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Nearly Half of Companies Want Digital PR Agencies to Provide a Guarantee of Success

The majority of companies in Britain want to see more open and transparent services delivered by digital PR agencies, and they also want a guarantee that they’re getting a solid result on their spend, a new poll suggests.

An overwhelming majority of respondents to the survey, commissioned by digital PR agency Reachology and carried out by YouGov in early May, expressed dissatisfaction with online PR agencies they had signed up with.

Digital PR is increasingly gaining prominence over the more traditional form of the communications discipline as audiences have migrated from printed publications and are now consuming digital media in higher numbers. Companies are therefore allocating greater amounts of their marketing spend to digital PR, or ditching traditional PR altogether.

Seeking Results from Digital PR

Asked if they would be more inclined to use a digital PR agency that gave some kind of guarantee of performance and results, those who took part in the poll — UK decision-makers working in the areas of business development, sales, marketing and advertising — 44% said yes, 40% said they might and just 15% said no.

Both digital and traditional PR can be difficult to track, in terms of exposure and return on investment. Agencies may often give promises of media coverage they aim to secure for clients, only to end up with little to none at the end of a months-long campaign.

As for how the 362 business respondents felt about working with a digital PR agency they had hired, the majority, 54%, said it was nothing special while 32% believed it was money down the drain because the agency failed to deliver what they had promised. Only 14% expressed the view that it had been a positive experience and the results were what they had wanted — representing a challenge to digital PR agencies to do more for clients.

A Desire for Brand Coverage, Higher Website Traffic

Although digital PR may still be relatively new and not entirely understood by some firms and their executives, the Reachology survey found that most who took part, 48%, understood the difference between digital and traditional PR, 34% had some idea of what it’s about, 13% didn’t really know anything about digital PR and 5% had no idea at all.