Robert Gray's feature analyses 12 months worth of research into staff at 50 UK PR agencies to see exactly how they spend their time.
The results are somewhat surprising.
First, if you thought (as most journalists and clients do) that media relations was the prime activity of a PR company, you'd be wrong. The average agency apparently only spends around 15pc of its time on this.
And tracking relevant features? A measly 0.9pc.
What about business development? Nope. 1.5pc
Perhaps we are furiously strategising on behalf of clients? Er, sorry. 0.6pc
Reporting? Now we are getting somewhere - 17.8pc.
But no. Far and away the most time is spent on account management(*) - a whopping 44.9pc.
The feature does point out that smaller agencies don't tend to reflect this average ie they spend more time on actually doing things like media relations.
But it will be interesting to see general PR industry reaction to this - and to clients who appear to spend nearly 45p in every PR pound on having their account managed.
As Robert Gray says: "The findings suggest that agencies are - for want of a better word - 'wasting' much of their time."
* What the article doesn't do is define exactly what account management is - however, it is easy to see what it isn't - namely actually doing things that add value for the client.
Here is how to get coverage on ZDNet - see Rupert's formula below. Though I thinks some of those variables need properly defining and quantifying.
Dear PR - The probability of a successful pitch can be calculated by
the following handy formula applied to the details of your client's
3NT x 4UP x 2BI x 5EAI
----------------------------- = P(copy)
3M^3 x 2ACE x 10L
Where NT = New Technology, UP = Unique Product, BI = Beer Involved, EAI
= Engineers Available for Interview, M = Marketing Managers, EMEA or
Mornings, ACE = Already Covered Elsewhere (ie, your American brethren
have already spilled the beans) and L = the word Leading or Leader in
the first para of the press release.
Computer Weekly has just published the results of its 40th anniversary issue reader poll into who is the greatest IT person of all.
Step forward Steve Jobs. But what an ironic outcome. Computer Weekly readers are pretty much all corporate/enterprise IT folk - clearly they don't believe in translating their praise for Jobs into buying and using Apple products in a business environment. Not only this, but they rated Apple as the number one company of the last 40 years - perhaps everyone secretly wants to use Apple in a corporate environment but just won't admit it
Even more bemusing was that Martha Lane Fox of Lastminute.com fame ranked at number 10 - maybe I missed something, but I don't think even she made any claims whatsoever to being an IT person.
Readers also named the GUI as the most important software development - again, another hat tip to Apple.
I also noted that Chameleon PR picked up the gong for best tech campaign for its work with Staellium. As PR Week notes: The results of this campaign were immediate and impressive. There were 22 mentions in the dailies, including The Guardian G2's Last Word and Times 2's Pass Notes. At one point, a Google search on 'StealthText' produced 133,000 results and, by 2
June this year, more than 200 pieces of coverage had been tracked,
leading the launch to be named as one of 2005's top ten tech stories by
news site silicon.com.
The coverage generated 42 million opportunities to see. An AVE of
£51,854 was achieved by the first 40 items of coverage alone -
considerable for a campaign that had a budget of less than £10,000.
Which made me wonder - is this kind of thing a poisoned chalice? In other words, will Chameleon now have a queue of clients with their £9K PR budget asking for "some of what Staellium got." I'm not decrying Chameleon's achievements - but does it actually help them to secure bigger budget clients?
My thanks to Peter Kirwan for pointing this one out - so now I've been accused of being Spin Bunny, Bad Hack AND the World's Leading bogger (sp) - well, I wish I could lay claim to any or all of these - but, no, it isn't me - the search must go on. If I hear of any clues, I'll let you all know.
Last night at The Liberty Bar - upstairs at the The Clachan pub in Kingly Street, London - saw the latest press gathering of the Autonomous PR collective ie Jane Lee (Dexterity), Teresa Horscroft (Eureka Communications), Jane Folwell (Folwell PR) and me.
We had a very good turnout - just a shame I didn't get a chance to talk to everyone. But thanks to everyone who did come along - it may be old fashioned and not very Web 2.0, but putting the world of PR and journalism to rights over a few beers still takes some beating
Special thanks to the following for some good conversation and ideas (in no particular order):
Nigel Whitfield Peter Kirwan - Full Run Danny Bradbury (a rare London visit, so really glad Danny could make it) Bobby Pickering Guy Matthews - IT Pro Steve Shipside David Norfolk Sarah Robertson - PR Week Jonathan Boyd - Financial Marketing Adrian Bridgwater - International Developer Mike Dempsey Derek Cohen Nick Flaherty