Client’s Budgets, PR & Reputation


Sometimes it’s excellent to be reminded about what you already know.

Pearlfinders interviewed 100 senior decision makers from 100 leading UK companies:

  • 55% said that budgets were down from last year. Cost cutting was the most common reason cited.
  • 33% said that their budgets have stayed the same, with most stating their aim was to cement their position in their market
  • 12% said that they have increased their budgets

One, unnamed, marketing director reported ‘We take the view that it’s better to spend more in times of crisis, so that we stand out from the crowd’.

Nothing surprising there…

The role of agency PR in winning business provided some incite.  Last year the respondents said PR was very important in agency selection. This year 70% said that this was irrelevant when it came to decision making.

Social media has become very much mainstream in the past 5 years but is the cause of the diminishing power of PR.  The rational was the bombardment with messages from blogs, dm, cold calling and press coverage means that brand differentiation was diminishing.

Agencies are great at giving advice on how to keep brand messages succinct and make all channels consistent but often fail with their own work – to many creative geniuses I suspect.

Talking about social media, like all good clients with a newish trend on their radar, 89% of respondents claimed social media is important for their brand but only 29% are actually doing anything about it.   Perhaps they should start with managing their personal reputation on line and then go onto use the lessons for their brand.

  • 75% of those interviewed also said that an agencies website was very important in the agency selection process. This goes back to what you last blog said about clarity of the brand message. An agency website should engage and inform brands just as a brands website should do the same for its customers and potential customers. An agency’s website is their best opportunity to showcase, and show off, how good they are and where their key strengths and abilities lie. In its simplest form it is basically the agency’s CV.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:32 pm
  • This reminds me of Gordon Brown’s plan to spend our way out of a recession. For once, I agreed with him. However, it’s different for private companies who do not have a guaranteed revenue stream. If only companies had it as easy as the government, obtaining guaranteed tax revenue every month! They have to weigh up the costs and benefits of spending now to come out in the medium term in a position to still be competitve in the market. For some companies, reducing their marketing budgets is a way of keeping their employees. However, it may be that they need to maintain their budgets and make a loss in the short term to become stronger once the economy returns to a level of relative normality.

    July 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm

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