Bigmouthmedia’s 2009 online PR survey has revealed that despite a marked rise in interest, the majority of the UK’s leading public relations firms are still failing to get to grips with the world of online media.
According to the latest updated survey of Britain’s 100 leading press and public relations agencies, the number of PR firms offering online PR and social media services has undergone a sharp rise over the last year, with 40% now claiming to provide a range of internet services.
Representing an increase of 90.5% compared with the 2008 survey results, the boost is evidence of the growth of a interest in online PR from traditional agencies.
“The PR industry is certainly beginning to come to terms with online PR and social media, no doubt motivated by the proven benefits of digital campaigns, but it is less clear whether the sector fully understands the discipline. It is not simply a case of replicating your offline press releases on the web, but requires specialist expertise and an informed understanding of how people engage with news, brands and products on the web,” said Leanne Rinning, Online PR Manager at bigmouthmedia.
“Online PR has to be viewed as part of your overall online marketing mix. It is most effective and more measurable when dovetailed with your SEO, PPC and display activity.”
The survey also reveals that the number of agencies publishing blogs has doubled in the last year. Despite widespread recognition of the value and importance of blogging as a media tool, however, a surprising 78% are still failing to produce their own.
Some 60% of the agencies surveyed admitted that they have yet to include online PR as part of their service offering. However, only 45% of the operations that claimed to have new media covered actually published their own blogs.
Taken as a whole, only 22% of UK PR consultancies currently use blogs to communicate with clients, colleagues and the wider marketplace.
London outfits appear to have maintained their lead in embracing the expanding field. A clear 48% of the firms surveyed who were from the capital offer online PR, with 30% publishing their own blogs.
Companies from elsewhere in the UK fared much worse in the research, with only 32% offering online PR and just 14% publishing their own blogs.
Founded in 1997, bigmouthmedia is Europe’s largest independent digital marketing agency. With a team of over 200 staff located across 13 offices in 10 countries on 3 continents, the company maximises exposure for major brands online through a variety of fully integrated digital marketing channels: Search engine optimisation, PPC, Online Media Planning, affiliate marketing, Social Networking, Brand Monitoring, Online PR and Web Analytics. Bigmouthmedia also provides up to date daily digital marketing news to ensure clients are fully informed and aware of all industry developments.