Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

2020 JOTW Communications Survey

1,589 views

Published on

Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW) newsletter and Sword and the Script Media conducted the third annual JOTW Communications Survey for 2020 to understand trends in the field of communications. The survey examines trends in communications, public relations (PR), public affairs, marketing communications and related fields. It covers important topics including: the effects of partisan politics on communications; top challenges facing communicators, the state of media relations, media bias, PR ethics, PR firms, top tactics in PR and communications, PR measurement, PR technology, employment and organizational structure of the in-house communications department. A total of 300 professionals took the survey: 95% of respondents are based in the U.S.; 92% report having 11 or more years of experience; 52% of respondents are in-house communicators (corporate communications); and respondents come from more than a dozen different industries. Detailed demographics are included at the end.

Published in: Business

2020 JOTW Communications Survey

  1. 1. The 2020 JOTW Communications Survey 3rd annual survey of 300 professionals examines issues, trends and best practices in communications, public relations and public affairs. Conducted in Partnership between Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW) and Sword and the Script Media, LLC
  2. 2. The Job of the Week newsletter started as an experiment when I was out of work, and wanted to see if I could create a network that would exchange job opportunities, and that I, at the center of that network, would be able to take advantage of those opportunities if I wanted to. It worked. It actually got me a job. And the network grew. Today there are more than 5,800 communication professionals who receive the newsletter every Monday. Send an email to me at lundquist989@cs.com and ask to join the network. It’s free. Teaming up with Frank Strong has allowed us to reach out to this community of professional communicators and learn from them— their experience, expertise and powers of observation. By conducting this survey in successive years we have been able to gain more than an industry snapshot, but trends as they unfold. Some of the results are quite timely, such as the responses about political partisanship. Others are timeless, and deal with universal communication challenges. While we communicators are pretty much social by nature, we have had to improvise our connectivity in this time of pandemic. So Frank and I thank those who participated, and hope that we continue to connect virtually and share what we can with each other. Ned Lundquist, ABC, IABC Fellow Captain, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Editor and Publisher The Job of the Week Network LLC Ned and I teamed up a few years ago to create this survey and asked questions no one was asking. The concept seems to have resonated because the survey has grown significantly. The number of respondents has nearly doubled, and last year’s report was viewed more than 18,000 times. This year, the survey was hit by the same unexpected event that has turned our world upside down. While there were no questions aimed at the Coronavirus, it’s important to for readers to know the pandemic was taking off just as this survey was wrapping up. Indeed, the day the survey closed; the WHO declared the virus a pandemic. There is no doubt the virus has had a profound influence on communicators. It’s added to the list of challenges we face; it’s put a greater emphasis on internal communications and, unfortunately, has put many of our peers out of work. To that end, we think that makes this year’s survey even more important: it’s both a tool for examining our profession, but it’s made possible by a newsletter and a community dedicated to helping communicators find a new role and acquire talent. Frank Strong, MA, MBA Founder & President, Sword and the Script Media, LLC frank@swordandthescript.com
  3. 3. Table of Contents • Executive summary: slide 4 • Effects of partisan politics: slide 5 • Top challenges in comms: slide 9 • State of media relations: slide 15 • Media bias and PR ethics: slide 21 • Top PR and comms tactics: slide 26 • Social media: slide 35 • PR measurement: slide 40 • PR technology: 46 • Organizational reporting: 50 • Demographics: 53 • Methodology: 60
  4. 4. Executive Summary Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW) newsletter and Sword and the Script Media conducted the third annual JOTW Communications Survey to understand trends in the field of communications. A total of 300 professionals took the survey: 95% of respondents are based in the U.S.; 92% report having 11 or more years of experience; 52% of respondents are in-house communicators; and respondents come from more than a dozen different industries. Detailed demographics are included at the end. Partisan politics has communicators walking on eggshells. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of communications professionals say partisan politics makes their job harder. “Everything is seen through a political filter,” wrote one respondent. More communicators (38%) think brands should NOT take a stand than those that think brands should (29%). Despite their answers one way or another, many remained open to taking a stand if an issue directly affects a company or it’s customers. The top PR challenges have shifted. Budget was replaced as the top challenge facing communicators with proving value and ROI. The second top challenge seems related – an “executive team that doesn’t understand comms.” The in-housing trend appears to have slowed; just 30% of respondents say they’ve observed more work going in-house compared with 47% in 2019. Media relations only gets harder. 