Maybe public-relations people are just a congenitally optimistic bunch – at least compared to people at ad agencies. At any rate, a recent survey finds pr practitioners expecting better days ahead in North America. The outlook for Europe, meanwhile, reflects the fact (often forgotten amid our own troubles) that the economic situation there is in many ways far worse than it is here right now. The chart is based on a survey by the International Public Relations Exchange (IPREX) among its member pr agencies in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Among the sectors expected to see strongest growth in North America are ‘issues management’ and healthcare-industry pr.
Along with these forecasts, the IPREX research uncovered an evolution in the nature of pr spending that will sound familiar to people at ad agencies: ‘Another North American trend is the shift toward short-term communication projects from more comprehensive, long-term public relations campaigns. Mentioned as possible reasons for the fluctuation were corporate downsizing (staff and budgets), as well as an increased need for short-term results.’ Thus, if you were in the market for any further evidence that short-term thinking predominates over long-term brand building (or corporate-image building), now you’ve got it.
PR OUTLOOK FOR ’94
N. America Europe
Very Negative 0.0% 16.67%
Slightly Negative 5.88% 33.33%
Neutral/Ambivalent 17.65% 0.0%
Slightly Positive 70.6% 50.0%
Very Positive 5.88% 0.0%
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)
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