The ICCO Trends Barometer for Q2 2013 continued to paint a positive picture of the global PR industry, with client budgets up, new business levels high, and progress being made on over-servicing. Consultancy heads continue to be optimistic about the future.
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation's quarterly barometer of PR agencies performance revealed an overall positive outlook for the global industry. It also showed that most agencies have a formal digital policy in place, even where only a relatively small amount of their work is digital or integrated with digital.
Six out of ten respondents indicated that their clients’ budgets had remained stable in the second quarter of the year. In contrast with Q1, more respondents had seen an increase in budget (24%) than had seen a decrease (16%).
Nearly seven out of ten (68%) respondents reported ‘busy’ or ‘very busy’ levels of new business, an improvement of 3 points from Q1.
Over-servicing continued to increase in Q2, but at a significantly lower rate than in the previous quarter. 26% of respondents reported an increase, down from 46% in Q1.
Overall, respondents continue to be optimistic for their consultancies’ future, though almost a quarter (24%) are less optimistic than they were, an increase of 4 points on Q1.
This quarter, we asked some additional questions to get more insight into the way agencies worldwide approach the question of digital integration.
A clear majority of respondents (62%) indicated that their consultancy has a formal digital strategy. 30% said that they did not have a formal digital strategy; and 8% indicated that a digital strategy was not relevant to their business.
Only a quarter (24%) of respondents reported that more than half of their work for clients was digital or integrated with digital. Over a third of respondents said that 20% or less of client work is digital.
"These are very encouraging figures. ICCO’s Q2 barometer shows a confident, positive industry, with growing client budgets and healthy new business pipelines.
It also shows that even where agencies undertake relatively little digital work, they have digital plans in place – a sign that they are planning for the challenges of the future."
Francis Ingham, ICCO Executive Director
ICCO is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises national trade associations in 28 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent over 1,700 PR firms.