75% of PR pros say media relations is getting harder. That’s up from 68% in 2019 and 51% in 2018. In terms of approach, 64% say exclusives are useful; and 61% still find value in press releases; 52% say embargoes can help. Sentiment around these questions suggests judicious use is well- advised. Media bias and PR ethics. The survey shows, most respondents say the media is objective “often” (41%) and “sometimes” (37%); few chose absolute answers (i.e. “always or “never”). Interestingly, a question as to whether communicators convey truthful information earned similar scores: 51% said “often” and 44% said “sometimes.” Top tactics in PR and comms. The top five communications tactics based on a weighted average are: 1) data & analytics; 2) storytelling; 3) content marketing / blogging / brand journalism; 4) business social responsibility; and 5) thought leadership. One respondent defined storytelling as “Developing a narrative arc with strong, relatable characters who live their values and make a difference.” Social media platforms. LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram all ranked in the top three social networks by weighted average. Twitter ranked fourth even though other surveys show it remains a popular platform among journalists and reporters. PR measurement. Almost half (48%) of respondents measure “often” or “always”; the other half measure their efforts just “sometimes,” (38%) “rarely,” (11%) or “never” (2%). The contrast of this finding with the findings that “proving value” to an executive team that doesn’t understand comms are the top two challenges is striking. PR technology. Vendors that at least 10% of respondents would recommend include (by precedent): PR Newswire, Cision, Business Wire, Meltwater, PRWeb, Nexis Newsdesk, Critical Mention, Factiva, TVEyes, Burrelles, and Muck Rack. Communications organization. Respondents said their communications organization reports to: marketing (41%), CEO (33%) COO (7%), HR (5%) strategy (5%) and legal (3%).
  5. 5. The Effects of Partisanship and Politics on Brands
  6. 6. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey 72% of communications professionals say partisan politics makes their job harder. Respondents come from a wide and fairly evenly distributed range of industries, which suggests the impact is broad. “EVERYTHING is now seen through a political filter. Issues that should not be political now are.” “The divisiveness bleeds through and is reflected in areas beyond politics.” “Some people have leave to say anything now. We've unmoored media from accuracy.”
  7. 7. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey More communicators (38%) think brands should NOT take a stand than those that say brands should (29%); however the division is nearly a 3-way tie. “Brands should take a public stand on issues when there is a clear connection with the brand's values.” “Totally depends on the client the issue and how the issue is in play. That is, yes. But, no.” “Because you automatically alienate 50% of the general public.”
  8. 8. Walking on eggshells Most professional communicators (72%) believe the political environment has complicated the communications process. As with many questions in this survey, we included a second optional open-ended question – “Why?” to obtain some context on why respondents answer the way they did. Forty-one respondents wrote in and a few of those comments are included with the chart. Overall the sentiment seems to suggest the state of politics today means the things brands and businesses communicate today are viewed through a political lens – even if there is no intent to be political. Although some organizations find themselves unenthusiastically thrust into a political spectrum, there is little agreement on whether or not brands should take a stand. While 38% said no – and represents the single largest grouping of answers – it’s not a majority. In addition, the sentiment expressed in the 107 open-ended comments suggests even those that answered “yes” or “no” are open to changing their mind depending on the issue and organization. The results mirror a survey of consumers conducted in 2018: Should brands take a public stand on political issues?
  9. 9. The Top Challenges in Communications Have Shifted
  10. 10. Measuring the impact; proving value; demonstrating ROI Executive team doesn’t understand comms Cutting through the clutter and noise Resources other than budget or staff Other Our comms or PR team lacks the skill or knowledge to be successful Target audience is apathetic Alignment with the marketing or sales team We are overly cautious in communications Target audience is distracted Project scope creep Not enough staffing or headcount Gaining executive buy-in Balancing priorities among diverse stakeholders Complicated or prolonged review and approval process Ever expanding duties (i.e. social media, content, etc.) Budget N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey The top challenge has changed. Budget has been the top challenge for in the 2018 and 2019 editions of this survey.
