LONDON: PR agencies in the UK are gearing up to win more client spend dedicated to native advertising, believing they are best-placed to create content for brands, a new industry survey has found.

According to a poll of senior executives at 75 leading PR agencies in the UK by Adyoulike, a native advertising platform, a full 88% see native as an opportunity for the PR sector.

Three-quarters (75%) believe PR agencies would be the best choice to create and distribute native advertising content for brands while 87% think PRs could do more to win new content marketing budgets from their clients.

In addition, the survey revealed that half (50%) currently offer native advertising solutions to their clients with another 19% saying they plan to do so in the future.

"The PR sector should be doing more with native advertising because it's all about content – and that's the industry's strongest suit. After all, those agencies create eye-catching content every day," said Francis Turner, Adyoulike's UK managing director.

"Brands see the potential of native to get their message out there in an engaging and immersive way that sits in-feed with publishers' own content and doesn't disrupt the online experience. PR firms should be aiming for a larger slice of the content marketing pie and native is a great way for them to get it."

The study also analysed how PR agencies use native to increase the reach and share of the media coverage they obtain for clients.

Their main focus is on social media networks with almost two-thirds (63%) using paid campaigns on Facebook and Twitter to boost views of their media coverage, although under half (44%) currently use paid native advertising.

"Given that so many agencies already share coverage on social platforms and pay for the privilege, moving budget into native and delivering PR in a native content environment as well as a social one makes complete sense," Turner concluded.

Data sourced from Adyoulike; additional content by Warc staff