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The 2019 JOTW Communications Survey | Trends in Corporate Communications and Public Relations

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The 2019 JOTW Communications Survey examines trends in corporate communications and PR. This year’s survey polled 223 communications and public relations (PR) professionals. Some 68% of respondents report holding in-house communication roles and 90% have 10 years or more experience in the industry.The second annual survey was conducted by Sword and the Script Media, LLC in collaboration with Ned Lundquist. Ned launched “Job of the Week” (JOTW) email newsletter in 2001 as a free resource for PR and communications professionals looking for work.

Key findings in this survey include:

>> Budget is the top communications and PR challenge. Budget (59%) was the top challenge for the second year in a row. This was followed by limited staffing or headcount (55%); ever-expanding duties (52%); balancing priorities (49%); and measuring the impact of comms (49%). Just 18% anticipate budgets rising; 51% say they will remain flat and 29% expect budgets to fall.

>> More PR work is being taken in-house. Some 47% of respondents said they’ve observed more PR work being taking in-house. This mirrors broader trends in marketing, where CMOs have slashed agencies in favor of in-house teams. The top reasons for hiring an agency are: execution, expertise and for strategic projects; the top reasons for firing a firm are cost, poor client service and an inability to measure ROI.

>> Storytelling, analytics and thought leadership are the top tactics and trends. The respondents identified storytelling (76%); data & analytics (75%); thought leadership (70%); measurement (66%) and content marketing (64%) as growing more important. While not a majority, those with the most votes for less important were press releases (33%), award programs (31%) and white papers (36%).

>>Media relations continues to get harder. Most respondents (68%) said media relations is harder or much harder – up from 51% last year. Respondents cited reporter turnover, veteran reporters being replaced with junior ones, and “in-your-face-journalism” as contributing causes. Money and standards distinguish media relations from influencer marketing.

>>Top metrics PR pros track. About one-third (29%) think they do an adequate job of communications measurement while 46% say it needs improvement. The most common metrics comms pros said they track includes web traffic (73%); impressions (66%); estimated site traffic (60%); mentions (57%) and email open rates (52%).

>>More communicators report to the CEO than to marketing. More respondents (38%) say the comms function reports to the CEO, versus 35% that say they report to marketing. This was followed by the chief operating officer (9%), strategy (7%) and human resources (5%).

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The 2019 JOTW Communications Survey | Trends in Corporate Communications and Public Relations

  1. 1. The 2019 JOTW Communications Survey Second annual survey of more than 200 communications professionals surfaces trends and best practices in corporate communications and public relations Conducted in Partnership between Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW) and Sword and the Script Media, LLC
  2. 2. Introduction The “Job of the Week” network began as a simple experiment to build a community of communication professionals that could help each other find employment opportunities. Today we have more than 5,700 communicators in the network (and growing), and we engaged them to share some of their thoughts on the state of communications. This survey demonstrates the value of the JOTW network and the importance of networking to the profession. The JOTW newsletter comes out every Monday. To join the JOTW network, send me an email at lundquist989@cs.com. It’s free. Ned Lundquist, ABC, IABC Fellow Captain, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Editor and Publisher The Job of the Week Network LLC It’s an interesting time to build a career in public relations (PR) and communications. Some say there’s never been a better time. I’m a subscriber to that idea, however, as this survey makes it clear, it’s not a career without challenges. It’s not necessarily that the work is harder or easier, it’s that it’s changing. The organizational structure, the strategies used, the tactics employed and the way it’s measured are all evolving, morphing and in some cases blurring. In some small way this survey – by communicators and for communicators – is a pulse check on the state of communications. Frank Strong, MA, MBA Founder & President, Sword and the Script Media, LLC frank@swordandthescript.com