  11. 11. Rank 2020 Top Challenges 2019 Top Challenges 2018 Top Challenges 1 Measuring the impact; proving value; demonstrating ROI (50%) Budget (59%) Budget (63%) 2 Executive team doesn’t understand comms (45%) Limited staffing or headcount (55%) Ever expanding duties (57%) 3 Cutting through the clutter and noise (40%) Ever expanding duties (52%) Proving ROI (54%) 4 Budget (40%) Balancing priorities (49%) Limited staffing or headcount (52%) 5 Ever expanding duties [i.e. social media, content, etc.] (35%) Measuring impact of comms (49%) Measuring impact of comms (51%) 6 Complicated or prolonged review and approval process (31%) Proving ROI (48%) Balancing priorities (44%) 7 Balancing priorities among diverse stakeholders (30%) Gaining executive buy-in (45%) Gaining executive buy-in (40%)
  12. 12. Not the biggest problem this year, but among the top 5. Hasn’t changed much in the last few years, so but how you allocate it has. Likely under pressure to trim post-covid. Most communicators said their budgets would remain flat, although about one-fifth of respondents expected their budgets to grow. These numbers are consistent with the same survey last year. It’s reasonable to believe the Coronavirus pandemic has changed budget expectations. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey
  13. 13. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey This number is down from the 47% of respondents that saw more work going in-house in 2019. “Identifying in-house members who know best the company ethos and culture can help manage corporate channels, often better than outside PR teams.” “We are an in-house agency, and we have used outsourced services more in the last few years to round out our deliverables and expertise. For example, we now use two video companies vs. trying to do high-quality video in-house with a videographer who has many responsibilities.”
  14. 14. The continuous process of proving value The combination of the top five challenges shows just how demanding the job of PR and communications is: • Continuously defending the value of your work (50%); • Educating executives that are often looking for near term results (45%); • Cutting through the clutter, perhaps even political noise (40%); • Flats budgets (40%); and with • Expanded responsibilities year-after-year (35%) The top two challenges – proving value and the leadership’s understanding of communications – almost certainly go hand-in-hand. A 2019 survey of 300 executives in UK-based businesses with 1,000+ employees conducted by Releasd, found that executives that understand communications tend to value it more. With regard to the in-housing trend, the slowing or tapering off in-housing seems to be in line with anecdotal evidence observed in the broader marketing sector. After years of bringing more work in-house in pursuit of greater efficiency – across several functions including media buying, creative and PR – businesses are balking at additional headcount. In addition, some of the efficiency gains promised, haven’t materialized. This is because in the course of in-housing, business leaders haven’t included roles that are often transparent to executives such as project management. As one respondent wrote in, “My own employer has done this. First, we cut full-time employees by 10 percent across the company, and then we brought much of the work our agencies (plural) did for us in house for the now over-burdened ad staff to handle. We also opened up our communication services to the entire company but decreased the number of writers and proofreaders we have. I've never worked with so many people needing to take medical leave because of work stress. And we are a health insurance company!” The Coronavirus has probably curtailed hiring, although it’s worth pointing out, that other surveys, like one by the Association of National Advertisers, show marketing teams have been more reliant on the in-house professionals they already have during the isolation caused by the pandemic.
  15. 15. The state of media relations
  16. 16. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey 75% of PR pros say media relations is getting harder. That’s up from 68% in 2019 and 51% in 2018. “Social makes it easier to reach customers directly, serving the same function as traditional media relations, without the gatekeepers.” “More platforms make it easier to pitch, but a distracted audience makes it harder.” “Fewer journalists, more PR people.. Journalists don't have the time for long lead story development. Measured on clicks, quick hits.”
  17. 17. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey More than half (52%) of communications professionals say embargoes are still a useful tool. It’s worth noting, 20% disagree on some level. “When used judiciously, they are important.” “Old outdated tactic. They may work if you have a relationship with a particular journalist. But to slap the word embargo on a pitch or press release and send it out without first getting the reporter to agree is not an effective tactic.” “Unless is absolutely earth-shattering news we are taking about, no one cares.”
  18. 18. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey There’s greater enthusiasm (64%) for exclusives. “I see it as a relationship- building tool.” “Rarely, it just makes other outlets less likely to cover you.” “Use it sparingly but can be very effective. And understand the consequences in the attitudes of some other reporters - ones who do not receive exclusive.”
  19. 19. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey Most (61%) say the venerable press release still has a role media relations. However, like embargoes, one-fifth of respondents say the role of the press release has waned. “Most news releases are not about news; just requests from execs about things they think are important but really are not.” “Summarized in factual data and quotes is a great way to start a campaign.”
