These Comms Areas Are Growing in Emphasis

August 26, 2022

Almost 8 in 10 communications professionals say that their volume of work has increased compared to the last few years, including one-third who say that it’s increased significantly, according to the latest annual survey [Slideshare] of communication professionals from Ned’s Job of the Week and Sword and the Script Media.

Among the almost 500 respondents to the survey, exactly half (50%) said that the nature of the work comms performs has changed significantly over the last few years. Alongside the rising volume and changing nature of work, about one-third indicate that their organization’s communications budget will increase this year, and a similar share said that their headcount will grow. A separate study from Muck Rack found an even higher percentage (48%) of PR pros expecting their budgets to increase this year.

But how are comms activities changing in focus this year?

Some 6 in 10 respondents said that their organization would be applying more emphasis on owned media this year, including 1 in 5 who will apply “much more emphasis.” This was the only media area that a majority indicated to be a growing area of focus. By comparison, slightly more than 4 in 10 expect more emphasis on shared media (44%) and earned media (43%), while almost as many respondents predict less emphasis (28%) as more emphasis (33%) on paid media.

Drilling further down into areas of focus, the survey found only one activity for which a majority will increase emphasis: DE&I programs. With this becoming a key skill for future PR success, this latest survey finds almost 6 in 10 applying more emphasis to DE&I programs this year.

Meanwhile, almost half will focus more on thought leadership (49%, and seen elsewhere as beneficial for media coverage), data & analytics (48%), storytelling (48%), strategy (46%) and measurement (46%). Comparatively few (31%) will increase their emphasis on influencer marketing.

Other Findings:

  • Some 54% of respondents have a documented communications strategy, while 48% have a documented crisis communications strategy.
  • The top challenge for communicators this year is cutting through the noise, taking over from last year’s biggest challenge, too many priorities.
  • Respondents most commonly track web traffic/analytics, impressions/estimated site traffic, and number of placements/mentions.
  • More than 6 in 10 agree that data or “data-driven communications” has become more important to their organization over the past few years.
  • Almost 1 in 3 (31%) have brought more comms or PR-related work in-house, though a slightly higher proportion (36%) separately say that they will send work to outside agencies, consultants, or freelancers.

About the Data: The results are based on a Q2 survey of 483 communications professionals, 60% of whom work in-house, and 54% who work at B2B or both B2B and B2C organizations. Seven in 10 have more than 10 years of experience and about 3 in 4 are employed in the US.

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