  3. 3. Table of Contents Executive summary……………………slide 4 Grading past efforts……………………slide 5 Outlook for the next year………………slide 8 Documentation…………………………slide 11 Top challenges…………………………slide 15 Hiring and firing agencies…………….slide 18 Tactics and techniques………………..slide 23 Challenges in media relations………..slide 30 Social media in PR…………………....slide 35 PR and comms measurement……..…slide 38 Comms budgets.....…………………....slide 44 Organizational structure……………....slide 46 Employment and mobility……………..slide 49 PR and comms vendors………………slide 51 In their own words……………………..slide 54 Demographics………………………….slide 57 Survey methodology…………….…….slide 62
  4. 4. Executive Summary Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW) newsletter and Sword and the Script Media, LLC conducted an online survey of PR and communications professionals in January and February of 2019. Most respondents were experienced in-house or corporate communications professionals with 10 or more years of experience. Detailed demographics can be found at the end. • PR gives itself good grades but worries about the future. Most communicators (64%) said their communications efforts over the last year were successful. Sentiment suggests those that take chances are more likely to say their efforts were successful than those with less tolerance for risk. Respondents were surprisingly less sanguine about the future. • Comms strategies documented, but crisis plans not so much. Most organizations (59%) have a documented communications strategy; less than half (45%) report having documented crisis communications plans. • Budget is the top communications and PR challenge. Budget (59%) was the top challenge for the second year in a row. This was followed by limited staffing or headcount (55%); ever-expanding duties (52%); balancing priorities (49%); and measuring the impact of comms (49%). Just 18% anticipate budgets rising; 51% say they will remain flat and 29% expect budgets to fall. • More PR work is being taken in-house. Some 47% of respondents said they’ve observed more PR work being taking in-house. This mirrors broader trends in marketing, where CMOs have slashed agencies in favor of in-house teams. The top reasons for hiring an agency are: execution, expertise and for strategic projects; the top reasons for firing a firm are cost, poor client service and an inability to measure ROI. • Storytelling, analytics and thought leadership are the top tactics and trends. The respondents identified storytelling (76%); data & analytics (75%); thought leadership (70%); measurement (66%) and content marketing (64%) as growing more important. While not a majority, those with the most votes for less important were press releases (33%), award programs (31%) and white papers (36%). • Media relations continues to get harder. Most respondents (68%) said media relations is harder or much harder – up from 51% last year. Respondents cited reporter turnover, veteran reporters being replaced with junior ones, and “in-your-face-journalism” as contributing causes. Money and standards distinguish media relations from influencer marketing. • Top metrics PR pros track. About one-third (29%) think they do an adequate job of communications measurement while 46% say it needs improvement. The most common metrics comms pros said they track includes web traffic (73%); impressions (66%); estimated site traffic (60%); mentions (57%) and email open rates (52%). • More communicators report to the CEO than to marketing. More respondents (38%) say the comms function reports to the CEO, versus 35% that say they report to marketing. This was followed by the chief operating officer (9%), strategy (7%) and human resources (5%).
  5. 5. Communicators give themselves good grades on past efforts
  6. 6. Most communicators (64%) put their efforts over the last year in the “success” column. N = 223
  7. 7. Comfort with risk central to success Most respondents (64%) categorize their efforts over the last year as successful, including a subset of 14% who said their efforts were very successful. About one third said (29%) indicated their work had about the same results and the rest (7%) said their efforts were not successful. We asked “Why?” as an open-ended and optional follow-up question. Seventy-five respondents – about one-third of the total – wrote in answers. The sentiment centers around risk: those that take chances are more likely to say their efforts were successful, than those with less tolerance for risk. Here is a sampling of those answers: Those that said their efforts were successful: • “Some really talented people, who work cooperatively with one another...and a brilliant CMO who isn't afraid to take chances.” • “My CEO seems more receptive to my counsel. In addition, a budget increase has also made our efforts more effective.” • “We tried some new things. We had some success, but I think there is more we can do to build our brand.” Those that said their efforts were about the same: • “New boss who ‘doesn't get it’ and fears it.” • “Limited resources and restrictive budgets. Lack of priority and willingness to expand communication channels.” • “Difficult to answer but at its core, apathy from the target audience.” Those that said their efforts were unsuccessful: • “Overly cautious posture.” • “Lack of a commitment by senior leadership. • “We're in a very competitive market.”
