EDITORIAL: PR must take the lead in evaluation

This week’s poll of consultancies and clients has produced the most surprising results of the Proof campaign so far. It indicates that non-FMCG consumer PR clients spend only two per cent of their PR budgets on research and evaluation.

This week’s poll of consultancies and clients has produced the most

surprising results of the Proof campaign so far. It indicates that

non-FMCG consumer PR clients spend only two per cent of their PR budgets

on research and evaluation.



PR budgets in this area tend to be higher so one would expect R&E to

account for a smaller proportion of the total, but industry guidelines

recommend that even the biggest PR budgets should allocate between three

and five per cent to research and evaluation.



More disturbingly, the agencies questioned said only half their clients

in this category spend anything at all on R&E. Yet marketing

communications is the sector where such techniques are arguably the most

advanced - at least among rival marketing disciplines like advertising

and direct mail.



For their part, clients seem less worried about proving the value of

their PR activity, but would consider increasing their R&E spend if it

helped them to create a better PR programme next time round. This is

surely a cue for PR consultancies to take the initiative. PR has made

great strides in convincing marketers of its importance, but unless the

industry itself takes research and evaluation seriously it may find

itself left behind as other marketing disciplines stake their claims to

the high ground.



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