  20. 20. Media relations continues to get harder Three-quarters (75%) of PR professionals say media relations continues to get harder. The number of communicators that say so has grown steadily over the last few years – up from 68% in 2019 and 51% in 2018. Many of the comments point to underlying causes that have also been cited in previous years: the rise of social media and self-publishing, pressure on the business model of news, cuts to editorial staff, growth among the ranks of PR and deluge of pitches reporters receive. Two other recent surveys quantify the volume of pitches: 1) According to the State of Journalism 2020 report, based on a survey of 1,000+ journalists by Muck Rack, 48% of journalists responding to this survey said they get between 1-5 pitches a day; 18% get between 5-10; 12% get upwards of 10-20; and 13% get 20 plus pitches a day. 2) According to the 2020 Global State of the Media report, based on a survey of more than 3,200+ journalists by Cision, a little more than half (51%) of journalists that responded to this survey – said between 1 – 50 PR pitches per week; 25% report receive between 51 – 100 per week; 10% get 101 – 151 per week; and 14% have their inboxes flooded with 151 per week. At the same time, there are mixed views on traditional tactics like exclusives, embargoes and press releases. As you’ll see later in this report, press releases rank near the bottom of a long list of tactics and they have for the last three years. With embargoes and exclusives, it’s important to keep in mind that the reporter, journalist or influencer has a vote too. For example, sending an announcement under embargo without securing the contact’s agreement doesn’t obligate that person to abide by your embargo. At the same time, sending modest announcements under the guise of an embargo to invoke a sense of scarcity, are easy to see through and probably wind up doing more harm than good. “If you mean including the embargoed material without asking in advance, absolutely not,” wrote one reporter in an online discussion about embargoes. “Someone is trying to create false urgency. I have no obligation to honor that any more than someone responding to a question and inserting that it's off the record without checking ahead.”
  21. 21. Media objectivity and PR ethics
  22. 22. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey The survey shows, for the vast majority of respondents, the answer to this question isn’t absolute (i.e. “always” or “never”).
  23. 23. Context and comments on media bias Ninety-five respondents, including a number who identified as former reporters, wrote in open-ended comments that offer context for each category of answers: • Always. “Having done that job for close to 20 years, and performing media relations for the last 20, I've worked with hundreds of journalists. They weren't in it for the lousy pay, the long hours or the difficult working conditions -- they were in it to gather facts and present them to an audience. Do they make mistakes? Of course -- but not because of bias. And the professional ones take ownership of them and correct them.” • Often. “Like the rest of us, reporters are subjected to information that affects their understanding of the truth. It’s hard to distinguish sometimes.” • Sometimes. “I don't think you can lump ‘reporters’ together as a single unit. Some reporters look into topics that interest them - a bias of a kind - while others just do stories that are assigned to them. I think that after a reporter gathers ‘facts’ for a story, they form an opinion, and then it's hard to remain unbiased. However, they can train themselves to find alternate points of view to include in a story whether they agree with the alternatives or not.” • Rarely. “Their reporting is colored with adjectives and word pictures that reveal their personal viewpoints without their actually voicing their stand on an issue.” • Never. “The media doesn't even try to hide it anymore - many outlets endorse a candidate; how can an objective organization do that?” The previously cited 2020 Global State of the Media report by Cision also asked journalists about media bias. Some of their comments, included in the report, reflect a similar sentiment: “Is there bias in the media? Sure, but much of the problem stems from people not knowing that there are differences between reporters, columnists and editorial page writers,” wrote one journalist. Another noted, “All media is biased because it's run by humans.
  24. 24. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey Is it ethical to be less than 100% truthful all of the time?
  25. 25. Comments on veracity in PR Some theories of psychology argue that lying (think ‘white lies’) is a coping mechanism that traces back to the earliest humans. Early humans depended on belonging to a group for survival, so lying emerged as a method to avoid conflict that might get an individual tossed from the group. But what are the ethics of saying anything but the truth in public communications? It may not always be explicit. For example, an omission is an attribute of the classic schema for identifying propaganda developed by Hugh Rank. Much like the commentary on media bias, the answers weren’t absolute. Seventy-one respondents wrote in answers. Interestingly, even those that cited codes of conduct and ethical standards left the window cracked for being less than 100% truthful all the time. • Always. “If they are professionals then that is what they do. The bigger question would be how many people in our business are professionals.” • Often. “Depends on their training. As an APR and Fellow PRSA, I subscribe to the highest ethical standards.” • Often. “I am bound by a Code of Ethics but not everyone in my profession is.” • Sometimes. “As a former journalist, sometimes we would receive information that was untrue; there is a difference between being untruthful and presenting spin. Spin can be truthful and still slanted.” • Sometimes. “Pleasing clients/retaining clients has become far more crucial hence Communicators have become less truthful.” • Sometimes. “Rarely is the full truth included in a professional's message. Instead, typically, some version of the truth is threaded into the message that is carefully crafted to present the point of view most favorable to the communications objective for that message.” • Rarely. “There is a bias towards painting a brand in a positive light.”
