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10th December saw the launch of the third year edition of our ground-breaking Creativity in PR Global Study 2014 published with The Holmes Report. The findings cover areas including the business value of PR, the quality of ideas, barriers and the drivers to creativity, talent and investment, tools and techniques and anecdotal comments from industry players around the world. With respondents from more than 35 countries, we gathered data from 600 people across disciplines and in-house, agency and freelance practitioners over the summer. We’ve also interviewed the creative leadership of 12 of the top PR agencies to get their views. The key findings are:

Creativity in PR is business-critical

The results demonstrate the premium that businesses now place on creativity in PR, with almost three-quarters (73%) rating it as 8 or higher out of 10, compared to 79% last year. Almost half (43%) scored it as 9 or more, while more than one in five (21%) gave it full marks for importance.

However, PR firms still struggle to prove their creative worth as 55% of clients think that agencies lack big ideas. PR agencies are ranked third after ad and digital agencies by clients in terms of their creative quality and 1 in 3 clients are unhappy with the quality of creative work being delivered by their agency.

+ 49% of respondents rated the creative thinking and personnel within their business as “ordinary” or worse.

+ Only 35% of respondents say their business adequately rewards creativity.

+ Creative Director job roles are on the up – 10% over the 3 years of the study- read our interviews with leading Creative Directors here.

+ 72% of businesses now say they have a creative process vs 35% (2013) and 33% (2012)

+ Clients say they are 42 per cent more likely to approach their PR agency for big ideas than a year ago.

+ Idea-time is being supported by almost 30%, mentoring is employed by 37% and training in creative techniques is 37% – all cited as creative investments.

+ Improving use of insight, more knowledge of creative tools and the ability to take more risks are cited as the top 3 things that would improve creative capabilities

“We are investing in creating a creative culture in the agency which is key to fostering creativity. We need to empower our teams to develop their own creative cultures. A lack of creativity can’t be fixed by investment alone. We all need to accept that it is part of being a modern day storyteller; we need to be inquisitive, to investigate new technologies, to develop a better understanding of media and to embrace data and insight – these are the responsibilities of the individual.” Simon Shaw. Chief Creative Officer Global Centre of creative strategy, H+K and sponsor of this year’s report.

Post-Cannes the debates were about an industry keen to start claiming a slice of the creative glory traditionally reserved for ad-land. To augment the findings of the survey, Now Go Create conducted a series of interviews with 13 top-level Creative Directors and industry leaders to ask about their views on the future of creativity in PR. You read the deep dive into the results here with interviews including Jackie Cooper (Edelman), Gerry Hopkinson (Unity), Stuart Yeardsley (3 Monkeys), Dr Sara Jones from City University London, Zac Schwarz (Golin) and Jo Chappel (Fever) as well as other key players. Read them here.

See the full results of the study 2014CreativityInPR

See the results from the previous studies here – 2013