  8. 8. Less sanguine about the next year
  9. 9. This doubled from the previous question on past efforts. Respondents were surprisingly less sanguine about the future given most felt their efforts last year were successful. N = 223
  10. 10. Why the less sanguine? Most respondents (52%) think the next 12 months or so will similar to the previous year in communications – not better and not worse. About one-third (34%) are more optimistic about the future while 14% are downright pessimistic. If communicators say their efforts last year were successful, why aren’t they more optimistic about capitalizing on last year’s success? Again, we asked “Why?” in an open-ended and optional question. Seventy-nine respondents wrote in and here’s a sample: Those that said things would be better: • “Budgets appear to be growing and more people are being hired.” • “Increased understanding in leadership on the importance of including PR in business development and government relations actions to be effective in a really crazy environment.” • “Pull rather than push – earned [media] rather than paid media – are getting the importance they deserve.” Those that said things would be about the same: • “I'm somewhat on the fence with this question. I'd like to believe that 2019 will be better than 2018; however, the derisive and divisive atmosphere in the news information arena carries over to the PR/Communications area.” • “It's increasingly difficult to get noticed, short attention spans, clutter, noise, etc.” • “This will not be a year of increasing budgets and I expect companies to be a bit more cautious in the current environment.” Those that said things would be worse: • “Economic slowdown.” • “Mergers. Impact of the government shutdown. Communication and PR is always the first to get cut. Last to get funded.” • “The news cycle is constantly covering the turmoil of the presidential administration. It's hard to get a word in edgewise.
  11. 11. Are communications strategies documented?
  12. 12. Most organizations have documented comms strategy but… N = 223
  13. 13. …fewer have documented crisis comms plans. N = 223
  14. 14. Why document a strategy? Most organizations (59%) have a documented communications strategy. That the number was this high, was a little surprising, but perhaps it’s a testament to the growing importance of the communications function. By contrast, complementary (and perhaps overlapping) functions, like content marketing aren’t even close. For example, the 2019 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs found 39% of B2B organizations and 33% of B2C organizations. have a documented content marketing strategy. The study found the most successful content marketers had a documented strategy. However, fewer organizations have documented crisis communications plans – less than half (45%) of respondents said they do. In time and age when information and misinformation can spread far and fast over digital and social platforms, crisis preparation is increasingly important.
  15. 15. The top challenges in communications and PR
  16. 16. Limited staffing or headcount Budget Ever expanding duties Project scope creep Complicated or prolonged review process Gaining executive buy-in Proving ROI Effectively measuring impact of comms Balancing priorities Fostering alignment with marketing Resources (other than budget or staff) Fostering alignment with the sales team Fostering alignment with the creative team N = 223 The top challenge, two years in a row. The top seven challenges affect about half of respondents and are consistent with the previous year. This suggests there are some fairly common, if not enduring, challenges.
  17. 17. A lack of understanding The top challenges facing communications professionals remained consistent from last year: while the list of duties and stakeholders expands PR pros aren’t getting more budget or staff even as they are asked to prove value. Part of what makes the role of modern communicators so challenging is that executives and business leaders lack a basic working knowledge of digital media. As one respondent wrote in, the challenge isn’t “executive buy-in but lack of understanding how it works especially digital.” It’s really hard to have a discussion about investing in tactics to carry out a communications strategy, when the leadership isn’t familiar with those tactics or the capabilities. Some of the write in comments included: • “Drop everything, and now do this, and this, and this!” • “Getting companies to value PR experience...places seem more focused on getting cheap help.” • “Lack of understanding that communications is a professional discipline and not just sending emails or writing stuff and making it sound pretty.” • “Weak confidence of practitioners, unwillingness of professional associations to make a convincing case for investment in comms services and training.” Rank 2019 Top Challenges 2018 Top Challenges 1 Budget (59%) Budget (63%) 2 Limited staffing or headcount (55%) Ever expanding duties (57%) 3 Ever expanding duties (52%) Proving ROI (54%) 4 Balancing priorities (49%) Limited staffing or headcount (52%) 5 Measuring impact of comms (49%) Measuring impact of comms (51%) 6 Proving ROI (48%) Balancing priorities (44%) 7 Gaining executive buy-in (45%) Gaining executive buy-in (40%)
  18. 18. Hiring and firing agencies
  19. 19. Execution (extra pair of hands) Transactional or short-term project help Strategic projects (i.e. launches) Niche or vertical expertise Outside objectivity and advice Planning and strategy Monitoring and measurement Existing relationships and connections Better cost-to-value vs. headcount Geographic reach or scale N = 223 The top three answers this year are nearly identical to the results last year. When corporate communicators hire an outside agency, it’s most often because they need an extra pair of hands or special expertise to solve a problem.
