A study by Ipsos for Campaign Asia-Pacific surveyed more than 110 executives from PR agencies, in-house communicators and marketers and found a 72% trust rating for PR agencies among clients and a 49% rating for value – both figures well ahead of any other types of agency they might use.
Crisis management specialists returned a 66% score, but that’s pretty much a core function of most PR agencies anyway; after that came agencies focused on digital (56%), social media (54%), marketing (54%), advertising (52%), media (52%), consultancy (46%) and finally content (44%).
The gaps were even more pronounced in terms of how much value clients thought agencies added to their business: PR’s 49% stood head and shoulders above the 25% score of advertising and the 22% of digital; then there was social (15%), marketing (14%) media (13%), crisis management (12%), consultancy (8%) and content (0%).
And while 68% of clients had used a PR agency and 57% had increased investment there over the past decade, rather fewer were committed to doing so in future; just 38% said they planned to increase investment next year while 11% indicated they would decrease spending.
PR agencies themselves were more gloomy, with 45% saying they’d seen increased investment during the past ten years and one in five anticipating a decrease in spending in 2020.
One reason for this disparity, Campaign Asia-Pacific suggested, may be a “chasm” between how PR agencies and brands think the former have evolved and diversified: there’s a 35 percentage point gap between the two sides as regards speed of evolution and a 26 percentage point gap on ‘diversified as expected’.
A glaring example: agencies see social media management as one of the least important services they provide; clients rate this in their top three. And in a related finding, there appears to be scope for PR agencies to tap into increased investment by clients in influencer marketing.
Sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by WARC staff