The world's most successful marketing campaigns all have public relations at their heart, says research published today by WARC, the marketing information provider. 

The 2018 study has found that PR forms the leading element in campaigns across the WARC top 100 brands, with channel or sector campaigns now revolving around PR. 

The study also reports that marketing teams are planning to significantly invest in their PR functions over the next five years. 

The reason?  Advertising is far too cluttered and 'earned media' simply carrying more weight. 

This does not surprise me. 

Businesses with good PR functions are tuned into the wider media agenda - they know what is hot, what is being discussed tomorrow, next week or next month.  They are the front line when things go wrong.  

Yes, PRs will occasionally make a hash of things, but largely they play a role in shaping and influencing that agenda.

Advertising and social media is facing a torrid time. Online ad spend is under increasingly scrutiny and the value of social media is being questioned.  Just this week Wetherspoons ditched its entire social programme. 

The value of PR has always been recognised if not always understood.  Now is the time for PR to take centre marketing stage.