PR increasing its share of marketing budgets

London, 27 January 2009 - the most recent PRCA PR Leaders' Panel found a massive 92% PR agency heads perceive that clients believe PR to be more cost effective than advertising. Client behaviour appears to support this with over 50% of respondents noting the percentage of marketing budgets dedicated to PR increased in 2008.

Richard Dean, Marketing Executive for Lexis Nexis, says “PR has increased in importance in my Marketing Budget due to the fact it is considerably easier to measure than advertising.”

Francis Ingham, PRCA director general said “In the past, when budgets have come under scrutiny, marketers have focussed their marketing spend on the area that they understand best - advertising. However, over the last year, by allocating a greater percentage of marketing spend to PR, clients have shown the increasing value they see in PR. Those most familiar with PR understand its efficiency at reaching and influencing a desired target audience and these are the marketers who will deliver outstanding results during these tighter times.”

Julian Tanner, from AxiCom added that “with the inexorable growth of digital comments, content buyers are now influenced by independent opinions not paid for space.  This is the preserve of PR and points to a long-term decline in advertising and DM.”

- ENDS -



What happened to PR budgets as a percentage of clients' total marketing budgets during 2008?

  • Decreased significantly - 4%
  • Decreased slightly - 17%
  • Increased significantly - 2%
  • Increased slightly - 48%
  • Unchanged - 29%

Do clients perceive PR to be more cost effective than advertising?

  • No - 8%
  • Yes - 92%

Related article

The Public Relations Fairytale - read more

About the PRCA

  • The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) is the trade association for the UK PR consultancy industry.
  • The Association exists to raise standards in PR and to help members be better organisations.
  • It represents more than 160 members representing around 70% of the country's PR fee income.
  • Founded in 1969 the PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations consultancy.
  • PRCA members differentiate themselves from other PR consultancies by achieving the Consultancy Management Standard (CMS), a professional accreditation that has been adopted by PR agencies in more than 11 countries around the world.
  • All PRCA member organisations are bound by a Professional Charter and Codes of Conduct.

As part of its commitment to excellence in PR, the PRCA carries out a number of functions:

  • PR training and qualification: the PRCA organises a range of bespoke, inhouse & online courses as well as general training and qualifications. Course subjects range from: how to write a press release: to how to manage your agency.
  • Find a PR agency: this free service helps clients find a reputable PR consultancy for their brief.
  • Industry surveys: the PRCA undertakes a number of surveys every year including the most comprehensive benchmark of industry performance.
  • Networking and best practice groups: the PRCA organises a number of groups to help members stay ahead of industry trends and raise general industry issues.
  • Promotes the value of PR and the need for standards: the PRCA provides a strong voice on a range of issues relating to PR.
  • Lobbies government on key issues: the Association represents members interests in areas with Government and other relevant organisations such as the FSA .

For more information please contact:

Richard Ellis, PRCA communications manager

T: 020 7233 6026


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