Press Releases

China PR and Event Agency Research Shows Short Relationships, Demand For Digital

Beijing – February 2011

-FIRST EVER RESEARCH COVERING 223 PR AND EVENT AGENCY MARKETERS IN CHINA
-AVERAGE RELATIONSHIP IS JUST 2.8 YEARS.
-MORE THAN 33% ARE LESS THAN ONE YEAR LONG
-79.8% OF RESPONDENTS RATE DIGITAL AS IMPORTANT IN PR AGENCY SELECTION
-OGILVY PR AND LOCAL EVENT AGENCIES LEAD THE WAY

A new survey by consultancy R3:GC across 223 of China’s top PR and event marketers shows that relationships (on average 2.8 years) are almost as short as amongst advertising agencies (2.5 years) , and that the demand for digital has never been greater.

“China’s marketers are under pressure to deliver sales – and no-one is feeling that more than the PR and event agencies they work with” said Sabrina Lee, Director of R3:GC China. “48% of all China PR relationships are still on a project basis – marketers need to put in place more strategic, long term partnerships to see the benefits of collaboration and talent” she added.

PEOPLE, CONNECTIONS AND DIGITAL MATTER

The study probed into which of more than ten selection criteria companies are using in appointing and keeping their PR and Event agencies. First and foremost on the list was the agency’s talent, with Digital Capabilities mentioned by 79.8% of people as important.

SELECTION CRITERIA – CHINA PR AGENCIES

1. The Agency’s People
2. Relations and Credibility with the Press
3. Experience in a Similar Sector
4. Offers a Suite of Services
5. Digital Capabilities

“With more than 450m netizens online, PR agencies are playing an important new role in social media and iWOM in China – and marketers recognize the need to find specialist third parties in this area” said Ms Lee.

LOCAL AGENCIES IN STRONG POSITION

The research covered more than 100 foreign and local PR and event agencies, with interviews conducted across eight major Chinese cities.

Despite the influx of global agencies into China, local agencies performed very strongly, with ten ranked in the top twenty PR agencies, including Blue Focus, Genedigi and Trends. Amongst event agencies, Spearhead, Pico, Highteam and Across China were all mentioned more than their foreign competitors. “Local agencies have often had longer, more consistent management and built up stronger ‘guanxi’ with local media” added Ms Lee. “In the future, we’re sure to see more alliances and acquisitions than ever before as global players look to consolidate their positions” she added.

OGILVY PR LEADS

As in the Advertising Agency study last year, WPP’s Ogilvy has a strong lead in terms of awareness and perception in this PR agency study. “OgilvyPR has benefitted not only from the ‘halo’ effect of the overall Ogilvy brand, but also from strong, consistent thought leadership, and a lot of investment in marketing their capabilities to clients and prospects” said Ms Lee. “They have set a high standard for other agencies to aspire to” she added.

About R3
R3 is an independent marketing consultancy whose aim is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Asia-based brands and their agencies. Founded in 2002, it works with eight of the world’s top twenty global marketers. For more information , visit www.rthree.com, write to sabrina@rthree.com or call +8610 5900 4733

About Grupo Consultores (GC)
Grupo Consultores (GC) was founded in 1990 in Madrid, Spain and now operates throughout Europe and Latin America in client-agency consulting, agency pitch management and agency image research. This Agency Scope research has been completed in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, India, China and on a regional basis.For more information, visit www.grupoconsultores.com or write to cvacchiano@grupoconsultores.com