PR and communications ‘taking ownership’ of digital – PRCA Digital PR Report

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Digital PR continues to grow and confidence in the ability to measure the impact of digital PR is at an all-time high, according to the PRCA new Digital PR and Communications report.

The research also reveals that communications teams are taking ownership of digital and social media activities, with 61% of PR teams claiming responsibility for their organisation’s digital PR.

The seventh annual Digital PR and Communications report, sponsored and produced in partnership with Ginger Research, reveals that 53% of digital and social media budgets have increased over the last 12 months, with 49% of respondents expecting budgets to increase further in the next 12 months. Only 2% say their budgets will decrease.

The report also lifts the lid barriers on the barriers preventing brands from expanding their social media presence.  When in-house teams were asked why their organisations did not have a larger social media presence, the most common responses are lack of staff (35%), lack of time (39%), lack of education (29%), and lack of budget (27%).

The research, which represents several sectors across agency and in-house, reveals that clients are using the majority of their budgets for video-based content (58%) and are seeking agency support for this service. Paid social media activity budgets are also equally high at 58%. 

Unsurprisingly, the most popular social media platforms amongst in-house brands are Twitter (90%) and Facebook (81%). In the last 12 months, Facebook’s popularity has increased by 9% and Twitter has dropped slightly by 4%. This is followed by LinkedIn (76%), YouTube (69%), and Instagram (63%). It’s a similar picture at agencies, however Twitter’s popularity has dropped from 91% to 85%. This is followed by LinkedIn at 84%, Facebook at 80%, Instagram at 67%, and YouTube at 50%.

At agencies, the most highly rated sources of social media education amongst agencies are expert blogs (47%), external training courses (45%), and conferences and events (45%). The areas in which brands need more education are social influencer outreach, video-based content, and digital crisis management. The data shows that agencies are looking for more education in augmented reality/virtual reality (32%), voice/search apps (25%), and chatbots (24%).

Danny Whatmough CMPRCA, Managing Director, Red Consultancy said: “Whatever your role in the industry, whether agency or in-house, and no matter to what extent you are using digital practices on a day-to-day basis, hopefully this report will be a useful way of untangling the trends we are currently seeing in the industry. Giving you comfort that you are on the right path or giving you some ideas as to areas that you might want to explore or develop.”

To read the full report, please click here.


Methodology: Ginger Research partnered with the PRCA to survey 408 agency and in-house PR professionals across business services, finance and banking, technology, telecoms, charities, NGOs, Government, and other sectors. In-house respondents include Directors of Marketing/Comms, Heads of Marketing/Comms, Head of Press/PR. Agency respondents include CEOs, Managing Directors, Partners, and Directors.

About the PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is a UK-based PR and communications membership body, operating in 66 countries around the world. Representing in excess of 30,000 people, the PRCA is the largest PR membership association in the world. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.