  20. 20. Inability to execute on big or creative ideas Inability to tie programs to business strategy Too traditional in approach Weak digital skills Leadership turnover (i.e. new CMO) High agency staff turnover Lack of accountability Slipping enthusiasm Cost Required too much “hand holding” Cannot demonstrate ROI Poor client service To take more work in-house Stopped bringing new or creative ideas Cost Required too much “hand holding” Cannot demonstrate ROI Poor client service To take more work in-house Leadership turnover (i.e. new CMO) Stopped bringing new or creative ideas High agency staff turnover Slipping enthusiasm Cost Required too much “hand holding” Cannot demonstrate ROI Poor client service To take more work in-house Stopped bringing new or creative ideas N = 223 Budget is the top challenge, so the cost of an agency will be a contributed factor.
  21. 21. N = 223 PR taking more work in-house is a reflection of broader trends in marketing that have been underway for the last few years.
  22. 22. Hiring, firing and taking PR work in-house Taking more work in-house has been a significant trend in marketing, particularly around media buying and creative services the last few years. It appears, PR and communications are following suit and it’s a reflection of broader trends. For example, in 2018, consumer packaged goods (CPG) company Proctor & Gamble (P&G) was one of the more vocal proponents of taking marketing work in-house. According to reporting by PR Week, in February 2019, the largest independent PR firm, Edelman, cited the in-house trend among CPG brands as a cause after reporting disappointing earnings for the year ending 2018. If the in-house trend continues to develop in PR, the agencies that will be best positioned to grow are those that execute well or maintain some specialized capabilities. According to respondents, the top reasons for hiring an agency are: execution (64%), niche or vertical expertise (58%), strategic projects (38%), transactional or short-term help (38%), and planning and strategy (37%). Understanding why agencies get fired is just as important as why they get hired. Again this year, cost (81%) was by far the biggest reason for letting an agency go. Rounding out the top five reasons included poor client service (47%), inability to measure ROI (41%), too much “hand-holding” (32%) and – new to the survey this year – taking PR work in-house (30%). The sentiment in open-ended comments provides color around the data. Here’s a sample of what respondents wrote in: • “Inability to grasp what the organization really needs -- instead, trying to disguise a cookie-cutter approach.” • “Young account leads with little experience.” • “Too slow or suggests stupid ideas just to make money off of me or bills creep up over time. I once asked for help in an emergency and the agency I was using ($1M a year) wanted to charge me $800 for a poster. Their contract came up at the end of the year and I didn't even consider them. They had an opportunity to help me and they took advantage. Bye Bye.”
  23. 23. The most and least favorable PR tactics, techniques and procedures
  24. 24. The next few pages are busy but they are also packed with information. If you look closely, you can see which areas your peers are most deserving of time and budget. Here’s the key to interpreting the data:
  25. 25. 76% 75% 70% 66% 64% 59% 63% 52% 56% 52% 0% think measurement will be less important 41% 40% 46% 36% 33% 34% 29% 26% 23% 22% Chart 1 of 3 on tactics These tactics are more important. Including “infographics” on the next chart there are 11 aspects of communications that 50% or more of respondents think will be “more important” or “much more important.” N = 223
  26. 26. Business social responsibility / philanthropy 1st party events (i.e. customer conferences) Analyst relations (i.e. Gartner) Native advertising and sponsored content Executive speaking opportunities 48%45% 53% 45% 41% 40% 35% 37% 45% 53% 42% 50% 29%55% 27%60% 59% 24% 53% 28% These tactics have about the same importance. From brand journalism through the bottom of the list of 26, you see 50% or more say these aspects will have the same importance over the next year. N = 223 Chart 2 of 3 on tactics
  27. 27. 53% 66% 56% 28% 31%41% 52%33% 53%31% 36% 36% 15% 15% 13% 19% 14% 26% 21% Chart 3 of 3 on tactics N = 223 The venerable press release is at the bottom of the list again this year.
  28. 28. Note: These are sorted by the weighted average. We removed “not applicable” answers for the ranking, though N value for each tactic is available under the “total” column. Generally this meant 15 (median) or fewer answers, and for functions that sometimes fall outside of the communications role in a given organization. For example, 60 respondents marked analyst relations as not applicable, which was the most, followed by first party events (42) and native advertising (41). Details on tactics
  29. 29. Storytelling, analytics and thought leadership The survey this year presented 26 tactics to survey takers (up from 20 last year) and ask them to rank each one on a five-point scale. Though it’s not a tactic per se, measurement is important to improve the overall communication effort and it’s an example of a new entry on the list this year. Among the top five that respondents identified as “more important” or “much more important” included: • Storytelling (76%) • Data & analytics (75%) • Thought leadership (70%) • Measurement (66%) • Content marketing (64%) These tactics are all complementary and perhaps interrelated. They also fall well within the PR bailiwick. These selections are consistent with the same survey last year, where storytelling, thought leadership and content marketing ranked as the top three. While no single tactic earned 50% or more of the votes for “less important” or “much less important” the three that were listed at the bottom were the same three as last year: press releases (33%), award programs (31%) and white papers (36%).
