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Does the PR Industry need PR?

Welcome to our beta section on PR industry statistics. One of the questions we have always pondered is does the PR industry need PR?. We have had a dream to raise standards by exposing good and bad agencies and have been collecting people's opinions for years. We have published people's views (provided we didnt think we'd get sued as many were personal attacks on people in PR agencies), in the hope that it will encourage the PR agency to take the feedback on board and improve standards, and for those that refused to listen, let their business dry up. On this page we share some of the data we have collected over the years.

Would you recommend this agency?

This is the simple question we have asked and had thousands of votes in response. Here's the results of the votes where we have had a large enough sample.

CountryVoted YesVoted NoTotal Votes Percentage Positive
United Kingdom (UK) PR39712373634462.5%
United States of America (USA) PR1707782248968.5%
Netherlands PR63318782077.1%
France PR40614354973.9%
Australia PR944714166.6%
Ireland PR576011748.7%
India PR733310668.8%
Germany PR75199479.7%

Interestingly the level of positive recommendations are broadly similar across countries. People participating in the voting are familiar with PR and not the man on the street. Further analysis is needed which we will do over time. An initial conclusion is that standards in PR are OK, but not great. It may well be that the real issue is one of public perception.

We have a reasonable sample size for the UK so we posed the question, "Are standards of PR worse in some parts of the UK than others?". We group votes by postcode and then plotted them on a map. If the number of positive votes was greater than 80% we give it a green dot, greater than 65% we give it an orange dot, greater than 40% we give it a yellow dot and less than 40%, a red dot. Where there were less than 6 recommendations for a postcode, these results were excluded.

The results were a bit of a surprise. We had anticipated a scenario that in areas where competition is high (eg London) we expected good results and where competition was low, results to be lower. The results suggest that overall standards of PR in London are OK but not excellent, it's the agencies out in the regions that are being highly recommended. A possible reason for this is that there is less business in the regions therefore they have to compete harder and deliver better results. Because there is a large sample of recommendations for London, it is possible that highly regarded agencies that are receiving all positive recommendations, are masking poor agencies in the same postcode.

Drilling into London further, you can see that the majority of recommendations for PR agencies fall into the 65-80% satisfaction level, several with >80% satisfaction and a handful dissatisfied ( <40% recommendation).

Percentage of Positive VotesNumber of Agencies in this band
80% - 100% 49
60% - 80% 66
40% - 60% 43
20% - 40% 20
0% - 20% 9

Further analysis reveals a classic Pareto scenario where 80% of the agencies are below 80% and 20% are in the top 20%!. There are 14 agencies which have 100% positive recommendations;


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Sun Oct 22, 2017
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