Asia Pacific bucks downtrend in public relation investments
Firms worldwide cut spending in corporate communications, except for Asia which grew by 17%.
A study by Grayling showed that global investment in PR across most areas appears to be stagnating with only a fifth reporting an increase in spend, against a backdrop of ongoing budget pressures and continued global economic instability.
Geographically, Asia-Pacific saw the largest increase in PR investment with 17%, driven by the emerging economies of Indonesia and India; followed by Latin America, Middle East and Africa.
At a country level, India is seeing the largest increase in investment globally with 70% reporting an increase; France comes in last place with just 5% reporting an increase versus 43% reporting a decrease for this quarter.
Other key highlights include:
- In spite of this (or perhaps because of it) visibility of communications activity at board level, and perceived value of communications activity to commercial success, is surprisingly strong with increases of 47% and 55%, respectively.
- Short-termism continues to dominate budget and resource planning with organisations remaining cautious about long-term investments; project support sees a 20% increase in spend at the expense of an 11% increase for retained support. In addition, in-house teams’ headcount remains static with almost 70% reporting no change or a decrease in headcount.
- The Consumer & Retail sector appears to be trying to invest its way out of recession with the greatest increase in spend, headcount and visibility at board level globally, APAC led the global trend with a 23.8% increase; Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals comes in last with the lowest increase in PR investment of all sectors globally.
- Unsurprisingly perhaps, spend on social media & digital sees the largest increase with an average of 44% led by 60.8% increase in the Consumer & Retail sector; 26% increase for corporate communications and reputation management and a 17% increase in spend on CSR communications
- Key growth areas in corporate communications and reputation management include Energy, Environment and Industry with 38.9% of companies reporting an increase in investment. Other sectors which saw increased investment include Tech, Media & Telecoms; Consumer & Retail; Financial & Professional Services; and Transport, Auto and Logistics.