Research News South Africa

Part 2: PR Scope Spain: Clients work with communication consultants for longer

Scopen's 8th edition of its PR Scope study in Spain has found high satisfaction levels as clients work with their communication consultants for longer, with relationships increasing from four to five years.
Source: © 123rf  PR Scope study in Spain has found high satisfaction levels as clients work with their communication consultants for longer
Source: © 123rf 123rf PR Scope study in Spain has found high satisfaction levels as clients work with their communication consultants for longer

A biennial study which analyses the relationships between communication consultancies and their clients, as well as the perception and image of these consultancies in the market.

For the current edition (2023/24) in Spain, 875 professionals have been interviewed: 441 of whom work for 414 different client companies, 327 professionals from consulting firms and 107 media professionals.

The fieldwork was carried out between March and May 2023.

The average duration of the relationship between companies and their communication consultancies is 4.9 years (4.1 in the previous edition), which represents an increase of just over nine months compared to the previous edition.

Large companies have longer relationships (5.5 years) than small ones (3.6 years). The majority of consulting firms maintain a regular or continuous relationship model with the companies they work with (82%), although this type of relationship decreases compared to the previous edition, while we see an increase in project work (20% vs. 13% in 2021). The average duration of a 'Type' project is six and a half months.

Set fee renumeration

The majority of those interviewed remunerate their communication consultants through a fee set at the beginning of the year (81% vs. 85% in 2021).

Remuneration by project has decreased (22%) but there is a significant increase of the mixed remuneration model by 15% (Fee + Projects throughout the year).

Eight per cent of accounts (with no variations compared to 2021) add a variable portion to the remuneration (a bonus provided at the end of the year to reward the consultant for good results) which represents almost 13% of the annual remuneration (11 % in the previous edition).

Satisfied with service

More than 95% of clients in Spain declare themselves satisfied with the service they receive from their consulting firms, and less than one per cent are dissatisfied. Even so, eight per cent declare they are considering changing their consulting firm soon, not due to dissatisfaction with the service, but, mostly, due to the contract coming to an end.

The recommendation index of communication consultants by their clients to colleagues and friends is 8.5 (on a scale of 0-10).

Contributing to business growth

Companies interviewed consider that their consulting firm contributes, on average, to grow their business by 10%. Although this is a lower percentage than what we find with other agents these brands work with (when it comes to creative and media agencies, the value is close to 25%), if we consider the level of investment and the fees allocated to consulting firms, this is a higher contribution percentage.

Related to this, the ADC highlights, "the growing strategic importance of communication consultancies for their clients, as evidenced in the 2nd edition of the study carried out in collaboration with Scopen on the value they bring to society."

Their general director, Dolores González Pastor, highlights that "communication consultancies are crucial allies for their clients since they provide creativity and a strategic vision, essential value factors to building the positioning and reputation of both brands and institutions".


When professionals from client companies are asked about the challenges their companies will be facing in the coming years, the most mentioned challenges are:

  • Knowledge of the consumer and ability to reach them (35%)
  • Strengthening the prestige, reputation and positioning of the brand company (35%)
  • Ability to adapt to new times (21%)
  • Venture more on creativity-innovation (21%).

When it comes to consulting firms, they consider that their greatest challenges strengthening digital capabilities and their ability to adapt to new times, thereby showing their concern for the rapid evolution which is resulting in numerous changes to the functioning of the sector.

Héctor Abanades, research manager at Scopen clarifies, “We´re seeing a more fragmented market, with a larger number of consulting firms. It is key to differentiate from competitors, transferring particular capabilities with real jobs that can demonstrate these capabilities.

Digital (especially Social Media and Influence), creative and content generation capacity, and the capacity for data analysis and interpretation, are the three key areas.”

Consultancies that stand out

To evaluate how communication consultancies are perceived, Scopen groups together the responses of those professionals interviewed (from companies, consultancies and media professionals) and prepares various rankings analysing different aspects:

  • Spontaneous knowledge
  • Exemplarity
  • Attraction
  • Market Perception Global Ranking (taking into account key attributes)
  • Customer Rating Global Ranking
  • Competitor Opinion Global Ranking (by professionals who work in other consulting firms).

The most mentioned in the Top 3 of these six rankings are LLYC, which appears in five of them, leading the Spontaneous Knowledge, Exemplarity and Attraction, Apple Tree which appears in three, leading the global Competitor Opinion Ranking and Havas PR which also appears in three and leads the Customer Rating Ranking. The Global Market Perception Ranking is led, in this edition, by Ogilvy.

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