Survey finds marketing pros lag behind sales counterparts in valuation of PR

WATERTOWN, MA: A Shift Communications survey found that more sales personnel value the lead-generating power of public relations than marketing professionals do.

WATERTOWN, MA: A Shift Communications survey found that more sales personnel value the lead-generating power of public relations than marketing professionals do.

While 63% of sales professionals said that the best leads come from PR, only 51% of marketing personnel agreed. Shift interviewed more than 100 sales and marketing pros from businesses ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

Shift principal Todd Defren said he was neither surprised nor disappointed with the fact that marketing had a lower perception of PR.

"It confirmed what I'd been feeling," Defren said. "While working in this industry, I would talk about how PR impacts sales, generates leads, and shortens the sales cycle. Everyone would nod and we'd move on."

Defren said that with the marketing VP primarily in charge of hiring a PR firm, it might explain why the PR industry has had a rough couple of years.

Only 30% of respondents said that lead generation was an expected part of PR, but then 49% said generating more sales leads was the best measurement of PR.

"They're not even hiring us for what they're going to measure us by," Defren said.

Only 10% said their company did not need PR to succeed. Meanwhile, 74% felt PR and word-of-mouth are more effective at generating sales leads than ads, while 58% said that the best leads come from PR.

"The PR industry has done itself a disservice because it has not helped clients measure its results," Defren said. "Forget about the existing measurement practices that persist today, but focus on how you can have a greater impact on sales."

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