FiftyOneZeroOne

Warning signs for PR agencies

Posted on: November 5, 2008

A survey of 78 corporate communications directors published in PR Week (UK edition) on 31 October 2008 had warning signs for PR agency bosses. It showed that the use of agencies/consultancies was likely to fall in the coming year. As the survey was undertaken before or during the recent financial shake-up, the results may only be a partial indicator of tough times to come.

 

Here are headlines from the PRWeek/Brands2Life survey:

 

Has your comms planning been affected by the credit crunch?

 

Credit crunch has affected communications planning – 72%

Cut use of agencies in 2009 – 19%

Asked to cut head count – 11%

Under a third said plans had already been ‘adjusted in light of financial conditions’

 

Do you rely on agencies more or less than five years ago?

 

More – 23% (mainly from big corps with > £1bn turnover)

Same – 53%

Less – 18%

 

The plans to cut the use of agencies in 2009 indicated by answers to the first question may have a correlation with the 18% of corpcomms directors who rely on them less than five years ago (second question). When added to the cut of 10% in handling overflow work for these clients shown in the third question below, there is a clear indication of tough times ahead.

 

What is PR agency/ies main contribution?

 

Proactive media relations – 51%

Creative input – 50% (same as 2007)

Handling overflow work – 43% (down by 10%)

Strategic input – c.33%

 

So start planning for tighter belts!

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