Cision released a study, in partnership with PRWeek, that examines the biggest challenges facing comms professionals today, including the inability to measure the impact of comms programs and PR coverage on business objectives.

According to a Cision release, measurement is “no longer just about the potential reach of an article or guessing equivalent ad value – it’s about embracing digital measurement to prove real business impact similar to their colleagues who run paid and owned channels. With tightening budgets, comms professionals must embrace advancements in data and technology to measure the performance of their campaigns effectively and understand impact on bottom line, such as the ability to facilitate e-commerce conversion or contribution to lead-gen programs.

“”To those that appreciate great storytelling, the value of comms is something they’re able to understand anecdotally,” says Chris Lynch, CMO of Cision. “But that’s just the issue: Even to those that appreciate it, comms is not directly tied back to key business objectives like the rest of marketing. This survey clearly demonstrates that comms pros know they struggle to attribute value back to the business and that they need technology and measurement to help achieve that goal.”

“Key survey results include:

“Inability to measure impact effectively named top challenge:

  • 75 percent of respondents believe aligning metrics to the bottom line impact is among the biggest challenges when measuring communications
  • 69 percent of respondents don’t feel that they have enough data and analytics to properly attribute how their earned media programs impact the bottom line
  • 71 percent of respondents don’t feel they are fully capitalizing on all the benefits of technology and data

“Content deemed one of the most important PR activities, but its true impact remains unknown:

  • 66 percent of respondents placed content creation among the three most important comms activities
  • 86 percent of respondents believe sustained, ongoing content programs drive better results than episodic or one-off campaigns
  • 58 percent of respondents don’t know what people actually do after they consume the brand’s content
  • 72 percent of respondents see room for improvement in leveraging tools to better understand the demographic, sociographic and psychographic profiles of those who view their content

“Facebook voted most influential social platform:

  • 44 percent of respondents see social media as the most effective form of content to influence consumer and customer behavior
  • 44 percent of respondents named Facebook as their social media platform of choice, followed by Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, respectively
  • 59 percent of respondents believe everyday consumers (such as family and friends) are among the most influential on consumer and customer behavior

‘”We’re hearing comms pros and their need for new technology and reporting to help with measurement, and we’re responding,” added Lynch. “With the launch of Cision Impact just last week, comms pros are now empowered with technology and data to understand the exact audience that consumed their earned content and tie it back to key business objectives, such as conversion. This will help them improve the quality of their campaigns and receive a greater share of budget.”

“About the 2017 Global Comms Report: Challenges and Trends

“The results above reflect responses from 425 communications and marketing professionals – including representatives from PR agencies, “in-house roles and consultants – from around the world, including North America (U.S. and Canada), Europe (UK, France, Germany, Sweden) and Asia (China).”

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