As the media get creative about April Fool’s pranks it’s worth just reminding ourselves about the importance of creativity in PR. At the end of last year the annual Holmes Report on Creativity in PR was issued – a survey of around 500 agency and client respondents from more than 35 countries across the world. Topline results showed that creative confidence is high and that clients are more likely than ever to approach PR agencies for big brand-building ideas.
The Holmes Report 2015 found that 73% of in-house respondents were more likely to approach their PR agencies for big creative ideas today than they were 12 months previously, compared to 43% in 2014, suggesting that PR firms are starting to rise to the challenge when it comes to creative delivery.
Some 39% of in-house respondents rated creativity as ‘fundamental’ to their decision to hire and retain an agency, up from 21% and 70% of all respondents believe that clients are demanding greater levels of creativity from their agency. These demands are across the board, with many of those polled noting that consumer brands typically place the highest priority on creativity – as we know all too well at Clareville.
However, there is still cause for concern – just 14% were consistently happy with PR agency creativity. Almost half (49%) were sporadically satisfied, while more than a quarter (29%) believed it is a constant challenge.
Respondents were also asked to compare the quality of creativity in the PR industry with other disciplines. Among agency respondents, more than 60% described it as worse than advertising agencies, although more than 30% of clients thought PR industry creativity was better than advertising agencies.
The PR industry is definitely moving in the right direction though where creativity is concerned. Almost two-thirds of agencies (62.9%) thought that the quality of creativity in PR campaigns had improved over the past year, compared to 49% the year before. Encouragingly, clients also agreed that creative quality is improving in PR campaigns as 56% agreed.
The survey found a modest increase in terms of the industry’s creative quality – 50% described it as ‘good’ or ‘inspirational’, compared to 47% beforehand. Clients continued to rate creative quality at a lower level with just 38% describing it as inspirational or good and more than 60% seeing it as ordinary or worse.
So there’s still work to do, but at least we can hold our heads high this April Fools – as we get creative with the best of them!