Social media still trails traditional PR in branding

SAN DIEGO: Social networks are all the rage but corporate marketing executives still rely on traditional public relations and online communications for brand awareness, a new survey says.

SAN DIEGO: Social networks are all the rage but corporate marketing executives still rely on traditional public relations and online communications for brand awareness, a new survey says.

According to a new survey by brand strategy and design shop MiresBall, 56% of respondents said public relations and promotional events provide the best return on money spent for brand management, compared to 40% for social media.

The 2010 State of the Brand Report interviewed 189 company owners, senior execs and brand managers, from small to large companies in varying industries with annual revenues ranging from $10 million or less to more than $1 billion.

MiresBall principal and creative director John Ball said the report shows that, while 80% of brand leaders expect to use social media in the next two years, 41% don't feel the impact of social media is serious enough to change brand strategy.

However, Ball said 68% of respondents said online communications is the most valuable medium for generating awareness and customer brand loyalty, though most feel their own websites are the key to this, not necessarily social media.

Ball pointed out that marketing executives clearly place a high value on traditional PR and online communication, and expect to use social media tools in the coming years.

“We know that social media is where brand executives are looking,” said Ball. “If you look at everything, it's a big opportunity for PR to grab the social media reigns.”

For brand building, 35% of respondents said traditional PR provides the best value, compared to 24% for paid advertising.

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