Campaign India Team
Jan 16, 2015

PR needs to offer integrated communication services: MSL report

Leadcap conducted the study for the Group

PR needs to offer integrated communication services: MSL report

MSL Group has released a report titled 'Inside the CMO's mind'. One of the aspects the report looks at is the marketing budget split. The study was commissioned by the agency bringing in Leadcap, a market research agency based in Bangalore which surveyed chief marketing officers across India to understand their views.

The sample can be seen as below.


Advertising leads with 45 per cent followed by PR and digital, each of which comprise 15 per cent. Market research sees itself with 10 per cent as does experiential and activation. Events uses up five per cent.

But 80 per cent of the respondents said that the budget allocation for PR is rising.

Tina Pawar, assistant vice-president, Everstone Capital Advisors, said, “Our businesses are primarily B2B, and there is a conscious effort to keep updating strategy; for example, getting more involved with the regional media. We’re working hand-in-hand with the business development teams, identifying their needs based on business goals and building those needs into our communication strategy. We’re also using newer tools.”

When it comes to return on investment (RoI), clients still believe that advertising is a better bet; 65 per cent said advertising delivers greater RoI, while only 29 per cent said PR delivers greater returns. Sameer Kumar, head of press communication, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India, said, “Opinion is split between the marketing communication and PR teams. The PR team believes PR is as effective as – if not more than – advertising, while the marketing communication team feels advertising is better. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Something like a full-page ad in a newspaper like ‘The Times of India’ probably creates a bigger impact than, say, an editorialled story or car review in a smaller newspaper. However, editorial-led content is likely to have a ‘slow burn’ effect and create longer-lasting impact than flashy advertising. Internally, it is a never-ending debate. Most marketing people don’t see the PR effort as an alternative, but as something that supplements the marketing effort.”

Focus on the integrated communication model

The report states that both, industry experts and clients, have been stressing on the need for agencies to re-examine their role and their offerings. It adds, respondents are willing to increase their budgets provided agencies can meet the 'dynamic needs of the market'. Sixty seven per cent of the respondents have tried the integrated communication approach in their organisations.

The reasons for opting for integrated communication are as shown.

But some respondents said that one of the biggest challenges is adoption – it is a long process, it could get expensive and it involves getting multiple stakeholders on board, states the report.

When asked about the disadvantages of PR agencies offering integrated communication, 22 per cent said that there would be difficulty in management, 18 per cent said there would be internal conflicts and 16 per cent believed that there would be a work overload.


Investing in research and insights remains at the top with 43 per cent. Thirty nine per cent of clients want for PR agencies to invest in digital/social. Crisis communication gathers 12 per cent.

For full report:

Campaign India

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