Corporate Survey 2010


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Corporate Survey 2010

  1. 1. CORPORATE SURVEY With broader responsibilities and increased C-suite access, the corporate communicator’s prominence continues to rise
  2. 2. Beyond a seat at the table Corporate communicators’ jobs have changed greatly in recent years, as they are more concerned than ever with corporate reputation, social media, and measurement, according to the 2010 PRWeek/Hill & Knowlton Corporate Survey. Kimberly Maul reports A fexa and its COLD-FX product were the official cold and flu remedy of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the project was an example of integration between marketing and PR for the company. The health sciences and technology entity has traditionally relied on PR when it comes to building buzz and growing the busi- ness, says Warren Michaels, VP of communications. Yet as the company – and its marketing budgets – grew, it started to integrate the two disciplines. “The company was built on PR,” he says. “We work hand in glove,” and when the marketing team worked on its Olympic sponsorship and partnership, it brought the PR team in to leverage those athlete relationships and build buzz. The PR team was able to not only get the athletes on TV, but also got them to do media outreach. MaryLee Sachs, US chairman and worldwide director of marketing and communications for Hill & Knowlton, says she sees marketers turning to their corporate communica- tions colleagues more and initiating this integration. “They are realizing that their sales suffer if they have a bad reputation or an incident that affects a brand’s image,” she explains. “Marketers are starting to under- stand that it isn’t just about the consumer; it’s about the 32/ 2010
  3. 3. employees, it’s about other influencers, it’s about everyone who comes in contact with the brand.” The respondents: As companies become more integrated across their communications, many are seeing a bigger role within Title: Of the corporate communicators polled, the company, or the proverbial “seat at the table.” 36% were at the director level; 24% VP; 19% manager; 12% CCO; 7% SVP; 4% EVP “Afexa has adopted the attitude that PR is a critical part of its development,” Michaels says. “As a consequence, Reporting lines: 55% are the most senior PR PR has always reported directly to the CEO.” person in their company; 28% report directly to But not all corporate communicators are as lucky as the most senior person Michaels; many deal with budget restraints, new social Company focus: An average of 43.5% are media stresses, added responsibilities outside the tra- b-to-c focused; 55.3% are b-to-b focused ditional definition of communications, and misunder- standings about their jobs from colleagues and the C-suite, Company revenue: 64% of respondents’ according to the 2010 PRWeek/Hill & Knowlton Corpo- companies have revenue of more than $500 million, with 52% of $1.5 billion or more rate Survey, which polled 191 corporate communicators from a variety of companies and industries. Comms budget: Of the respondents, 56% As part of the survey, respondents were asked about have PR/comms budgets of $1 million or more the three challenges that cause the greatest stress in their jobs. Fifty-eight percent report budget constraints, 53% say managing internal silos and departments, and 50% say ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITIES keeping up with social media innovation. Which of the following are you ultimately responsible for, Respondents also reveal that reorganizations and pres- either directly or indirectly through your teams? sure to better foster integrated communications were main Media relations 97% causes of this stress. Several believe too many silos within Crisis/issues management 96% a company hinder good crisis communications, slow down Executive communications 93% work, and fragment communications so it is harder to Social networks and applications 89% get proper funding. Beyond the alignment issue, one respon- Online tracking 85% dent notes that he also deals with “miscellaneous tasks Blogger relations 84% that are given to the team because nobody else in the Community relations 84% company is responsible for it.” Employee communications 82% Promotions 75% How the job has changed Cause-related marketing 74% No one would argue that the job of corporate communi- cations has changed in recent years, but the reasons vary. Public affairs/government relations 69% Some cite the changing media landscape. Others say Investor/financial relations 57% juggling the world of social media is the main reason. Con- Annual reports/quarterly reports 55% 58% tinuing challenges also include how to measure the impact Issues advertising 54% and success of PR and communications, as well as how to Marketing research & analytics 49% have more alignment and integration with marketing. Product/brand advertising 