A recent survey completed by PRWeek points out the fact
that more marketers are looking for PR to help cut
through the advertising clutter to reach consumers. An
indication of the shift from advertising to PR is the
statement from 63% of the respondents that they are
exploring word of mouth as an alternative to television
The survey, comprised of 346 CMOs, VPs, directors of
marketing and brand managers, revealed that over half of
the executives (54%) believe that PR is underutilized in
their current marketing mix.
Another important finding was that PR agencies scored
higher on ROI measurement than any other type of agency,
including direct marketing. This was at least partially
attributable to the fact that during the economic
downturn agencies have had to provide solid ROI metrics
to receive a share of the marketing budget.
A surprise was that while 81% of the executives surveyed
believed that PR firms were capable of working on
strategic branding, only 46% reported that these firms
were actually working on strategic branding initiatives.
As expected, PR is crucial to developing and maintaining
a corporate reputation. The survey did find, however,
that there are many areas of opportunity for PR firms to
help companies that are not being explored.
For instance, while most marketers equate PR with media
relations, there are significant alternative
opportunities that are underutilized. One example is the
targeting of “influentials” for word of mouth,
Another is targeting niche audiences, an area in which
executives only use PR 9% of the time. While direct
marketing owns this area, the fact that media has become
so fragmented offers PR strategists new opportunities to
reach highly segmented niche markets.
To see the results of the survey and the PRWeek