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Monday, 21 January 2013

PRCA client-matching service “inundated” - PR agency optimism as clients return to retainers

The latest survey on the economic performance of PR agencies in the last quarter of 2012 shows:
  •  82% reported “busy” or “very busy” levels in new business with just over half coming from existing clients (53%) against 47% from new clients. 
  • A 9% rise over the previous quarter in retained income as clients switch from project work back to retainers
  •  A 2% increase in client budgets (despite expectation that UK GDP will have shrunk in the same period).
  •  A third of those polled expected staff numbers to increase, while most of the rest (63%) expected them to stay the same, with a small increase in graduate recruitment . The use of freelancers staying around the same.  
Francis Ingham, PRCA Director General said, "I am not surprised to hear that our members are busy with new business as our client-matching service has been inundated at the start of the year."

Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR says, "We are particularly pleased to see the switch back to retainers. Project work is fine if it is truly stand-alone, but it doesn't encourage the holistic view that is required for extracting maximum value from integrating online and offline PR, sales, marketing and social media. I believe that is best achieved with a flexible supportive approach, working alongside clients, tapping into their existing skills and talents and topping up with training, plus strategic advice, consultancy, and direct hands on support and cover as needed, all designed to boost the clients' bottom line, and/or achieve other specific goals." 

The survey was conducted by a leading PR professional body, the Public Relations Consultancy Association (PRCA)*.  
*The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 300 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 150 UK consultancies. The PRCA also represent over 100 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.
This survey data is based on 96 consultancies reporting.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: PHPR Ltd on LinkedIn Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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