Media Relations Remains #1 on Client Wish List


Since my public relations career was launched and advanced through a love of media relations, I was understandably intrigued to see the new PR Council report indicating it remains the number one demand of prospective clients.

Many aspiring professionals today feel media relations is “old school.” But clients clearly feel otherwise.

The PR Council’s recent Q1 survey of member agencies revealed the following responses for the top seven client requests from clients during the new business process:

Years                                                       2014         2015
Media relations                                70%           75%
Integrated work                                    34%          58%
Social Media                                          57%          49%
High level strategic consultation       49%         43%
Issues/Crisis                                           34%         39%
Content marketing                                19%          38%
Digital work (dev., websits, etc.)        32%         28%

International client requests showed similar demand for media relations support:

1. Media Relations (90%)
2. Integrated Work (58%)
3. Social Media (39%)
4. High level Strategy (29%)
4. Issues/Crisis (29%)
6. Digital Work (23%)
7. Content marketing (17%)

“In case anybody thought that media relations was a diminished practice, the survey results remind us of its importance,” Kathy Cripps, PR Council President tells Culpwrit. “While a PR pro needs to know the new and shiny stuff — social media platforms, video and mobile, for example — working with traditional media, ‘earned media’ is still strategically critical in our business. It’s also a reminder that this is a relationship business – including with the media.”

As a former CCO, I also am pleased to see how agencies rank clients in in order of importance. There was very little change from last year:

1. CCO
2. CMO (virtual tie with CCO)
3. CEO
4. Sales and Marketing
5. Chief Digital Officer
6. Procurement
7. CFO
8. Chief Legal Counsel
9. Human Resources

3 thoughts on “Media Relations Remains #1 on Client Wish List

  1. If this is true – and I have no reason to doubt it – then PR professionals need to do a lot more work to improve their relationship skills. The #1 item on my journalist friends PR wish list is that they learn how to better communicate.

  2. This is interesting. It is most definitely not what I’m seeing out there among my traditional client base. The first day of my first job at an agency (’97) I was told by someone with 30 years in the field that media relations was the end-all be-all of PR and that everything else was window dressing. Right around ’09 there as a major sea change in the industry and while its more prominent than it was from ’10 to around ’13 (Google’s Panda and Penguin updates and changes to Facebook News Feed and overall economic recovery) it may well be #1 on a client’s wish list….but my feeling is that it is nowhere near #1 in terms of where they’re investing resources and funding. I don’t really care what clients wish for, but I really want to know what they’re willing to pay for. So I would like to see the full survey report, including the executive summary and research methodology, if thats possible?

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