By Arun Sudhaman
BEIJING: A new survey of marketers in China has ranked Ogilvy as the country’s top PR agency.
The research, by consultancy R3:GC, polled 223 PR and event marketers across eight major Chinese cities. Apart from Ogilvy PR, local agencies performed strongly, thanks to consistent management and better ‘guanxi’.
Ogilvy PR led other firms in terms of awareness and perception. The results confirm the agency’s position as the biggest international PR agency in the market.
“Ogilvy PR has benefiteed not only from the ‘halo’ effect of the overall Ogilvy brand, but also from strong, consistent thought leadership, and a lot of investment in marketing their capabilities to clients and prospects,” said R3 Greater China director Sabrina Lee.
Local firms that stood out included BlueFocus, the country’s biggest overall PR firm, alongside Genedigi and Trends. Among event agencies, Spearhead, Pico, Highteam and Across China all scored better than their foreign rivals.
Lee added that the combination of stable management and superior guanxi means more foreign acquisition of local firms is likely.
PR agency relationships last 2.8 years on average, almost as short as relationships between marketers and advertising shops (2.5 years). In addition, 48 percent of all PR relationships remain on a project basis.
The study also explored the criteria upon which agency selection is based. Digital capabilities were mentioned by almost 80 percent of respondents as being important.