Why Public Relations is poised for growth

May 2017

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Public relations and public affairs – along with branding and identity were singled out for revenue growth in global comms group WPP’s Q1 trading update last month.

And in Q3 of last year WPP reported an 8.5% increase in the public relations and public affairs businesses citing it as “the strongest performing sector”.

Becky Erwood MD of Pead PR gives her viewpoint on three key reasons for this strong performance.

1. If you want it, earn it

Our heartland has always been in the earned space. Word of mouth from key opinion leaders – whether they be media, influencers or other stakeholders – has always had greater credibility than what a brand says about itself.

The brands and business we work with recognise the importance of developing authentic and engaging content that can be delivered via paid, owned or earned channels and our success in these spaces is testament to this.

2. Maintaining a good rep

The PR agency point of difference is that we are much more focused on reputational issues. An established, nurtured and protected brand is better able to sustain a few knocks. It is the brands that haven’t invested in sustained reputation management that sink when the proverbial hits the fan.

You only have to look at the furor around the United Airlines passenger removal to see how this plays out. Compare it to media and public pick up on incidents on Air NZ flights show you how a brand that invests in its public reputation can deflect the odd blow.

3. A diversified skill set

Good ideas can come from anywhere at any time, not just from a designated team of creatives. And in the ‘always on’ age, the need for a skilled team of professionals with a 360 degree view of a brand able to create and shape conversations is eminently appealing to clients.

Whether it be devising and placing native content, working with key opinion leaders or creating brand owned content the best PR agencies, have invested in the new skills, and are able to play a key role within integrated teams.