Public relations and public affairs – along with data investment management – were singled out for revenue growth in WPP’s UK operations in its Q3 results this week. Scott Wilson, MD of EMEA and CEO at Cohn & Wolfe UK, gives Gorkana three key reasons for this strong performance.
Overall, WPP has reported that revenue rose 23.4% at £3.611 billion for the third quarter of the year, ending September 30. As a sector, public relations and public affairs revenues rose to 8.5% in the same quarter, at £287 million. This is “the strongest performing sector” for the company, according to WPP.
In October, Omnicom Group, owner of public relations businesses such as FleishmanHillard Fishburn and Ketchum reported a 4.4% rise in its organic public relations revenues in Q3 2016, compared to a 3.6% rise in advertising revenues in the same quarter.
In WPP’s earnings statement, Cohn & Wolfe was highlighted as one of the strongest growing businesses across the quarter and for the first nine months of the year. Scott Wilson, MD of EMEA and CEO at Cohn & Wolfe UK, highlights why PR is performing so well:
1.There is increasing need to protect brand reputation
“The co-existence of two core business drivers – engaging stakeholders and the increasing need to protect brand reputation. At Cohn & Wolfe we refer to this as ‘promote and protect’ and it is a strength of our business.”
2.Authenticity comes first
“Earned-first: brands and businesses increasingly recognise the importance of authentic and engaging content, whether it is delivered via paid, owned or earned channels. An earned-first mind-set is fundamental to our DNA and our success has persuaded marketers to look at modern PR in a fresh light.”
3.More integrated skills
“The inexorable momentum behind integrated marketing content (IMC) – clients are increasingly demanding digital content and creative technology solutions. The best PR agencies are comfortable with integrated, have invested in the new skills and capabilities, and are able to play a leading role within integrated agency and client groups.”