Five trends that are shaping PR


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An overview of the 5 trends that are shaping the future of public relations, based on global industry research. Presented to the UK\'s PRCA in January 2011.

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  • Introduction Thanks to PRCA and to all of you for attending today My turn – I found this process – coming up with these ideas – interesting and I hope you do too.
  • I’d like to start by way of a little context, mostly drawn from our Global Rankings report for 2010. We get a lot of financial information from agencies all over the world for this – and we use this to rank agencies and also to estimate the size and growth of the global PR industry. 8% drop – 2009 was a tough year. I don’t know if it was the toughest year ever – but one thing we can say is that PR budgets – for perhaps the first time – were not cut quicker or more brutally than other marketing disciplines. This is encouraging news. Contrary to some of the popular opinion you hear out there, I don’t think the PR industry fared much better than other disciplines – the figures demonstrate the 8 percent decline was broadly in line with other disciplines. The good news – 2010 was considerably better. We won’t have figures until later in the year, but we forecast single digit growth globally. The UK we feel is broadly in line with that, as it was with the global decline in 2009. Crisis and corporate – accentuated by the some of the financial issues out there. Digital growing rapidly, albeit from a small base.
  • Next – as part of this report we surveyed around 500 agency heads worldwide – and I’ll introduce a few of the findings for you. We asked people how optimistic they were and then compiled an optimism rating out of 10. And then we compared the rating with the last time we did this exercise at the end of 2008 which if, you’ll recall, was the perhaps the lowest point in terms of the economy. Global, slightly up. The PR industry is naturally optimistic, people don’t have too much trouble putting the best spin on things. UK – fairly encouraging jump there, but still lower than the global average, so a little caution around. NA – the US has rebounded strongly, an optimistic country. And for a little schauenfreude at the expense of our friends on the continent, Western Europe is the only region were optimism has dropped for obvious economic reasons that remain pressing.
  • Talent – that might seem high but that is actually lower than the global average – the UK is pretty well stocked with good PR talent. But then I suppose I have to say that standing here today… Competition from other marketing disciplines – very interesting, a fast riser this one and something we will come too later. Measurement – lower than you might think. Why? I think measurement is on of those issues that might stop the PR industry growing long-term, but isn’t going to make it shrink short-term. And it’s pretty difficult to resolve.
  • Last set of findings. Clients – Fair reflection of the UK. The case for PR as a boardroom issue has largely been made, and made successfully. Media – Although I’m sure that doesn’t include the 3 journalists here today. Growth – CSR is interesting because that disappeared a little during the recession, so it’s nice to see it come back. W-o-m which is pretty much referring to digital.
  • Five trends that are shaping PR

    1. 1. The Big PR Issues in 2011 <ul><li>Arun Sudhaman, The Holmes Report </li></ul><ul><li>PRCA Briefing </li></ul><ul><li>20 January 2011 </li></ul>
    2. 2. Context <ul><li>2009: 8 percent drop in PR agency fee income worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>2010: single-digit growth </li></ul><ul><li>UK hit hard by public sector slowdown </li></ul><ul><li>Growth from crisis, corporate, healthcare and digital. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Optimism <ul><li>Global: 7.7 from 7.56 </li></ul>UK: 7.45 from 7.16 North America: 7.74 from 7.06 Western Europe: 7.13 from 7.57
    4. 4. UK concerns <ul><li>45% economic conditions </li></ul><ul><li>27% attracting talent </li></ul><ul><li>18% competition from other marketing disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>12% measurement </li></ul>
    5. 5. UK attitudes <ul><li>Clients CEOs take reputation seriously? 7.94 Only the US is higher. </li></ul>Media Respect the role of PR? 6.33 Lowest worldwide Growth 21% CSR 16% Word of mouth
    6. 6. 5 issues to watch
    7. 7. 1. Digital <ul><li>Beyond social media </li></ul><ul><li>Into owned and paid media </li></ul><ul><li>Development – content, apps, websites… </li></ul><ul><li>Location-based/mobile </li></ul><ul><li>Social business </li></ul><ul><li>Implications </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration & acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Clients: Who ‘owns’ social media? </li></ul><ul><li>Business models & ROI </li></ul>
    8. 8. 2. Collision <ul><li>Marketing & PR </li></ul><ul><li>Fuelled by social media </li></ul><ul><li>Client-side integration </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing budgets hold sway </li></ul><ul><li>Implications </li></ul><ul><li>Bigger budgets? </li></ul><ul><li>Competition & collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Insight & planning </li></ul><ul><li>Measurement and evaluation </li></ul>
    9. 9. 3. Crisis <ul><li>Molehills become mountains </li></ul><ul><li>Fuelled by social media </li></ul><ul><li>Greater consumer activism </li></ul><ul><li>Social responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>More regulatory oversight </li></ul><ul><li>Implications </li></ul><ul><li>PR & PA counsel </li></ul><ul><li>PR becomes the story </li></ul>
    10. 10. 4. Emerging markets <ul><li>Think global </li></ul><ul><li>Growth opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Transnational organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Globalisation of PR activity </li></ul><ul><li>Issues not borders </li></ul><ul><li>Implications </li></ul><ul><li>Local insight </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Talent </li></ul>
    11. 11. 5. Ethics <ul><li>Uncomfortable questions </li></ul><ul><li>Spin is dead </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign governments </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Journalism’ </li></ul><ul><li>Implications </li></ul><ul><li>Nowhere to hide </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical policy </li></ul><ul><li>Industry reputation </li></ul>