What do PR people actually do all day? PR Week finally answers the question


Robert Gray’s feature analyses 12 months worth of research into staff at 50 UK PR agencies to see exactly how they spend their time.

The results are somewhat surprising.

First, if you thought (as most journalists and clients do) that media relations was the prime activity of a PR company, you’d be wrong. The average agency apparently only spends around 15pc of its time on this.

And tracking relevant features? A measly 0.9pc.

What about business development? Nope. 1.5pc

Perhaps we are furiously strategising on behalf of clients? Er, sorry. 0.6pc

Admin? 6.3pc

Reporting? Now we are getting somewhere – 17.8pc.

But no. Far and away the most time is spent on account management(*) – a whopping 44.9pc.

The feature does point out that smaller agencies don’t tend to reflect this average ie they spend more time on actually doing things like media relations.

But it will be interesting to see general PR industry reaction to this – and to clients who appear to spend nearly 45p in every PR pound on having their account managed.

As Robert Gray says: "The findings suggest that agencies are – for want of a better word – ‘wasting’ much of their time."

* What the article doesn’t do is define exactly what account management is – however, it is easy to see what it isn’t – namely actually doing things that add value for the client.

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  1. [...] I’ve pointed out before, contrary to popular belief, media relations figures low down the list of things that PR companies do (15pc of agency time). In fact, given the average agency seems to spend 70pc of its time on account management, reporting [...]

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