  30. 30. Media relations and influencer marketing
  31. 31. N = 223 68% of respondents said media relations is getting harder or much harder.
  32. 32. “In-your-face-journalism” affecting media relations A majority (68%) of PR professionals say media relations is getting harder or much harder. This is up from last year where 51% said it was getting harder. The caveat is this year we listed possible answers on a five-point scale, whereas last year it was three. It’s conceivable if this survey had listed the answers the same way as last year, more respondents would have selected “about the same” but we don’t think that’s likely. This is because the open-ended comments around this question overwhelmingly said media relations was overwhelmingly more difficult and cite hard hitting reasons why. Just one comment came from a person who said it was easier (“Anyone can become an influencer these days so there are more options for gaining coverage.”). Some of the verbatim comments included: • “It's harder to know who is media and who isn't. And there used to be rules of engagement - behavior, fairness. Now, it's say whatever you want about whomever you want.” • “Traditional media with professional reporters is quickly disappearing, and being replaced with blog influencers which need completely different approaches.” • “Fragmentation of media leads to challenges of measurement and dilution of impact of ‘3rd party endorsement.’ We may celebrate a big media hit, but C-suite asks, ‘What's this do for my business?’ That reflects weak correlation to business results, perception of media relations being a waste of resources.” • “Journalists are increasingly strident toward, instead of partnering with, PR professionals. It's virtually impossible to have an actual conversation with a writer. Social media has fragmented the landscape and ‘citizen journalists’ and ‘influencers’ are muddying the pay-to-play picture on top of it all.” • “Journalists are no longer objective, they are much more subjective and if you do not fall within their lane or their bias, they are not interested and you are left by the wayside. The days of objectivity are gone and the days of combative, aggressive, argumentative ‘in your face’ journalism has taken its place.” • “Presidential administration and turmoil dominate news cycle.”
  33. 33. N = 223 “Because it's all pay-to-play. And many influencers do not operate at the same level with the same standards as conventional media.” (Verbatim comment).
  34. 34. With influencers the difference is standards and money The survey received 47 comments about the difference between media relations and influencer marketing. Many of them pointed to money and standards as the reason behind their answer. Here is a representative sample of the viewpoints explaining the difference: • “Although hits sometimes occur on mainstream media outlets via influencer marketing, by dint of its name this is a type of ‘paid’ promotion whereas media relations is still likely thought of as ‘earned.’ Although you do pay firms and individuals to ‘earn’ the coverage, this is where the money flow stops.” • “Good media relations is relationship based and earned. No $ changes hands. Influencer marketing is purchased.” • “Influencer ‘marketing’ is paid – influencer communications is organic, and doesn't usually involve gatekeeper or editors. There’s a need to clearly make the influencer mutually accountable – so the two sides both benefit. Influencer marketing is a transaction – pay to play.” • “Influencer marketing is riskier.” • “Influencers aren't reporters. Most of them expect to be paid by us. There are more of them than there are reporters. And, they're even less accountable if you're not paying them.” • “Influencers don't have to pretend to be neutral. Allies and advocates, not just friends with pen-efits.” • “Let's not Kardashian this too.” • “While still based on developing relationships, influencer marketing – at least in my experience – tends to be more transactional in nature.”
  35. 35. Social media use in PR
  36. 36. N = 223
  37. 37. For now, social media is still worthwhile PR and communications professions still see value in social media, for now. We did not ask about individual platforms – though if we did we suspect we’d see varying levels of enthusiasm as brand visibility diminishes. On the whole, social media still seems worthwhile. Some of the comments we received around this question places this in context: • “That is how much of our audience gets their news.” • “Still helpful when building a network – but harder than ever to do so organically. Depends on the nature of the industry and your place in it.” • “To the degree that social platforms have made it difficult to be organic, you can argue the answer is ‘no.’ But if your brand has an iconic status, people find you, hence making organic social media a centerpiece in your social strategy.” • “If you are not part of the conversation or monitoring what people or competitors say about you, you are missing out.” • “Social media platforms, specifically Facebook, are making it harder and harder for customers to see your organic posts.”
