It seems that the PR industry has been taking quite a few hits lately from outsiders. Just read this glaring Chief Executive piece by Bill Holstein. His claims are blatant generalizations that are easily shot down. Just read the comments for numerous defenders that excellently refute his points (and one who submits an opposing article that targets the journo side of the equation).
And of course there is now the lovely Miss Chapel, who, despite widespread skepticism, seems to have furnished the house of Strumpette permanently in the blogosphere. In the first legitimately informative post she has thus scribed, she highlights a (negative) study of the PR industry that should interest public relations practitioners.
According to her April 3rd post, “One of the world’s leading experts on business and economic theory, Martin Turnbull of the renowned Kepler School of Management, today released the findings of a 5-year study of the PR Business.” Entitled “The Image Industry, Public Relations at a Flashpoint,” the study is reportedly 62 pages long and includes interviews with the most well-known firms in our industry. I won’t go into the details of her summary now but simply put, it’s not good news. I’m checking into it and hope to have a copy in hand soon to give my own review.
But on to the Rose I promised.
In a March 27th article from PR Week by Michael Bush, the successes of a Proctor & Gamble study on the effectiveness of PR is discussed. It points to the fact that ROI on PR can be calculated when the tools are available to do so, and the results are good. Very good. It is a stepping stone toward supporting everything the PR field has been claiming for years.
“P&G…originally tested six brands. For three of those test brands, PR had the highest ROI. For the remaining three, it was second.”
“The outcome proves that PR is an efficient, effective investment for P&G, and it’s a marketing tool we should consider and leverage…For the brands that currently leverage it, many are considering increasing their investment. For brands who have never considered PR, it’s now on the radar screen.”
Of course, this study has the most influential implications for larger companies with big enough budgets to do this type of research and those that have the marketing component as a measurement tool.
As P&G external relations officer Charlotte Otto says in the article, “[The industry] needs more cost-effective capability to get high-quality impressions data.”
However, it’s certainly a start and I for one was ecstatic to finally see something positive being written about the PR field.
Yay for us!