Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

PR & AD AGENCIES - TOP AGENCIES REMARK ON GENERAL SLOWDOWN BUT SEE POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH IN SPECIFIC, NICHE AREAS

Taking the pulse: PR yesterday and today

THE DYNAMISM of the Slovak public relations sector is not what it used to be. The high profile, flashy communications projects of yesterday have given way to those of a more low profile, strategic character.

THE DYNAMISM of the Slovak public relations sector is not what it used to be. The high profile, flashy communications projects of yesterday have given way to those of a more low profile, strategic character.

PR is becoming more complex. Service providers are finding themselves exerting greater intellectual effort to satisfy clients. And while projects demand increased investments in time, the volume of projects is not as high as it was just one year ago.

Omnipublic, Interel Public Relations and Neopublic Porter Novelli are three PR agencies in Slovakia that came out tops while the market was hot. All three reported the highest earned income in 2004. The Slovak Spectator talked with company executives about the public relations market in 2004, and their expectations going forward.


Are the decks stacked?


Miriam Madrová, account director of Omnipublic, agrees that clients are looking towards complex communications strategies and plans these days. She sees market growth potential mainly in state administration, on-going structural reforms, IT, finances and healthcare.

Madrová says cooperation with Orange Slovensko as well as participation with the Bush - Putin summit in Bratislava represented the biggest business opportunities for her company last year.

Despite an overall upbeat attitude, she expressed dissatisfaction over competitions between PR firms. According to Madrová, the winners were known well ahead of time.


Greater complexity, specialization


Michaela Benedigová, managing director of Interel Public Relations, was particularly proud that her agency represents PSA Peugeot Citroen and Eurovea (Ballymore's development project) on certain communications activities.

Interel registered a growing number of projects in the area of corporate internal communications and employee management projects as well. According to Benedigová, companies are starting to realize that it makes no sense to make investments in the media if the company's internal atmosphere is suffering. She considers governmental projects as a great business PR opportunity as well.

Benedigová sees several reasons for the general PR market slowdown. One is that clients have learned to do simple communications activities them-selves. Nevertheless, Interel is optimistic about its future and expects mild growth. Benedigová expects that agencies will specialize.

"There will be smaller agencies focussed on certain kinds of events, and there will be agencies providing complex services."


Despite slowdown, growth expected


Štefan Vadocz, managing partner of Neopublic Porter Novelli, thinks the greatest challenges for PR agencies in 2005 surrounded Slovakia's accession to the EU, pension reform and changes in the IT, healthcare and retail markets.

He says that firms are interested in communications aimed at keeping talented people in companies and attracting new recruits.

Interest in publicizing mergers and acquisitions and re-branding is increasing as well.

According to Vadocz, media relations and event management were hot commodities in 2004. Things are changing, however.

"More and more clients are interested in strategic planning and media market analyses. The development is definitely directed towards outsourcing marketing communications, corporate communications and public affairs," he said.

Vadocz says Slovakia's PR market represents around Sk200 million (€5.15 million) annually. "This is not a lot but it will grow in line with the number of foreign investors coming to Slovakia."

He considers pharmacy, construction, technologies and government as the most interesting branches for PR services.


Top PR firm performance in 2004

PR agency Earned income
in millions Sk
turnover
in millions Sk
2003/2004 change
in earned income
Omnipublic 35.47 64.5 +19.75 %
Interel 34.8 50 +6.58 %
Neopublic 20.47 46 -0.65 %
Mmd -    
PRime time 18 27.1 +66 %

Source: Association of PR agencies in the Slovak Republic
Note: Sk38 = €1

Top stories

Voters don’t understand self-governing regions

Rules for regional elections change, which may bring some surprising victories.

One of the biggest fights is expected in Banská Bystrica Region.

Sagan rewrites history Video

Cyclist Peter Sagan becomes the first man to win three consecutive world championships. He allegedly did not expect it and was easy with the idea he would not win.

Blog: Why did I come here?

A group of teachers and students from the Bratislava-based school gathered to support their friend, colleague, and fellow foreigner, as she had already tried four times just to get in the door of the foreign police.

Queue in front of the foreigners' police department in Bratislava.

Teachers and scientist support anti-corruption march

They praise the activities of students who may change the current state of corruption.

Organisers of the first student protest, Karolína Farská and Dávid Straka.