Some opinion formers have yet to be convinced

While those within in the ind­ustry may be convinced that comms is becoming more integral to business operations, a survey by Populus suggests that view is not universally shared.

‘Hit hard’ Populas’ director Cooper
‘Hit hard’ Populas’ director Cooper

A Populus opinion formers’ poll, surveying 145 senior professionals across business, politics, media, NGOs and public sector, found that those outside the media and comms ind­ustry placed little importance on PR and public affairs in the current economic crisis.

Excluding media and public affairs professionals, the opinion formers ranked PR and public affairs as significantly less important than accounting, IT, HR, legal counsel and marketing. Marketing was ranked third out of the eight categories, with PR and public affairs trailing in sixth and seventh respectively.

But respondents working in the media insisted that PR was more important than marketing – indeed they thought PR was the second most important factor generally.

Andrew Cooper, founder and strategic director at Populus, said: ‘Those in the PR and public affairs world will have to remake their case to their clients. If they aren’t persuasive they are going to be hit hard by the downturn.’

Management consultants were ranked least important in the survey.

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