  38. 38. Communications measurement
  39. 39. We kind of, sort of, measure stuff This is cause for concern. Communications costs money and at some point, someone is going to want to know the value for the spend. N = 223
  40. 40. Estimated site traffic (i.e. Similar Web) Number of 3rd party mentions or placements These represent the top 10 measurement techniques – each with 30% or more of the votes. There is more detail on the next page. N = 221
  41. 41. These choices here represent the gap in measurement for many organizations. It’s really hard to tie the impact of communications to a change in behavior like sales. It takes time and has to be set up in advance.
  42. 42. 29% or about one-third think their organizations do a pretty good job of communications measurement. 46% believe their organization has work to do on measurement. N = 223
  43. 43. Correlation is not causation Almost half of the respondents (48%) say they have measurement programs in place. That an additional 41% “sort of” measure is understandable given the effects of communications – tying efforts to a direct result like a sale, vote or behavior change is hard. – is notoriously difficult to measure As one respondent wrote in to say, “Ours is a business where business usually comes in via referrals or business development efforts. PR is the ‘icing on the cake’ but no PR on its own is going to convince a client to ask us to build a $100 million project.” Add to the mix that different organizations value aspects of PR differently. You can always do more, so gather metrics and anecdotes methodically, put a framework around linking objectives, efforts and outcomes – and continuously strive to refine and improve the measurement process. Here are some of the verbatim comments we received around measurement: • “Impossible to draw a solid connection between our outcomes and business outcomes. We can only show alignment.” • “They [measures] seem flimsy and not always well connected to the business.” • “We measure the basic things, website traffic, intranet traffic, engagement – but we don't really do deeper dives which could be beneficial, but are also more costly in some ways.” • “We try to ‘bake’ the measurement into the plan – but clients are resistant to paying for it – probably because they are afraid of being proven wrong. For our agency, we are very small and judge success by wins.” • “People within organizations have their own agendas and this translates into what gets measured and how. Determining the value of these focal points to the organization is sometimes suspect.” • “There's a lot of competing info about what the right measures are. There are also so many more channels that developing the right analytics set can be challenging.”
  44. 44. Communications budgets
  45. 45. N = 223 Earlier we saw that budget was the top challenge and that isn’t likely to change. While about one-fifth (18%) anticipate their budgets growing, about one-third (29%) say they will shrink. However, most expect their budgets to remain flat.
  46. 46. Who does PR and communications report to?
  47. 47. Human Resources Go peeps! Legal / General Counsel Communicators are more likely to report to the CEO than the CMO. “No comment.” N = 223
  48. 48. A variety of reporting structures Where communications reports to the CEO, chances are it is a strategic business function, whereas those that report to marketing are likely to fulfill a marcom role. One isn’t necessarily better than the other because every organization chooses what works best for their needs. However, who communications reports to will have an effect on strategies, tactics and measurement. For example, a CEO’s communications metrics will be different than a CMO’s metrics. CEOs worry about employees, investors and boards of directors, where many CMOs are focused on brand awareness, leads and sales. No single reporting structure earned a majority of the votes. This demonstrates the wide variety of ways organizations integrate communications and PR into the structure. Some of the comments (47) we received around reporting included: • “We report to the corporate VP for communications who reports to the CEO.” • “I report to a Dean, because I work in higher ed, but we'll call her the CEO.” • “CIO [chief information officer].” • “Chief of staff.” • “Superintendent/School Board.” • “I am the Chief Communications Officer with a team of 15. I report directly to the president.” • “The Corp comms function reports to marketing, but I am embedded in HR, report to HR and am funded by HR.
  49. 49. State of employment in PR and communications
  50. 50. Employed full-time and NOT looking Employed full-time but open to new opportunities Employed part-time and NOT looking Employed part-time but open to new opportunities In between gigs and looking for work In between gigs and NOT looking for work I’m retired. But I like Ned and the JOTW Despite the tight labor market, there seems to be plenty of communications talent willing and able to change jobs. N = 223
  51. 51. The vendor landscape: which vendors are familiar and favorable
  52. 52. N = 218 It’s a little surprising to see awareness of some of these vendors is so low. Awareness is one objective PR solves very well, so it might be a good idea to pump up the communications budget. Also, if you aren’t aware of these vendors, it’s a good idea to set up some demos and see what technology can do and how it has changed.