48% Sachs says the past 18 months to two years has seen cite budget Direct marketing 46% constraints as one further alignment between PR and marketing. “From a CRM 39% of the three main corporate communications perspective,” she explains, “it’s Other 14% challenges that getting broader exposure within the organization and is Base: 191 cause them the being seen as driving not only reputation, awareness, and most job stress all the key metrics we typically associate with PR, but also as a driver and contributor to business results.” CAUSES OF JOB STRESS Companies define the alignment between marketing and What three challenges cause you the greatest stress in your job today? communications differently, but mainly it is when the two 100 disciplines work closer together, providing more consistent messaging and branding. For James Boyd, VP of PR for the 80 Americas for Singapore Airlines, that is a main reason to increase alignment within marketing and communications. 60 “The biggest asset this company has, outside of its 40 people, is the brand, one that has been consistently and meticulously honed over the last three decades,” he 20 says. “Our activities are coordinated and we are aligned as much as we can, where it makes sense. Our goal is to 0 Budget Managing Keeping up Keeping up Crisis Staff cuts Retaining Agency Develop. Other build and maintain the reputation of Singapore Airlines.” constraints internal with social with trends preparation and turnover/ company’s silos/depart. media in industry/ (or lack of) attracting problems environ. This idea of alignment is informing the structure of corp- divisions innovation sector staff commit. orate communications teams. At the start of 2009, BMW Base: 191 October 2010/
  4. 4. moved to a more globally organized communications report to her who are embedded in the various business units, function, where Tom Kowaleski, corporate communica- product lines, and brands. That allows communications to tions VP, reports not only to the global communications have a presence in the day-to-day marketing and planning head in Germany, but also to the CEO of BMW North for various elements of the company. She then reports up America. His team is more involved with sales and mar- to VP of corporate affairs Michael Fanning, who reports keting than he has seen at other corporations, he adds. directly to the chairman and president of North America. “Often, from the headquarters’ perspective of communi- “Our Michelin leadership values the role of communi- cations, you are necessarily, and very meaningfully, dealing cations and chooses to invest and support it,” Mann says. with setting a long-term agenda and a long-term com- “Having that seat at the table, and having communications munication of messages and infor- intimately involved when the company as a whole makes mation that supports the future decisions is exactly the best model.” positioning, direction, and position of At CBS, the marketing and corporate communica- the company,” says Kowaleski. “But tions team all work in the same floor of the office, notes in a region, you’re doing that addi- Gil Schwartz, EVP and CCO of CBS, who adds the com- tionally with helping to generate rev- munications structure at CBS is “both centralized and de- enue for the company every month.” centralized.” The teams, whether they handle publicity or When it comes to driving the com- communications for sports, news, radio, or more, all report munications calendar (announce- up to him, as well as through their operations people. ments, product launches, and so on), 45% of respondents say it is led RECENTLY ADDED RESPONSIBILITIES jointly by communications and mar- What responsibilities have you or your team taken on in the past keting; 39% say corporate commu- two years not previously part of the PR/comms function? nications; and 12% say marketing. Social networks and applications 61% With products, marketing leads 41% Blogger relations 47% of the time and communications 17% Online tracking 28% of the time, while 36% of the time, it Community relations 13% is the two departments combined. Public affairs/government relations 13% Executive communications 11% “In order for Pr to be at ItS Cause-related marketing 10% moSt effeCtIve, It SImPly HaS Marketing research & analytics 10% to rePort uP to tHe Ceo“ Product/brand advertising Employee communications 9% 9% Gil Schwartz, CbS Crisis/issues management 8% Direct marketing 7% There are many tactics and tools that companies use Investor/financial relations 6% to align these two departments more closely, including CRM 6% holding joint meetings, working together with an external Promotions 6% PR agency, working in the same area in the office, and informing the other team of plans and projects. Issues advertising 5% Sachs says she notices clients coordinating more with Media relations 5% marketing teams, though the agency sometimes has the Annual reports/quarterly reports 4% marketing team as a client and other times the corporate Other 3% communications team. None of these 17% Lynn Mann, director of external communications for Michelin North America, says she has PR managers who Base: 191 REPUTATION MANAGEMENT GUARDING REPUTATION Has there been more attention Has this increased attention been due to any of Are you feeling under more or less pressure now to be the on reputation management by the following? guardian of your company’s reputation than you were feeling the C-Suite in your company 12 months ago? over the last 12 months? 