "very good" in the latest survey, up
from 65% the prior year. In addition, 81% said they were very or
somewhat committed to their PR agencies, up from 75% the prior year.
The increase in client satisfaction may reflect the greater effort firms
are putting into their work for clients as the economy slows, said Bob
Novick, Impulse president. "Last year, there was a lot of growth and it
was difficult for agencies to keep up."
Industry segments devoting the greatest percentage of their revenues to
PR are e-commerce, 0.57%, and entertainment/sports, 0.32%. Industries
with the largest PR budgets in the survey were energy, $4.7
million; transportation, $4.47 million; retailing, $4.33
million and telecoms, $4.18 million.
This year's survey omitted automakers because their PR budgets were so
high, at a total of around $40 million, that they distorted