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.