Advertising has taken a bit of a bashing this week. Over half of consumers (55%) are apathetic towards advertising content according to Kantar’s definitive annual communications survey. An additional 54% are sick of being targeted online. I could go on, but I guess you’d expect a PR stalwart to fist pump a survey proving that earned and owned media is more powerful these days.


It’s true, though. This new report underlines the fact that, in our age where trust and transparency is everything, PR is crucial to delivering the authenticity demanded by today’s consumers.


Even when advertising does work, consumer engagement is increasingly dependent on the ad being seen within a framework of existing consumer trust. Consumers say they’re more likely to believe ad messages if they appear on a brand website or a platform they already trust. Check out Marketing Week’s piece for more details on the Kantar report.


But as PR increasingly powers the marcoms machine, it’s more important than ever that we put better science and numbers behind its magic and words. We need to properly plan and measure PR’s effect, so we can continue to generate brand trust and deliver on commercial objectives.


We need to continue using data and insight tools more effectively, to target the right messages to the right audiences at the right time. Then play those messages out across the marketing mix, throughout the whole customer journey. And then properly evaluate how we’ve done. As our strategy director, Elly Kestenbaum wrote recently, we can still do so much more as an industry when it comes to tracking what outcomes we’ve achieved.


So yes, this is a PR fist pump, but it’s one that comes with a rallying cry: it’s not enough to shout from the rooftops that PR is winning in an age of authenticity – let’s do better at proving how and why and when.

Mandy Sharp