Hi-tech PR agencies are ahead of other PR industry sectors in the
range and sophistication of the research and evaluation methods they
employ, according to a PR Week straw poll.
Agencies recommend a wide range of research and evaluation techniques,
with 80 per cent recommending media analysis and audience research.
Clients are slightly less ready to employ research and evaluation
techniques, with 60 per cent using both media analysis and audience
According to the straw poll of five agencies and five clients, agencies
also recommend the introduction of analysis to test sales against PR
campaigns, evaluation of coverage in highly targeted publications, and
detailed audience research encompassing customer attitude and awareness
However, as in other sectors, clients are unwilling to put large budgets
behind research and evaluation. Spend by IT clients on research and
evaluation averages 5.9 per cent of total budget, which is not
significantly higher than in other sectors.
Mark Adams, joint MD of Text 100, felt that too much emphasis is still
placed on media evaluation and not enough on ’objective setting’ -
assessing how a PR campaign can support overall business objectives
before it starts.
’The area of measurement, research and evaluation often seems to
simplify itself down into media measurement and this concerns me’ said
Standards of research and evaluation were already good, according to 80
per cent of clients. The same number said their spend was unlikely to
increase or decrease.
Clients would benefit from increasing this spend, according to 60 per
cent of agencies. One agency head said: ’Only ten per cent of clients
will invest more to evaluate campaigns in more detail, (beyond target
setting and measurement) even fewer for audience research.’