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Advertising and PR, Still By Seat of the Pants

According to a strategic leadership study conducted by Louws Management Corporation, while 80 percent of 711 advertising agency and marketing professionals surveyed said they are very aware of their company's brand positioning, only one fourth of them can clearly articulate their company's brand position.

This includes 30 percent of senior management, notes the report. The Louws study makes several critical observations regarding the use of advertising and PR tools that would lead to strategic solutions for clients.

One conclusion of the study report is that with companies placing more emphasis on establishing superior business strategy, strategic planning skills are still not a priority, and strategic, media and creative briefs are not generating measurable or innovative outcomes.

Other detailed study findings include:

- 41.5 percent of respondents agree that strategic thinking is a lost art, but 89 percent feel that their agency provides proactive strategic brand and marketing leadership.

- Almost 90 percent of respondents indicated they have a creative brief for assignments. But, 37 percent felt that they were used "sometimes, rarely and never."

- 40 percent of respondents do not have a media brief for media buying and planning assignment, but of those who do have one, 66 percent said that they "sometimes, rarely or never" use it.

- 80 percent of respondents said that their agency does not offer formal training on how to write a media brief, and 45 percent said their company has no formal strategic planning and development training for employees. For those who do, 50 percent train once a year and 25 percent train occasionally or sporadically.

- 85 percent of all respondents say that they have a strategic process, but half say they "sometimes or never" use it. And, 75 percent agree that their strategic process does not result in measurable results.

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