Both ad and PR agencies see social media revenue growing in 2011

Public relations and advertising agencies see increased social media revenues and plan to work together on social media as a growth strategy for 2011.

A joint study from the Transworld Advertising Agency Network and Worldcom Public Relations Group surveyed principals at 25 advertising agencies and 25 PR agencies in January 2011 on how effectively the industry is using social media. The groups found fees from social media made up a greater percentage of overall revenues in 2011 for both types of agencies.

In 2010, 28% of PR agencies reported that 15% to 33% of revenues came from social media, and that number has jumped to 44% in 2011. On the advertising side, 16% of respondents reported that social media revenues were greater than 15% of their total revenues in 2010, and were expected to increase to 20% in 2011.

Percent of Revenues from Social Media According to Ad Agencies and PR Firms Worldwide, 2010 & 2011 (% of respondents)

There are several reasons why social media makes up a greater percentage of PR agencies’ revenue, including the fact that advertising agencies generally see greater revenues overall. But in addition to that, principals from both agencies think the PR industry is more effective when it comes to leveraging social media.

The survey found that 84% of PR agencies and 67% of ad agencies reported that PR is “innovative” and “keeping pace” in the space, while 68% of PR agencies and 52% of advertising agencies said the same about the advertising industry. Often, PR agencies are considered better at communicating to and having a dialogue with consumers than their advertising counterparts, and those skills translate well to social media.

Yet, while both industries give public relations the upper hand, they also see a need to work together and integrate social media into all marketing communications campaigns.

Social Media Growth Strategies Among Ad Agencies and PR Firms Worldwide, Jan 2011 (% of respondents)

Social media continues to become a bigger part of agencies’ day-to-day work, long-term strategy and revenues. As different marketing disciplines work together on social media, it can improve the effectiveness of social media outreach for clients and continue to bring more work into these agencies.

SOURCE eMarketer