Business-to-business clients spend an average of just 4.5 per cent
of budget on research and evaluation (R&E), according to PR Week’s
latest straw poll of clients and agencies.
The poll of five agencies and five clients with business-to-business
accounts showed standards of planning and R&E are improving, but still
have a long way to go. Agencies say that over 40 per cent of
business-to-business clients still do not allocate any PR spend to R&E
The respondents all felt that standards of research and evaluation are
improving in business-to-business PR. All the agencies questioned said
that allocation for research and evaluation is on the increase and all
include a research and evaluation element in the pitch process.
The main problem in the sector seems to be a lack of willingness on the
part of business-to-business clients to spend significantly on
All of those asked said that research and evaluation spend would ’stay
the same’ for the foreseeable future and one agency head commented that
its evaluation recommendations were usually accepted ’but no money is
Clients felt standards of PR research and evaluation to be somewhere
between good and acceptable. All showed a willingness to increase
planning and evaluation spend if this could help PR activity become more
However, even if PR could be proved to be effective for clients, 40 per
cent said that they would not increase PR budget.
Evaluation techniques employed include media analysis, focus groups,
opinion polls and AVEs.
- Percentage of business-to-business clients allocating PR
spend to R&E 58%
- Average percentage of business to business budget allocated
to R&E 4.5%
- Percentage of clients allocating spend to pre-campaign
planning and research 32%
- Percentage of clients allocating spend to results evaluation 26%