The emergence of the new generation of digital age public relations as a serious threat to the ‘old guard’ will be the most exciting development in the global PR business in 2005 says David Davis, in his annual predictions for the industry published on www.askdd.com today (3 January)
“In the past year or so there has been increasing evidence that they are winning major new business in competition with the large established agencies because they are offering clients fresh faces, fresh strategic thinking and fresh ideas and more importantly they are more attuned to the digital age. This trend will accelerate in the next 12 months” says Davis.
His other predictions are:
Revenues up 4% to 7% as companies start to spend their way out of lean times. The PR market in China and India will grow faster than anywhere else while the boom in recent years in central Europe will slow down against the background of political and economic uncertainty.
2005 should herald the return of consumer PR with many established retail brands needing to be re-launched, having lost pace against cheaper new competitors, There will be a continuing flow of electronic products to launch and greater confidence in the stock markets will boost investor relations; healthcare will benefit from pharmaceutical companies response to pressure from regulators’ for more transparency, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) as companies acknowledge that good deeds are indeed good for business.
More mergers, acquisitions, restructures
In an urgent drive to cut costly layers of management, the major marketing services groups will continue to restructure their multitude of different brands and agencies will be looking to merge and/or be acquired. One deal that could be consummated early in 2005 is a ‘merger’ between Chime Communications and Incepta in the UK.
Blogging will start to be included in the PR mix, particularly in the British General Elections and more companies will turn to intranets for internal communications but it will be several years yet before either of these two Internet outgrowths are firmly established as genuinely recognised PR tools.
The historic arguments will continue, without resolution, on retainer fees versus hourly rates, the legitimacy of advertising value equivalents (AVEs) and payment by results (PBRs). We will hear more pious words about industry diversity but with little meaningful action.
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