  26. 26. Top Tactics in Communications and PR
  27. 27. Business social responsibility Content marketing / blogging / brand journalism N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey 76% 74% 74% 76% 71% 55% 56% 56% 63% 68% Chart 1 of 4 on tactics The top five for 2020 - each with 70% or more of the votes. “Data & analytics” and “storytelling” were the top two in last year’s survey as well.
  28. 28. 1st party events like webinar and customer conferences 35% N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey 52% 48% 47% 52% 42% 28%58% 56% 51% 51% The the point where most respondents begin to say a given tactic will have about the same level of importance. 43% 48% Chart 2 of 4 on tactics
  29. 29. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey 47% 53% 43% 45% 49% 43%46% 36% 34% 33% Chart 3 of 4 on tactics
  30. 30. Chart 4 of 4 on tactics Here’s the detail for the question on tactics. Please note: These are sorted by weighted average. While all 300 respondents answered this question, we have removed “not applicable” answers for the ranking. The N value for each tactic is available under the “total” column.
  31. 31. Rank 2020 Top Tactics 2019 Top Tactics 2018 Top Tactics 1 Data & analytics Storytelling Storytelling 2 Storytelling Data & analytics Content marketing 3 Content marketing Thought leadership Thought leadership 4 Business social responsibility Measurement Alignment with marketing 5 Thought leadership Content marketing Influencer relations
  32. 32. The top tactics in PR and communications At the top of the list of communications tactics that respondents say will be more important or much more important are: 1. Data & analytics (76%) – speaks to the challenge of proving value; 2. Storytelling (74%) 3. Content marketing / blogging / brand journalism (74%) 4. Business social responsibility (76%) (lower on the list due to overall weight) 5. Thought leadership (71%) – dropped from 3rd to 5th place At the bottom of the list, with at least one-third of respondents saying it will be less or much less important are: white papers, awards, press releases and ebooks. If there’s an area that has become more important as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s probably internal communications and we may see this in next year’s survey. Some of the “other” tactics respondents wrote in included: • “guerrilla marketing” • “partnerships, co-marketing agreements” • “employee relations, customer relations for enhancing credibility” • “video” • “training and exploration with internal stakeholders (i.e.: sales teams)”
  33. 33. What does “storytelling” mean to you? Storytelling has been in the top first or second slot on this question for three years in a row. So, this year, we asked the question above as an open-ended question. Some 238 respondents wrote in answers like these: • “Creating a narrative with an arc, actors, conflict, and resolution that audiences can compare to traditional tales.” • “Developing a narrative arc with strong, relatable characters who live their values and make a difference.” • “Using an anecdote to make someone understand (or understand more deeply) a need or topic they did not before.” • “Creating a story about a product or person that is relatable to many.” • “Explaining your messaging in a way that resonates emotionally with the individual you're reaching.” • “Telling the company's story - getting the message out - in a memorable way. It relies more on narrative and emotion to get people to feel and believe.” • “Making things relatable, pulling heart-strings, making a connection, making people laugh or engage somehow, being interesting.” Not everyone is a fan of storytelling, however: • “Bull****. No one other than idiots cares about ‘stories.’ Do you provide a useful product/service for an affordable price? Yes or no. End of story.” • “Personally, I hate the term. Implies a degree of fantasy ... telling a ‘story.’”
  34. 34. What does “storytelling” mean to you? (CONT) The word cloud below aggregates all 238 answers – the larger the work, the more commonly it was used. We’ve underlined some of the words that stood out of us in red.
  35. 35. The communicator’s view of social media
  36. 36. Chart 1 of 3 on social media channels 58% 51% 54% 40% 40% 25% 18%58% 51% A majority of respondents say that LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram will be more or much more important over the next year. 41% 41% Views on TikTok are about evenly split. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey
  37. 37. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey Chart 2 of 3 on social media channels 49% 38% 52% 54% 48% 53% 40% 47% 38% 35% 37% 31% 45% 43% A majority of respondents say that Messenger, Snapchat, Quora and Signal will be less important over the next year.
