8 lessons from the ICCO World PR Report
An international public relations report suggests that the industry it set to see growth worldwide but that measurement remains a work in progress.
The ICCO World PR Report has polled agency heads and senior communications professionals worldwide each year for the past five years.
There’s good news in the 2018 edition for growth, investment, integration and digital but improving measurement is critical to unlocking budgets and talent.
#1 Optimism on growth
We live it volatile and uncertain times and yet in every region of the world, agency heads are optimistic about the future. They see a growing market, and growing opportunities for their companies.
#2 Investment in public relations
CEOs continue to increase financial investment in their corporate reputation. Investor activism and social media transparency have intensified the focus on not just delivering good numbers, but doing so with integrity.
#3 Integration of disciplines
The blending of disciplines is being met by an industry able to diversify its offering into new areas. The agility of public relations is proving its strength. The ownership of storytelling is allowing us to outpace other marketing rivals.
#4 Shift of budgets from marketing to public relations
Marketing spend continues to migrate away from big budget advertising campaigns and towards public relations activity. The decline of traditional print media is at the heart of this change.
#5 Digital as an opportunity
Digital is growing as a function and as a practice. And encouragingly for the future, agencies are investing further and deeper in their digital capability.
#6 Client commitment
Investment in public relations may be on the rise however the biggest single challenge facing agencies is client unwillingness to commit sufficient funds, followed closely by a client focus on the short term.
#7 Measurement driving value
AVEs has fallen as a means of evaluation worldwide. That number now stands at a 8%. Knowledge of AMEC’s Integrated Evaluation Framework has increased in all but two regions.
Our industry still struggles to attract and retain the best people. This talent issue has provided stubbornly persistent over the years, and poses a serious threat to our industry’s ability to maximise its potential.
“In every region of the world, agencies expect to be more profitable this year than last. And given the uncertain times in which we work, that speaks volumes. CEOs continue to increase financial investment in their corporate reputation, while investor activism and social media transparency have intensified the focus on delivering not just good numbers, but doing so with integrity,” said Francis Ingham, Chief Executive, ICCO.
“Organisations recognise our value in engaging with stakeholders to build trust and reputation, and help organisations tell their story through content. ICCO’s analysis shows that agencies have firmly got to grips with the paid, earned, shared and owned media model. Earned and owned media typically lead with paid and shared used to drive amplification or performance,” said Sarah Hall, President, CIPR and founder, #FuturePRoof.
ICCO represents more than 2,500 public relations agencies in 55 countries worldwide through national trade associations. You can download a copy of the report with regional analysis from the ICCO website.