Survey attacks firms for never rejecting business

PR agencies are struggling to say no to pitches regardless of their chances, according to a survey published this week by The Pace Partnership and accountancy firm Willott Kingston Smith.

Pace approached MDs or equivalent at the UK’s top 20 PR companies and found that although nine in ten recognised the need to develop relationships with prospective clients before pitching, only 43 per cent were comfortable turning down an invitation to pitch for companies with which they had not built a relationship.

The report, ‘Managing Key Clients 2004’, revealed that resources are distributed inefficiently because of agencies’ reluctance to nominate key clients central to their future prosperity. Only 33 per cent identified key clients and segmented their client lists based on value. Just 38 per cent had written action plans to win more business from key existing clients.

But agencies were confident that campaign aims matched their clients’ business objectives (100 per cent) and used a variety of comms disciplines (90 per cent).

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