Журналисты, соцсети и технологии. На что  тратят время и деньги западные PR специалисты

Journalists, social networks and technologies. What do western PR managers spend their time and money on

Muck Rack, an international service for PR and media professionals, conducted a survey on the industry state in 2019. Our PR agency became interested in the survey results. Is there a big difference with Russian PR firms staff? 

The survey involved over 800 PR managers - employees of agencies, companies, non-profit organizations and independent specialists. They were asked to answer the following blocks of questions: 

- What do you spend your time on?

- What challenges do you face in your work?

- In what ways do you try to reach out to journalists?

- What role do social media play for you?

- What is the course of budget changes and what are public relations budgets spent on?

Technologies

Almost all PR managers (98%) use email, 87% - electronic documents, 58% - spreadsheets, and 34% - presentations on a daily basis. These tools turned out to be the most popular. It is understandable - in the modern world it is difficult to imagine the work of a PR manager without digital technologies.

Among the professional services, the electronic media base is the most popular (69% resort to it daily) as well as the news monitoring (53%). At the same time, 17% of respondents do not use specialized software at all and process the data manually.

A significant number of PR managers use special project management services, such as Trello and Basecamp. By the way, they are also quite popular in Russia. 

Western PR managers prefer to use Slack and Skype for communication, and Adobe and Canva line tools - for design creation. 

Challenges

Their main challenge PR managers called the difficulty of measuring the impact of PR activities on business indicators - 72% (many Russian colleagues will probably support this statement), the lack of quantitative measurements for work results (65%), searching and communicating with targeted journalists, and budget cuts (61%).

When asked how PR can increase its value for business, the majority of respondents (73%) answered - by covering the company’s activities in the media and interacting with journalists. 68% of PR managers believe that the measurable results of their work can help here. And 33% voted for internal communications as a tool to improve attitude to the PR service within the company. 

As for reporting, 54% of respondents regularly (at least once a week) send information on the company’s PR activity to the top management. 

Among the ways to quantify the PR effectiveness, traditional indicators were named - probably, here we are talking about the number of publications in the media (88%), social networks activity (80%), company website traffic (67%), and brand performance (45 %). Almost a third of the respondents pay attention to the sales level. 

Journalists

To reach out to a right journalist, PR managers prefer to use personal mail (98%), phone (41%) or Twitter (29%). 93% of PR managers subscribe to journalists in social networks. PR managers called Twitter the most popular social network for communicating with journalists. It is used for this purpose by 91% of respondents. It is also called the most strategically important for the company communication activity. At the same time, the journalists themselves almost unanimously (93%) stated that they would like to receive pitches only by email. 

Money

38% of respondents told that in the next year their budgets will remain the same, for 25% they will increase, and for 11 - they will be reduced. At the same time, for most managers, PR expenses amount is set out by the CEO (29%). As for where Western PR managers’ money go on, most of it goes to pay for agency services and purchase access to the media database. 

Well, foreign PR managers are very similar to Russian ones - the same problems and tasks. Our PR agency is readily available to support colleagues in resolving reputation issues in the Russian-speaking environment. 

Link to the full version of the survey: https://info.muckrack.com/state-of-pr

Natalia Anisimova, project manager, PR Formula
- PR for foreign brands in Russia