  38. 38. Here’s the detail for the question on social media sites. Please note: These are sorted by weighted average. While all 300 respondents answered this question, we have removed “not applicable” answers for the ranking. The N value for each tactic is available under the “total” column. Chart 3 of 3 on social media channels
  39. 39. LinkedIn the top social site for communicators LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram all ranked in the top three social networks by weighted average. Interestingly, each of those platforms is owned by a larger business: LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft, YouTube is owned by Google and Instagram is owned by Facebook. Some argue that YouTube isn’t a true social media, but it does make it very easy to share and videos. In addition, YouTube doubles as a powerful search engine. Twitter came in fourth on the list, but public relations professionals with media relations responsibilities should bear in mind that journalists gravitate toward the medium. For example, according to the previously cited State of Journalism 2020 survey by Muck Rack survey, “85% find Twitter the most valuable social network.” Communicators start to get lukewarm by the fifth-place Facebook. Facebook has been a constant topic in crisis communications as the company has been rocked by scandal after scandal over the last few years. It’s utility as a communication vehicle for brands, outside of advertising on the platform, is limited since organic reach is so low. Other studies have pointed to similar conclusions. The 2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, which is based on a survey of 5,200 marketers by the Social Media Examiner, found “Marketers are diversifying away from Facebook. For the last 2 years, Facebook lost share as the most important platform for marketers.” TikTok has been a media darling over the couple years and it has seen explosive growth. Still, the Chinese-owned company faces serious security concerns. The U.S. Department of Defense has banned the app from government-owned phones, according to NBC News and TechCrunch cited Reddit CEO Steve Huffman as saying: "...I look at that app [TikTok] as so fundamentally parasitic, that it’s always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone.” In the open-ended comments, respondents also cited the publishing platform, Medium, GovLoop (B2G) Flickr, Tumblr, closed groups and internal social media platforms like Yammer.
  40. 40. PR and communications measurement
  41. 41. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey Keep in mind the top challenge for communicators this year is “proving value.”
  42. 42. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey Chart 1 of 2 on measurement techniques The 10 most popular measures of communication effectiveness.
  43. 43. Chart 2 of 2 on measurement techniques
  44. 44. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey
  45. 45. Measurement: half full or half empty? There are a couple of different ways to look at the answers on measurement. On one hand, 86% of respondents measure at least “sometimes” and almost half (48%) measure “often” or “always.” On the other hand, 51% measure their efforts just “sometimes,” (38%) “rarely,” (11%) or “never” (2%). It’s hard to reconcile that level of effort into measurement with the idea that “proving value” to an executive team that doesn’t understand comms are the top two challenges. Some of the other metrics respondents wrote include message pull through, share of voice, sentiment, comparative analytics, coverage in target media important to stakeholders, net promoter scores (NPS), public opinion surveys and invitations to speak or contribute to reports, articles and other PR type activities. PR and earned media attribution Attribution in PR is the ability to attribute a PR activity to an outcome. Some of the vendors that offer media monitoring tools have begun providing a means to tie earned media to an action. For example, if your organization is mentioned in an article, and a week later, a reader of that article visits your website and downloads a white paper, subscribes to a newsletter, or makes a purchase, these tools can attribute the activity to that article. Broadly speaking, advertising technology tools inform advertisers of clicks on digital ads within or around an article (or video). Earned media attribution is fundamentally the same idea, only it’s attributed to the article itself rather than an ad served up with the article.
