Trylon Communications  - June 2005

PR Shines In Recent Survey

A recent survey conducted by PR Week shows that while every other kind of agency - including advertising, direct marketing, and marketing consultancies - had declined in how often marketers were coming to them for nontraditional advice, the number turning to PR agencies doubled from 12% to 24%. That wasn’t the only good news.

Three hundred and twenty six marketing execs took the survey, and the results skewed toward PR agencies as the external partners and consultants of choice. One example cited regarded the concept of brand identity. Once the province of advertising, the survey showed that marketers believe that PR is more effective at building awareness, message development and brand reputation – all of which contribute largely to the brand identity.

Perhaps more telling is that marketing execs are turning to PR first. Of the respondents, 70% of those who used external partners turned to a PR firm more than any other agency. Next came ad agencies at 55%; then direct marketing agencies at 26%.

Companies are realizing that PR firms can be flexible and innovative – an important point when considering alternatives to traditional advertising. Marketers are looking for non-traditional approaches to reaching their target markets, and the nimble and flexible nature of the PR discipline is being recognized as the right resource.

The overwhelming favorite for crisis control is PR. Seventy-two percent of marketers cited PR as the key to overcoming a crisis. Once again, the ability to act quickly and be flexible contributes to an agency’s effectiveness at handling a crisis.

Finally, fragmentation of the media is contributing to an increasing role of PR in the marketing mix. It is more important than ever for businesses to use all of the available channels to communicate to their audiences, and advertising and direct marketing are still finding their way in the world of new media, blogs and podcasting, while PR and communications firms have been following these trends for years.