Technical PR: The IPA Bellwether survey

Technical PR, Engineering PR, Industrial PR, Manufacturing PRThe big news for those of us with an interest in technical PR this week is that marketing spend fell once more in the last quarter of 2009. However, PR saw a drastically slower rate of reduction than in the previous quarter, the latest IPA (The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) Bellwether survey has found.

The results showed that the ‘all other' category, into which PR falls, saw a four per cent downward decline in budgets in Q4. This compared with a fall of 24.4 per cent in Q3. The net reading suggests to me that the majority of companies have re-set their budgets to pre-recession levels and are now ready to come out fighting.

The IPA took heart from the fact that more UK companies were upbeat about the financial outlook in their particular industries than at any time in the past five years. More than one third of those surveyed said that they were optimistic about a continued recovery, but 22% still said they were less upbeat about the future. The survey also indicated that marketing spend looks set to improve in 2010, with preliminary data indicating that budgets have been set higher on average compared with actual spend in 2009.

The IPA survey panel, made up of marketers at 300 leading companies, collectively presented the most upbeat financial outlook for their industries since the question was first asked in the second quarter of 2005.

The survey also appears to suggest the UK came out of recession during the last fourth quarter of last year, a claim yet to be supported by economic data, which is currently available up to Q3, when the economy shrank 3.1% at current prices.

But I’m curious to know how this is going to affect marketers in the industrial sectors; machine building, electronics, the electrical industry and so on. Where do you stand on 2010? Are you still battening down the hatches or are you coming out fighting? Is it time to go to the mattresses yet?

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Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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