Public affairs budgets allot more to research

A majority of clients say they allocate over 10 per cent of their public affairs spend to research and evaluation, with research taking the lion’s share, according to a PR Week straw poll of clients and agencies with public affairs accounts.

A majority of clients say they allocate over 10 per cent of their

public affairs spend to research and evaluation, with research taking

the lion’s share, according to a PR Week straw poll of clients and

agencies with public affairs accounts.



The poll questioned five in-house public affairs departments and five

public affairs agencies.



Consultants estimated their clients spent more on pre-campaign research

and planning than on evaluation. Little is spent on evaluation, because

a large part of public affairs work involves lobbying Government and the

success or failure of such campaigns is evaluated against the extent to

which Government policy is changed.



Standards of research and development across the industry were viewed by

clients as acceptable or poor. Four out of five clients said their

organisation would increase its public affairs spend if they had more

conclusive proof of its effectiveness.



On the agency side, research and evaluation formed part of the pitch in

four out of five cases. Audience research emerged as the most popular

measurement tool. Four in five consultancies recommended audience

research.



The poll also revealed that public bodies allocated more to research and

development than private companies - up to 33 per cent.



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