Cision and PRWeek have released their fourth annual report detailing top challenges, opportunities and surprising trends for PR and communications professionals during an unprecedented time. Using comparative year-over-year data and interviews with executives from leading brands and agencies, the report highlights the evolving role of communicators, the most effective earned media channels and influencers, hurdles in measuring business ROI, adoption of new technologies and much more.
Cision & PRWeek’s 2020 Comms Report
To uncover the latest insights, a total of 314 senior-level communications and marketing professionals in the U.S. completed a survey between August 12, 2020 and September 14, 2020.
“The events of 2020 have elevated the roles of communicators within organizations as senior leaders rely on them even more for strategic counsel and support of business goals,” said Maggie Lower, Chief Marketing Officer at Cision. “Our latest report with PRWeek highlights how the industry is more confidently confronting obstacles by bolstering its C-suite influence, multi-channel outreach, real-time data capabilities and social media prowess.”
Measuring Up to the Moment provides a deeper understanding of how in-house communications teams and PR agencies are utilizing technology, data, measurement, content and influencers in a year that’s been full of uncertainty.
Key report takeaways include:
- 25% of respondents say their single biggest challenge is the inability to measure impact effectively; 39% report difficulty aligning PR metrics to revenue and other vital business KPIs.
- 80% of respondents have increased purpose-based outreach to media this year.
- 56% of respondents say employees are one of the most effective influencers of consumer behavior, up from 34% last year.
- Respondents selected content creation as the single most important PR task (41%) and media outreach as the second most important (27%).
- LinkedIn is becoming increasingly critical for broader content strategies – 79% of respondents say it is one of their most important channels, up from 45% last year.
- Nearly 90% of respondents say there’s still room for communications to get better using the latest tech and analytics tools.
“This year, of course, the survey was conducted as we still confront a global pandemic,” said Gideon Fidelzeid, Managing Editor at PRWeek. “Many of the observations within the report underscore the impact COVID-19 is having – and will have – on the industry and the practice of communications. A constant, however, is this study’s helpful role in bringing clarity to the areas in which PR is making real progress, as well as where it needs to make more.”
For more on this year’s Comms Report, join Cision and PRWeek for an upcoming webinar New Reality, New Opportunity on November 19th. Register here for a discussion featuring industry experts from General Mills and Hill+Knowlton Strategies on how communicators are responding to the latest opportunities and challenges.