  46. 46. PR technology
  47. 47. These 11 PR technology providers are recommended by at 10% or more of respondents. This question was optional. N = 242; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey Chart 1 of 2 on PR technology
  48. 48. Chart 1 of 2 on PR technology
  49. 49. Notes on the PR tech vendors The authors of this report keep a close watch on news from the PR technology community. Here are some notes from the last year or so: • Muck Rack has a news trends tool that’s free to use without registration. • Social Chorus is an internal communications tool that is really doing some interesting things. The company has introduced integrations and analytics to “examine if initiatives are effective at improving morale, retention, attendance, sentiment and even the bottom line.” • TVEyes powers the broadcast monitoring for several other vendors including Cision, Meltwater, Burrelles and Muck Rack. • Onclusive and Meltwater have both worked to improve sentiment analysis through natural language processing (NLP). For example, Meltwater is applying a sentiment to every sentence in an article individually and using that to calculate overall sentiment. • The three vendors on this list that offer attribution capabilities are Meltwater, Onclusive and Cision. • Cision owns four brands on this list including PR Newswire, PRWeb, and TrendKite. The company was again taken private again after being acquired by another private equity firm. For more news on the PR technology vendors see: • PR Tech Sum: this a monthly summary of news related to the vendor community. • PR Tech Briefing: this is write-up based on a web demonstration of a product, Q&A and independent research. • Product Reviews: this is an in-depth review based on hands-on in a production environment.
  50. 50. Organization and employment
  51. 51. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey Most respondents with communications or PR responsibilities report to the head of marketing. However, about one-third indicate they report to the CEO.
  52. 52. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey Employed full-time and NOT looking Employed full-time, but open to opportunities Employed part-time and NOT looking Employed part-time, but open to opportunities In between gigs and looking for work In between gigs, but not looking for work Other Those that said “other” tend to be independent consultants, which suggests a level of self-employment. These numbers have surely changed in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Whether you are looking for work, or looking to fill a vacancy, be sure to subscribe to Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW) email newsletter or email Ned at lundquist989@cs.com. It’s a free resource for both job seekers and employers.
  53. 53. Demographics
  54. 54. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey A handful of respondents identified as dual citizens, i.e. US & Canada or US & Mexico.
  55. 55. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey 92% of respondents have 11 or more years of experience.
  56. 56. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey More than half of respondents come from in-house roles. Those that said “other” identified as contract workers or “part- time” help.
  57. 57. Respondents that said “other” most commonly identified as having combination of the responsibilities and duties listed. In other words, both internal and external communications.
  58. 58. N = 300; Source: 2020 JOTW Communications Survey Those that answered “other” tend to work for a government agency.
  59. 59. Respondents hail from a wide variety of industries. Other vertical markets respondents wrote in included real estate, accounting and engineering.
  60. 60. Survey methodology This survey was a joint effort between Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW) and Sword and the Script Media, LLC. Subscribers to both organizations were solicited to take the survey through mentions in the weekly newsletter, dedicated email requests and online media. In total 300 respondents took the survey online from Friday, January 31, 2020, until Tuesday, March 10, 2020. It’s important to note the World Health Organization categorized the Coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Survey takers were incentivized to take the survey with an offer to be entered for a chance to win one of three gift cards ($100, $50 and $25). The 2020 edition of the JOTW Communications Survey marks the third consecutive year this survey has been conducted.
  61. 61. Have a position to fill? Looking for a new gig? Send a note with the listing or to subscribe to Ned’s Job of the Week or by contacting Ned directly at lundquist989@cs.com. http://www.nedsjotw.com/
  62. 62. Need a topic for a webinar, session or virtual event? Ned Lundquist and Frank Strong are available to present the data in this survey. Contact us to learn more: Ned Lundquist: lundquist989@cs.com Frank Strong: frank@swordandthescript.com Photo by Marcos Luiz Photograph on Unsplash
  63. 63. Suggested reading 2019 JOTW Communications Survey Presentation: The 2019 JOTW Communications Survey Blog: Corporate Communications is Taking More PR Work In-House, finds Survey; Media Relations Gets Even Harder Blog: What is PR? 141 PR and Comms Pros Explain What They Do for a Living Blog: PR Measurement: A Pulse Check on How Communicators Show Value Blog: The Top 10 PR Tech Vendors by Familiarity and Favorability 2018 JOTW Communications Survey Presentation: The 2018 JOTW Communications Survey Blog: New Survey Identifies the Hottest Trends in Corp Comm and PR; Announcing the 2018 JOTW Communications Survey Related surveys and research reports Blog: Cliff Notes to Effective Media Relations: A Summary of 3 Surveys of Editors, Reporters and Journalists Blog: 3 Studies Demonstrate How Earned Media Drives Behavior and Credibility Blog: The Top Challenges in Journalism According to a Survey of Journalists and the Cliff Notes to 3 Studies by PR Tech Vendors Blog: Study Reveals Gaps Between the CEO and PR in Communications Goals, Issues and Technology Blog: 2020 PR Salary Survey - How Much Money do Public Relations Pros Make?

×