The PRCA PR Leaders’ Panel has highlighted a general optimism among PR agency managing directors.
Over 60 per cent of respondents believed that, relative to 2008, their consultancy turnover would remain the same or grow in 2009.
The industry experts were also optimistic about profit margins, with almost 50 per cent believing that they would either maintain or grow their margins this year.
Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA, said, “Many clients have become more cautious about committing budget in the current climate. We are seeing the lag from pitch to conversion to commencement increasing and a shift from retainers to project work.
“However all of this should be put in context and the PR industry has performed fantastically over the last five years in spite of inconveniences such TUPE.”
Jonathan Choat of Nexus PR, added, “Excessive caution is the death of spontaneity and robust marketing, both of which are as important now as when the economy was growing. Companies who invest in their reputation and profile will see it pay dividends.”
Ingham has cautioned clients against trying to drive down the price agencies quote. She said, “Clients who find agencies are willing to drop their rates should question why the agency is willing to do so and whether the quality of work will be affected.
“Before taking on a consultancy you should request confirmation that it is a well run and viable business. PRCA members have to go through the Consultancy Management Standard, for example, ensuring that their business models are sustainable.”
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