THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Does the PR industry need external planning help?

Fleishman-Hillard is linking up with 20/20 Media to provide targeting and research advice.

Fleishman-Hillard is linking up with 20/20 Media to provide

targeting and research advice.

Nick Kendall

Bartle Bogle Hegarty

’It depends on individuals. Some PR companies are good at it, but some

are not. I believe every communication company should increase its

understanding of brand strategy. Clients want people who can not only

sit with them and their advertising agency and talk as a specialist, but

also contribute to the overall brand debate. There is a big opportunity

for PR people who want to be at the same table as the client. They

should think about how to improve their skills in this area and learning

more about planning is one way to do it.’

Tom Wells

Consolidated Communications

’For the last two years we’ve retained one of the leading media

independents as our external media planners and researchers. Clients

have the right to expect the same level of planning expertise from their

PR agency as they do from their advertising agency and an external media

planning team can give you access to valuable extra depth and breadth of

skills, resources and objectivity.’

Keith Henshall

The Henshall Centre

’Planning has been the largest selling course over the last two


The PR industry is keenly aware of the importance of it. Outside

expertise can add something, especially with big campaigns, however it

is a mistake to think you can sub-contract all the thinking. PR people

have to understand planning intimately and know when to call in the

external experts.’

Mary Baker

Countrywide Porter Novelli

’Whether externally or internally resourced, planning and research are

critical if PR is going to target effectively and be properly measured

and evaluated. Other communications disciplines have used such

techniques for decades. It’s disappointing that PR agencies haven’t

taken planning seriously enough to invest in it.’

Pip Landers

Whitbread Beer Company

’With Murphy’s we pull together a group of people at the start of the

year including a media planner, account planner, PR and below-the-line

person and plan the campaign together. Everyone is aware of targeting

and the objectives of the overall package so it would be inappropriate

for the PR agency to do anything on its own.’

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