Encouraging Signal for PR Growth in 2010

Always on the lookout for positive economic news for the PR profession, I found some via Gary Slack, chairman and chief experience officer of Slack Barsinger & Partners.  

Gary, who also is national chair of the Business Marketing Association, conducted a survey of 39 fellow business-to-business marketing leaders.  Of 22 B2B tactics, PR ranked ninth among communications and marketing tools that are expected to see significant increased spending in 2010. 

“Considering that some of the tools that ranked ahead of PR in our survey might still be called experimental, I think PR fared very well and that marketers understand the power of PR in an increasingly digital world,” Gary said.  “I think that perceptions that PR is more cost effective than print advertising and trade shows, especially in a budget-scarce environment, are a big reason why PR fared so well in our survey against other traditional and tried-and-true mar-com tactics.”

Compared with 2009, here’s how business-to-business marketing pros ranked their anticipated spending increase priorities on key marketing and communication tools in 2010:

  1. Online communities
  2. Video
  3. Corporate Website
  4. Social media tools
  5. Search (SEO/SEM)
  6. Blogs
  7. Virtual events
  8. Webinars
  9. PR
  10. Branding
  11. Demand
  12. CRM
  13. LinkedIn
  14. Customer research
  15. Online advertising
  16. Mobile
  17. Event marketing
  18. Direct sales support
  19. Custom private events
  20. Direct mail
  21. Print advertising
  22. Trade shows

“Marketers are growing tired of buying people’s attention through tools like advertising, which don’t work as well any more, and are more focused on investing in tactics, such as PR, that help them and their companies more efficiently attract and earn attention,” Gary added.  

Gary, who chaired BMA’s national conference this year, also called my attention to a brilliant presentation by author and marketing guru David Meerman Scott.  Voted the #1 presentation at the national conference, David’s remarks captured on this 50-minute video are well worth watching since their packed with insights about the future of marketing and PR.

1 comment on this post.
  1. Kaitlin:

    I agree – great news for the public relations industry. However, saying that PR was ranked 9th would be an understatment. Most, if not all, of the top 10 items fall within the realm of public relations tactics and tools. Only a few months into my career, I’ve used webinars, social media, videos and online communities in my communications activities. We’ve also had regular teachings on the importance of blogger relationships and SEO. Given these B2B survey results, I’m excited for PR and all of its related comm tools to see both increased use and spending in 2010.

Leave a comment