Only 15 per cent of clients have had the same PR agency for five
years or more according to a report in the Director magazine on client
The report drew its information from the PRCA handbook, which contains
lists of clients by agency and indicates which have stayed with their
agency for five years or more.
The survey analysed the clients of 122 agencies formed before 1992. It
discovered that out of 3,563 clients, just 542 had retained the same PR
firm for at least five years.
The survey then ranked agencies on client loyalty according to the
percentage of clients each company had kept for the required time
period. Darwall Smith Associates, which has a turnover of pounds 550,000
and staff of just 14, came top with 75 per cent, having worked for three
of its four clients for over five years. Not one agency in the top ten
had a turnover above pounds 1 million indicating smaller players are
better at holding onto the majority of their accounts.
However PRCA chairwoman Jackie Elliot cast doubt on the survey’s
findings claiming that the report did not take into account the fact
that larger firms are constantly adding to their client lists. ’If the
bigger players like Lowe Bell or Countrywide Porter Novelli were the
same size as these agencies they would have the same loyalty record,’
Analysis, p7; Leader, p9.