100 Yes 80 More pressure About the same level of pressure 60 40 20 No 0 Changing Faster Growth Stock Greater Activist Other public pace of of blogs market/ regulation pressure Less pressure percept. news financial of my cycle comm. Base: 191 industry pressure Base: 116 Base: 191 32/ 2010
  5. 5. “They are a double solid,” he says, “but there is definitely area. Additionally, social media strategy and execution is a national department that ultimately is unified under the often led by teams made up of several departments and CBS flag.” Schwartz, then, reports directly to the CEO. individuals from within a company. “I’m not a believer in PR reporting to marketing, HR, or As far as who spearheads the social media vision and any other function,” he explains. “In order for PR to be at strategy for their organization, 44% say the corporate its most effective, it simply has to report up to the CEO.” communications team, while 13% report marketing, and The survey found that 51% of respondents said the most 29% cite a blended team selected from specific functions senior global PR or public affairs person in their company such as communications, HR, and marketing. Another 4% reports directly to the chairman, CEO, or president, while 19% report to a CMO, and 6% report to a COO. REPORTING STRUCTURE “There are so many facets of what we do in PR, from To whom does the most senior global marketing person internal communications to IR to crisis and issues pre- in your company report? paredness and management,” says H&K’s Sachs, “and 80 those functions really should be reporting to the CEO.” Looking at the reporting structure for the communica- 60 tions department, 36% of respondents say PR sits within corporate communications and, while it interacts with 40 marketing, there is no reporting line from PR to market- ing. Twenty-three percent report that PR and corporate 20 communications are totally integrated into marketing, and 14% say some elements of PR are integrated into marketing 0 and some elements sit within corporate communications. Chairman/ CEO/pres. COO Chief comms CFO Head of human Other Additionally, 12% say marketing is completely integrated officer resources into the corporate communications function. Base: 191 Improved alignment REPORTING STRUCTURE Sachs sees several reasons for this increased alignment among To whom does the most senior global PR/public affairs person in your company report? companies, including an increased importance placed on reputation by the C-suite, social media, and how repu- 60 tation affects sales and a company’s bottom line. In fact, 50 61% of respondents say more attention is being paid to 40 reputation management from the C-suite over the past year. “Social media is one of the biggest contributors, but the 61% 30 bigger contributor is this concept of reputation affecting 20 brands,” she notes. “It’s not just about social media; it’s about how consumers and other audiences are engaging with the 10 report there is more attention brands across different disciplines and media channels.” 0 paid to reputation Chairman/ CMO COO Head of General CFO Other Social media is another element that is adding to inte- CEO/Pres. human counsel management resources gration, as both marketing and corporate communications from the C-suite are fighting to take the lead in this constantly growing Base: 191 over the past year Singapore Airlines: approach to measurement James Boyd, the VP of PR for the looks at FlyerTalk, an online Americas for Singapore Airlines, community for frequent flyers, calls measurement “the $64,000 to gauge how customers are question within the industry.” interacting with the brand. It When the company introduces also watches “with hawk-like new products or a special deal precision,” the annual surveys or fare, it uses a specific code to in Condé Nast Traveler and keep track of how it spreads. Travel & Leisure. “PR will be the only means of “The surveys ask travel-related communicating,” he explains. questions of people who are very “This gives us the ability to solid travelers, long-term travel- track exactly how many dollars ers, sophisticated travelers,” changed hands based on the says Boyd. With these third-party communications.” industry surveys, the airline can On social media, the company also see where it ranks compared uses Twitter and Facebook and to other competitors. October 2010/
