Category: Research

Findings that can guide communication efforts.

Survey Shows Public Relations Trends

A new survey of primarily corporate communications professionals identified the hottest trends in public relations and some that aren’t so hot. What’s hot: storytelling, content marketing and thought leadership.

The survey was conducted by Frank Strong in collaboration with Ned Lundquist, an IABC Fellow. The survey was conducted in February 2018 and 155 respondents completed the questionnaire.

The full report – the 2018 JOTW Communications Survey – is available on SlideShare.

Over the next 12 months, the percentage of communications professionals that believe the trends or tactics will be either “more important” or “much more important” are as follows:

  • 79% of respondents said storytelling
  • 71% said content marketing
  • 67% said thought leadership

Additional trends or tactics where 50% or more of respondents said they’d be more or much more important included: alignment with marketing, influencer relations, organic social media, infographics and executive speaking.

Trends or tactics that will be less important in the next year include:

  • Press releases (34%)
  • White papers (35%)
  • Award programs (39%)

Other findings:

  • The biggest obstacle in PR is financial – 63% cited budget as their top challenge, even as 57% point to an ever-expanding list of duties. At the same time, 54% said proving value or ROI of communications to the business.
  • When corporate communications hire an outside agency, most (54%) said they do it because they need an extra pair of hands.
  • A majority (51%) of respondents believe media relations is getting harder.
  • The five tools communications professions say they use the most are: 78% web analytics; 75% social media management; 66% press release distribution; 66% media monitoring; and 50% content management systems.

Make Your Videos Rock the Facebook World

Videos draw attention on Facebook. Your content plan should include creating and sharing videos.

What Facebook videos get attention? The topic chosen, length of the video, the content, and the amount of text will affect your results.

Data collected by BuzzSumo based on 100 million Facebook videos offers insight into what to do to create video that works on Facebook.

Here are insights to help you create videos that will be shared and attract likes and comments. Here’s how to rock video on Facebook:

Hungry Anyone?

The number one video category by far on Facebook is food. Food is a good topic. There are also categories that usually tank. Avoid them.


Short and Sweet

Short Facebook videos are more likely to attract attention from viewers than longer ones. The ideal length is 60 to 90 seconds. After 90 seconds, engagement falls.

Don’t fall below 30 seconds. Videos below 30 seconds performed worse than any other category.

Go Live, Too

About 20% of all Facebook video content is live. Most people interact with live feeds longer than regular videos. Here, about 15-20 minutes is the ideal length.

We Still (Mostly) Like the Internet

A Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted in January 2018 finds the vast majority of internet users (88%) say the internet has been a mostly good thing for them personally.

However, Americans are somewhat more ambivalent about the impact of digital connectivity on society as a whole. A majority of online adults (70%) believe the internet has been a good thing for society. The share of online adults saying this has declined by 6 percentage points since early 2014, when the Center first asked the question.

This shift in opinion regarding the ultimate social impact of the internet is particularly stark among older Americans. Today 64% of online adults ages 65 and older say the internet has been a mostly good thing for society. That represents a 14-point decline from the 78% who said this in 2014. The attitudes of younger adults have remained more consistent over that time: 74% of internet users ages 18 to 29 say the internet has been mostly good for society, comparable to the 79% who said so in 2014.


Positive Views Are Tied to Information Access and Connecting with Others

Those who think the internet has had a good impact on society tend to focus on two key issues:

  • 62% of those with a positive view mentioned how the internet makes information much easier and faster to access
  • 23% of those with a positive view mentioned the ability to connect with other people

By contrast, those who think the internet is a bad thing for society gave a wider range of reasons for their opinions:

  • 25% say the internet isolates people from each other or encourages them to spend too much time with their devices
  • 14% cite concerns about its effect on children
  • 13% believe it encourages illegal activity
  • 5% have privacy concerns or worries about sensitive personal information being available online

Many are Smartphone Internet Users at Home

One-in-five Americans (20%) are now “smartphone only” internet users at home. They own a smartphone but do not subscribe to traditional broadband service for home use. This represents a 7-point increase over 2015.

As has consistently been true in past surveys conducted by Pew, those who rely on their smartphones for home internet service are less likely to have attended college compared with those with traditional broadband service. They also report living in lower-income households.

Also, 15% of Americans indicate that they have neither broadband service at home nor a smartphone. A large share of this group is not online at all.

See the full Pew report.