The Changing Role of Public Relations: 5 Insights from the Global Communications Report 2017

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1. PR is becoming more important to marketing, even as both disciplines continue to converge

http://jedaware.com/haldole Haldole Client-side marketers plan to increase both internal staffing and overall spending on public relations over the next five years, according to ANA’s 2017 survey of U.S. marketers.
 

Increased spending suggests that public relations is “becoming more important to marketers”, said ANA’s Group EVP Bill Duggan, citing the crucial role for PR in managing digital communication and feedback loops.

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The global and U.S. PR professionals surveyed, however, were more hesitant about the convergence of PR and marketing. PR agency leaders indicated that they report most frequently into corporate communications (39%), which is more than into marketing (21%) or brand management (12%), but this gap is narrowing as client solutions become increasingly integrated.

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2. Declining revenues from earned media will put the spotlight on paid, shared and owned media – and the skills required to profit from them

Testosterone product PR agencies and in-house PR teams alike expect declining revenues from earned media over the next five years, prompting more spending on paid, shared and owned media.
 

Supporting this shift, over 60% of surveyed PR executives believed that branded content and influencer marketing, which are both primarily paid, will be important trends over the next five years.

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3. PR professionals must harness social listening, digital storytelling, and social purpose

 
Digital can improve the quality of public relations by enabling instant outbound communication and inbound feedback. In this dynamic environment, PR professionals believe the most important trends impacting the future of the PR will be digital storytelling (88%), social listening (82%), social purpose (71%), and big data (70%).

Marketing professionals showed some consensus with PR professionals about these trends, but prioritized social listening (88%) over digital storytelling (80%), and real-time marketing (69%), influencer marketing (68%) and branded content (67%) over big data (63%).
 

Both groups agree on the importance of social purpose, which can be vital to the direction, cohesion and outcomes of the other top trends.

4. More clients will hire agencies to provide strategy, expertise, and creative thinking

 
The rising emphasis on strategy and creative in the client/agency relationship is a clear theme in both the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Global Communications Report.

For the in-house marketing professionals surveyed in 2017, the top reasons for working with PR agencies were strategic insights (67%), creative thinking (64%), specific practice areas (63%), media relations (62%), digital and social media (60%), and measurement and evaluation (60%).

For in-house PR professionals, the top reasons for working with PR agencies were similar: strategic insights (69%), creative thinking (69%), specific practice areas (62%), and digital and social media (61%). However, there was less emphasis on measurement and evaluation (50%) and media relations (49%).
 

The growing strategic and creative input of PR agencies needs to be reflected in compensation models, says Fred Cook, Director of the USC Center for Public Relations, who suggests focusing more on value delivered than hours spent.

5. The value of PR will depend on achieving measurable business objectives

 
The vast majority of surveyed PR and marketing professionals believed that PR can best increase its value by demonstrating how PR programs achieve measurable business objectives.
 

However, improving measurement of results itself was a lower priority for PR in the eyes of PR professionals than marketing professionals, who, in turn, were less preoccupied about PR’s ability to address the wants and needs of all stakeholders. These disparities in stakeholder expectations can be reduced by establishing clear goals from the outset, as the report recommends.

The report also highlights the growing demand for PR to develop sophisticated ways to measure less-tangible variables like brand reputation, purchase intent, leadership, and creativity.

Repositioning PR to maximize relevance and talent

 
The five key insights above provide some clues as to how PR might reposition itself as an aspirational career choice – something which less than one-third of PR executives believe the industry is doing well. Given that recruiting and retaining the right talent remains a big challenge for PR, it will be interesting to see how the growing demand for strategic thinking – ranked in the study as the most important skill for today’s PR professionals – will shape PR in the years to come.

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Side effects of gonadotropin for men Table: The Evolution of Public Relations report by ANA and the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations
post cycle therapy guide Graphs and charts: the Global Communications Report 2017, presented by The Holmes Report and USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations

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About Author

Vanessa Cartwright
Writer and Researcher

Vanessa is a freelance writer, researcher and editor with an overarching interest in communication and innovation. Vanessa's studies in liberal arts and commerce have inspired her passion for creating compelling content that investigates the interconnections between the past, present and future.