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PR and web could benefit from economic downturn

LONDON - Public relations agencies could benefit from the economic downturn as more businesses look at increasing their spend on the web and publicity.

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A survey undertaken by research agency Shape the Future says that nearly half of the respondents planned to increase spending on PR over the next year.

However, the research was conducted between September 23 and October 4 across 1,492 businesses, and may not reflect current opinion given the rapidly deteriorating economic conditions.

Overall, 36.4% of the companies responding said that they would increase their marketing budget next year and 45.7% planned no change. The biggest increases are likely to be seen in PR and websites.

It also suggested that there would be an upturn for marketing services that help brands to increase their market share.

Peter Martin, managing director of Shape the Future, said: "There is a clear message here that companies have really got to grips with the influencing power of the internet."

The research showed that 9% of companies plan to reduce their marketing spend next year.

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