January 22, 2024
January 18, 2024
by
Aneta Bajda-Majka
PB Comms

Macroeconomic environment impacts firms’ PR spend in 2024

The uncertainty around the macroeconomic environment has impacted public relations services, according to the latest PritchittBland Communications financial services marketing executive survey. The survey’s respondents are comprised of marketing executives within our network including clients and other industry contacts.

Overall it is clear that marketing executives, and companies as a whole see the value and importance of public relations for a business and, macroeconomic environment notwithstanding, it is expected this trend will continue to increase in 2024.

While 33 per cent of respondents increased their public relations spend over the past year, this is a decrease on the 50 per cent that increased their spend in the previous year.

A total of 58 per cent of respondents said their budgets stayed the same this year, with the remaining 8 per cent decreasing their spendon public relations.

The most important service for marketing executives, underthe public relations umbrella, is media relations (29 per cent) followed bycontent placement (20 per cent), content development (14 per cent), andstrategic advice (11 per cent).

Social media made the list for the first time this year, with 9 per cent of respondents indicating it is a valuable service offering from their public relations consultants, highlighting the importance of social media as an integral part of the overall public relations program.

Looking ahead, marketers believe media relations, content placement and development, strategic advice and social media will be top priorities in 2024.

For many respondents, the uncertainty of the macro environment was noted as the biggest challenge, resulting in tightening budgets across various business functions. Unsurprisingly, given the hype around this topic in 2023, artificial intelligence and how best to make use of it was another common challenge mentioned by respondents.

In terms of satisfaction with their current public relations consultancy, 50 per cent said they were ‘very satisfied’, followed by 42 percent being ‘generally satisfied’ and 8 per cent indicating they were ‘unsure’. In all, 66 per cent of respondents plan to continue their business arrangement with the same consultancy, with 33 per cent of respondents unsure about their plans for 2024.

Looking at what respondents felt public relations consultancies could improve on, 54 per cent note they are happy with the work produced and have no areas for improvement.

However, 30 per cent of marketers indicate they would like their consultancy to be more proactive and to communicate ideas to them, followed by 7 per cent that would like their consultancy to provide better value for money. Another 7 per cent respond that they want their consultants to require less direction.

The most prized aspect for 18 per cent of respondents was a consultancy that is “easy to work with” and that inspires confidence that they are competent professionals. A total of 16 per cent want their PR firms to have industry knowledge, and another 16 per cent prize a consultancy that is on their “wavelength”.

Additionally, 12 per cent of respondents prize a PR consultancy that is “reliable and trustworthy,” and makes them feel part of the team. Other valuable qualities are consultancies that are knowledgeable in the industry and able to provide “good content” that contributes positively to their business, to gain exposure.

Check out the Photos from the event!

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