International: PR still under-valued in marketing mix

NEW YORK: PR is currently under-utilised in the marketing mix, according to the majority of US marketing executives and brand managers polled in PRWeek/MS&L’s Marketing Management Survey.

The study - which surveyed 328 chief marketing officers, marketing vice-presidents, marketing directors and brand managers - revealed 63 per cent of respondents believed PR was losing out to its advertising and marcoms cousins in the marketing mix.

Marketing departments across the US were questioned in a bid to find out what they consider to be the key contributions of PR to the marketing mix, how budgets are apportioned across disciplines and how important integrated comms programmes are today.

Out of the total, 48 per cent said they spend more time on PR strategy than they did a year ago.

‘Marketers clearly get the value of PR, at a level we’ve been dreaming of for a long time,’ said MS&L chief executive Lou Capozzi.

The survey also highlights a number of areas of opportunity for the PR industry.

When asked if PR firms are capable of working on strategic branding, 75 per cent of the total responded ‘yes’.

But only 57 per cent said their PR firms actually work on strategic branding.

Integrated strategy is ‘vital’ to 56 per cent of survey participants, but only 23 per cent said their own marketing programmes are ‘seamlessly integrated’.

Twenty-six per cent also said they would turn to a PR agency to help align disciplines, surpassed only by consulting companies at 34 per cent.

It was found that among the budgets overseen by the respondents, who were sourced by US firm The List, advertising had the lion’s share of the average budget accounting for 36.6 per cent, followed by direct marketing with 18.1 per cent. PR took a significant 16 per cent.

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