USC Annenberg GAP Study - ¢¢ on the $$

As teased on Friday, the Annenberg 2005 GAP report is out today at 3.00 AM PDT. Does this mean I stayed up to hit publish? Of course not - I figured I'd get up in the middle of the night anyway, so left the window open and hit publish during a water break. Sleep is very important to this kid, moreso than blogging.

So, I read the press release - have not downloaded the full report yet, because the media (and that includes us bloggers) do not have access until today.

But, the points I found in the press release that I think are noteworthy are thus:

  • Budgets increased by 4 percent, on average
  • Based on a PR budget to gross revenue, that comes out to $646 for every $1MM for Fortune 500s, and $962 for the Fortune 1001-2000s
  • On average, the PR budgets are looking to increase 5 percent in 2006 - smaller increase for larger companies, bigger increase for smaller companies
  • 25 percent of respondents report into marketing
  • 11 percent of respondents report into HR, Legal, Finance or Strategic Planning
  • 79 percent of Fortune 500s are working with a PR agency, down 9 percent from GAP III
  • The AOR is dead - most Fortune 500s work with at least two agencies
A few points do pop out of me, and I want to highlight them separately, particularly as my last post was about PR losing its seat at the C-suite table.

This is why we need to get that seat back at the table ...
PR is seen as a contributor to the bottom line, especially if it reports to the C-Suite. 64% of all respondents, and 77% of Fortune 500 respondents, reported to the C-Suite (CEO, COO or Chairman). They were much more likely to indicate that their CEOs believe PR contributes to market share, financial success, and sales, than those reporting to other parts of the organization.
And, then this one gem of a line:
... respondents reporting to the C-Suite were significantly more likely to report that PR is taken seriously within the organization, gets a higher level of support from senior management, and participates in organizational strategic planning; ... .
On May 15, the full report will be available for download (although, going to the site, it looks like it's available now.) Hopefully, every internal PR person prints it out for the argument to get that seat at the C-suite table, and every agency uses the data to better serve clients.



  1. You don't need the C-Suite, Jer. That's old skool. ;)

  2. Yah, yah. Wait ... what's Munjal. :P

  3. Am I the only still troubled by the response rate of the survey relative to the sample size (a size that gets progressively smaller as the data gets sliced)?

    It just seems to me that we should be careful how much we read into this study given how little is know about the methodology (where is participant list drawn from) and how issues of validity are not addressed fully (more demographics of respondents, explainations of low rate, etc.)

    I am an Annenberg alum, and would love nothing more than for my school to produce a great piece of research that could by inflate the value of my degree, but the researcher in me has trouble buying these numbers as truly representative.

    Anyone else has thoughts on this?

  4. Jeffrey, you are not the only one worried about this survey.

    I'd too would really like to know where the sample of 8,500 organisations came from? What's population was the sample drawn from and what sampling frame was used?

    And I agree that the response rate of less than 6% is worryingly low.

    I can see no grounds for believing that the survey respondents are representative of anyone but themselves.