Marketing Report: PR - The vital statistics

The job of PR agencies has changed dramatically over recent years.

The proliferation of consumer-generated web content and online communities has shifted brand communication away from an exclusive focus on traditional media channels. Here you will find data on the best-performing agencies, their levels of growth, and attitudes toward the evolving role of the industry.

PR AGENCY OF THE YEAR - FRANK PR

In 2006, Frank pulled in an impressive £1.6m haul of new business and posted a 33% increase in fee income on the previous year. Eye-catching campaigns for HP Sauce saw the agency fight to 'Save the proper British cafe'. Having published a survey illustrating the demise of the institution, it organised a petition, distributed brown wristbands and encouraged HP to set up a 'fighting fund' to subsidise cafes in trouble. From a budget of £42,000, the coverage Frank generated was equivalent to an estimated £1.5m in advertising value. Trade orders for HP Sauce rose 16% in the month following the campaign's launch.

Source: Marketing Agency of the Year 2006

THE ONE TO WATCH - EXPOSURE PROMOTIONS

Specialising in fashion, lifestyle, luxury and consumer PR, Exposure nearly doubled its fee income in 2006, growing it by 91% to reach £6.3m. Chief executive Raoul Shah put much of this down to growth from existing clients, and about 20% from new business wins. The agency has set up offices in the US, allowing it to work more extensively in the UK and Europe with clients such as Dr Martens and Sony. Integration has also been key, illustrated in its work for Pretty Polly, which included a 64-foot 'Stairway to heaven' billboard in West London. Sports and music work also grew, with new teams working on projects around last year's FIFA World Cup for official England kit supplier Umbro.

- 55% of agency, in-house and freelance PRs think their fellow practitioners are 'incapable' of performing comprehensive online PR campaigns

- 90% said that online coverage had become more important to their organisation or clients in the past 12 months

Source: webitpr

- 46% of web users said their awareness of brands increases if they see information about them online

- 55% of respondents identified brands getting it wrong online. These included the use of fake bloggers, such as the blogs created by Edelman for Wal-Mart

Source: Shiny Red - 'Effective Online PR: helping brands succeed through new media'


CIPR EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2007 CLIENT AGENCY

Corporate communications HSBC Hill & Knowlton
Financial PR Standard Life n/a
Consumer
(arts/leisure/tourism) Expedia Red Consultancy
Consumer relations Eidos Taylor Herring
Public sector Norfolk County Fox Murphy
Council
Business/trade Remote XT Primal PR
Corporate responsibility BT Trimedia Harrison Cowley
Not for profit Royal British Amazon PR/The SPAway/
Legion Zebra Sponsorship
Integrated campaigns BHF n/a
Best use of new media DSGi New Media Maze
Crisis comms Southern Water n/a
Broadcast Crisis Unity/Jet & Co
Healthcare Bayer Schering Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster
Pharma Levitra


TOP FIVE BIG PR AGENCIES BY GROWTH

Agency Fee income Fee income Change
2006(pounds) 2005(pounds) (%)

1 Exposure Promotions 6,358,404 3,326,250 91.2
2 Four Communications 5,711,172 4,093,790 39.5
3 Waggener Edstrom 4,381,315 3,168,886 38.3
4 Hotwire 4,536,738 3,377,103 34.3
5 Cake 4,647,000 3,506,000 32.5

Source: Marketing PR Leagues 2007, from PR Week's Top 150


TOP FIVE SMALL PR AGENCIES BY GROWTH

Agency Fee income Fee income Change
2006(pounds) 2005(pounds) (%)

1 Tonic Life Comms 2,308,968 1,223,075 88.8
2 Freshwater 3,075,614 1,641,943 87.3
3 Virgo Health PR 3,109,866 1,891,652 64.4
4 Resolute Comms 3,866,415 2,449,930 57.8
5 The Television Cons. 2,418,299 1,547,072 56.3

Source: Marketing PR Leagues 2007, from PR Week's Top 150

- Do you think the FSA was right to call for a code on how PRs behave when dealing with financial information?

Yes: 93%

No: 7%

- Are you active on Facebook or any other social networking website?

Yes: 26%

No: 74%

- Do you think that new media such as blogging fundamentally alter PR practice?

Fundamentally: 17%

Substantially: 62%

Hardly at all: 21%

- How do you normally issue press releases?

By email: 77%

Online: 4%

By courier: 1%

By fax: 0%

All four: 18%

Source: CIPR President's panel (200 members and Fellows)

- For further reading, contact the Chartered Institute of Public Relations on 020 7766 3333 or visit www.ipr.org.uk.

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