  6. 6. say they also have a blended team, but with people who “Increasingly, we’re looking at new tools in the social are interested in social media, regardless of their depart- media space, and also more market-mixed modeling-type ment, and 7% report they have a team with some people methods, where we can start teasing out the effect PR from specific departments and some who are just interested has on the business results,” Sachs says of how H&K is in social media. using social media with its work with clients. Ryan Donovan, senior director of corporate communica- Measurement is one issue that still perplexes corporate tions, Web, and brand for SanDisk, says social media should communicators. Proving ROI for PR and communica- fall to the corporate communications team because “we’re tions initiatives can be tricky, but is often the way they are responsible for the reputation of the company and social able to secure budgets and funding. media really is reputation-centric.” CBS’ Schwartz says his company measures success “by Corporate communications also has the pound,” and analyzes media coverage, hoping for more experience running long-term agendas column inches for good news and product launches, and and messaging that lends itself to this fewer column inches for the controversial stories. world of social media that is going Another communicator, who leads North American com- beyond campaigns, Sachs says. munications for a global company, but preferred not to be “If you’re going to engage on social named, agrees: “A lot of what I’m doing in the issues space media channels,” she adds, “you have is very measurable. You’re able to clear a hurdle or avoid a to understand it’s not a one-off hit, major challenge to the brand.” it must be something sustainable.” But social media is not just affecting A variety of measures integration, it also requires more time All communicators agree that it’s not just about the quantity and resources from already resource- of media coverage, but also the quality. strapped teams. It must constantly be “We try to measure PR success as many different ways monitored, not only for news and com- as we can,” says Michelin’s Mann. “We look at traditional ments about a company or brand, but measures like ad equivalency compared to PR spend. But also for the latest and greatest social we also look at audience numbers. We look at qualitative media tools. measures, of key message penetration. Did we achieve the key message penetration in our target media? It has to be a combination of quantitative and qualitative.” “If you’re GoInG to enGaGe on Afexa’s Michaels notes that he looks at media impres- SoCIal medIa CHannelS, It muSt sions, but then analyzes the tone, how much the company was featured, and whether it was mentioned in a relevant be SometHInG SuStaInable“ outlet, like a medical segment or publication. marylee Sachs, Hill & Knowlton Of survey respondents, 82% set aside 10% or less of their budgets for measurement. When asked what performance is measured against, 71% say media coverage metrics, 67% Donovan agrees the challenge with social media isn’t say getting in or staying out of key media outlets, 51% say always about who owns it, but more about how it truly consumers’ or customers’ perceptions, 40% say Web traffic, impacts the brand and the company’s performance. and 34% say sales, which is how BMW measures. 44% “We know people want to engage and are relating to “Sometimes the messages and elements of long-term the brand,” he says, “but we have to figure out how we strategy can’t be so on-point to help you move products,” translate that to revenue?” BMW’s Kowaleski says, so working with marketing can report that the And while new tools, such as the iPad, are joining combine consistent messaging with daily sales success. corporate comms team spearheads the ranks of Facebook and Twitter as necessary for the company’s a company, social media also lends itself to helping social media vision companies with measurement and analyzing how con- MEASURING EFFECTIVENESS Which of the following do you have in place for measurement and strategy sumers perceive them. of PR effectiveness? In-house team prepares regular monitoring/clip report 52% ALIGNING DISCIPLINES PR agency prepares regular monitoring/clip report 40% Which of the following activities do you have in place to align the PR/comms and marketing personnel in your company? In-house team conducts Web analytics 39% 60 In-house team conducts media analysis 38% 50 Clipping agency prepares regular monitoring/clip report 28% 40 Web agency/Web analytics firm conducts Web analytics 28% PR agency conducts media analysis 24% 30 Research firm conducts survey/polling 20% 20 Research firm/media analytics agency conducts media analysis 17% 10 PR agency conducts Web analytics 13% 0 PR agency conducts survey/polling 11% Formal, regular Ad-hoc Ad-hoc Each group’s Common intra- Joint objectives Joint objectives Other meetings to set up and meetings/calls as needed to meetings/calls to monitor and objectives are shared with the net (or other) space and/or are set with joint are set without reward systems joint rewards Other 5% review plans deal with issues review progress other group common e-mail based on success as they arise distribution lists Base: 191 Base: 191 34/ 2010