  53. 53. Cision owns four of the brands on this list. The company recently acquired Trendkite for $225 million. Others included: EurekAlert, Factiva, Nasdaq IR Insight, Mention, Talkwalker, and TargetSmart.
  54. 54. In their own words: How would you explain what you do for a living in simple terms?
  55. 55. N = 177
  56. 56. How communicators describe what they do in their own words Here is a representative sample of the answers we received. • “Make sure that employees, customers and the market understand our company, its services and goals.” • “I help our executives and sales leaders convince their audience why they should trust our firm to manage their assets.” • “I make complicated things sound simple so people can understand them.” • “I advocate on behalf of people with chronic conditions.” • “I say that it's my job to discover stories and try to convince journalists to cover them for their outlets.” • “I communicate with the public to enhance awareness about important issues, news campaigns, research and reports, by writing key messages to communicate information effectively and consistently, both externally to press, partners and influencers, to help spread the message and reach a wide audience, and internally with all colleagues for their communications.” • “I help organizations and individuals improve their communication skills and activities and measure the results.” • “I make sure our communications to employees are clear and that employees know what they need to know or do.” • “I build mutually beneficial relationships with people and organizations that help us do our job, and explain our organization's actions and plans to the public.” • “Communication strategy that aligns organizations with targeted public to position products and services to attain goals and objectives.” • “I would explain the new Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned model and spend more time explaining earned media and how those relationships generate coverage - hopefully.” • “I help our leaders talk to our employees about our company by sharing stories about what we are doing, what's changing in our business and where are headed, by recognizing employees and celebrating our successes.”
  57. 57. Demographics
  58. 58. I’m a freelancer, baby! Booya! I’m an independent consultant. I don’t use the word “freelancer.” The majority of respondents are in-house communicators. About one-fifth (22%) of respondents have their own businesses, whether or not they consider themselves a freelancer or a consultant. N = 223
  59. 59. Business to government (B2G) Government (including federal, state and local) Those that selected “other” cited higher education, trade associations, or some combination of B2B and B2C, for example. N = 223
  60. 60. 11-20 (I walked to school uphill when I was a kid.) 20+ years (I walked to school uphill when I was a kid too... and it was uphill both ways!) This is a very senior group of professionals. 90% report having 10 or more years of experience. N = 223
  61. 61. 97% of respondents are employed in the U.S. N = 223
  62. 62. Survey methodology The survey was a joint effort between Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW) and Sword and the Script Media, LLC. Subscribers to the JOTW, a weekly newsletter and online community of communications professionals, were solicited to take the survey. Respondents were asked to take the online survey through mentions in the weekly newsletter, dedicated email requests and on social media. In total 223 respondents took the survey online from Friday, January 11, 2019 until Friday, February 9, 2019. 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 2019 edition of the JOTW Communications Survey marks the second year this survey has been conducted.
  63. 63. Still here? Subscribe to the JOTW by sending an email to lundquist989@cs.com
  64. 64. “Effective communication is complicated: Just because a message is sent doesn’t mean it’s been received. Just because it’s been received doesn’t mean it’s been understood. Just because it’s been understood doesn’t mean it will affect behavior. Just because it affects behavior doesn’t mean it will affect it in the manner in which we had hoped.” Sword and the Script Media, LLC www.swordandthescript.com
  65. 65. Good reading • The 2018 JOTW Communications Survey • Is Media Relations Getting Harder? • 38 Things PR Professionals Wish they Could Get Senior Management to Understand about Corporate Communications • New Study: Should Brands Take a Public Stand on Politics? • 7 Media Statistics from an Annual Survey of Reporters that Gives PR a Glimpse of their Mindset • PR and Content Marketing Insights from the Edelman Trust Barometer • This is How the Sorry State of Media Relations Ends • Amid the Rapid Pace of Change, These 5 Fundamentals of PR are Still Essential • 3 Creative Ways Public Relations can Partner with Human Resources and Recruiting to Attract Talent • 5 Proven Ways PR can Develop Client Media References in B2B Organizations • Prerequisite to Magic: 6 Ways to Get More from Analyst Relations • Dispelling 6 Myths PR Sometimes has about Content Marketing • How Long Should a Blog Post be in 2019? [And Other Key Blogging Statistics You Should Know] • A CMO Survey Shows Us How Classic 4Ps of Marketing Are Changing

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