  7. 7. Staffing: social media Companies staff up their social pany puts on social media and media teams differently, with how corporate communications some pulling from corporate can use both its proactive and communications, some from reactive qualities. marketing, and some a mix. But for Electrolux, which is Billy Sanez, director of corporate headquartered in Stockholm, communications at American the social media strategy is kept Airlines, only added “and social within a separate group in the media” to his title over the sum- Web area, says Blythe Reiss, VP mer, though he has been leading of communications, Americas. it unofficially for years. The company recently did a The official change, he says, social media campaign with indicates the importance the com- spokesperson Kelly Ripa (right). Donovan says SanDisk looks at several long-term mea- tions for the Americas for Electrolux. “I saw some uptick, sures, focusing on the health of the brand. Looking at though not dramatic, in 2010. And I’m guessing my 2011 social media, it analyzes consumers’ opinions about the budget will be in line with 2010.” brand, and it also commissions a brand tracker survey every year, which “gauges the success of the brand in the Cause for optimism mind of our consumers in about 14 countries,” he adds. Most say they are still dealing with trying to do more with “In the US, we recently found our brand awareness is less, but there is more optimism. Donovan says SanDisk’s up 10% year on year, which is huge,” Donovan reports. PR and communications budgets have been flat to slightly “We do not do corporate-level advertising. So everything up ever since they were cut in 2008. we’re doing in PR and social media, which I believe is really “We’ve seen a shift in how corporate communications is one discipline, is clearly having the right kind of impact.” both viewed and valued within companies,” he notes. When companies are able to show solid results from PR Kowaleski agrees: “The real challenge for communications and communications, it is easier to convince the C-suite is grasping the opportunity in front of us: to be much more that the budgets for the space are necessary. of a source of knowledge about what goes on in the outside “We are continuing to raise the level of metrics and analy- world; a source of knowledge about how our various con- tics so we can prove the value of our spend,” says Mann. stituencies think about us, relate to us, interact with us; and Budgets for communicators surveyed were nearly split then being an integrator to provide perspective and counsel down the middle, with 56% reporting their communications to the senior management in all business decisions.” and PR budget for 2009 was $1 million or greater and 45% “The challenge we have is to remake our function accord- reporting their budget was less than $1 million. Forty-nine ing to the opportunity this turbulent time has given us.” l percent say their budget will remain the same in 2010, with 35% expecting an increase and 16% expecting a decrease. the PRWeek/Hill & Knowlton Corporate Survey was con- “Clearly our budget was reduced in 2008 and stayed at ducted by PRWeek and Ca Walker. e-mail notification was that level in 2009,” says Blythe Reiss, VP of communica- sent to about 4,314 corporate comms pros, with 191 taking the survey online between June 2 and July 9, 2010. results weren’t weighted and are statistically tested at a 90% con- MEASURING PERFORMANCE What is your performance measured against? fidence level. this article only offers a summary of findings. Media coverage metrics 71% Getting in or staying out of key media outlets 67% IMPORTANCE OF ALIGNMENT Is achieving alignment between the corporate comms and Perceptions of consumers/customers 51% marketing functions an issue today in your company? Perceptions of employees 41% Web traffic 40% No, it is not an issue because we do not Yes, it is a big issue because we are not consider alignment Quantity/quality of events, speaking placements 39% to be a priority satisfied with the level of alignment between the two functions Sales 34% 31% 82% Quality of stakeholder relationships Perceptions of financial community 28% Perceptions of industry analysts 25% No, it is not an issue Yes, it is an issue, but because we are satisfied we are making progress of respondents Industry scorecards 17% with the level of alignment on reaching our desired level of alignment set aside 10% Other 9% or less of their Base: 191 budgets for Base: 191 measurement October 2010/