What will shape digital PR in the next year or even decade?

Talkwalker, an online and social data analytics software company, partnered with YouGov, a market research and data analytics firm, to gather insights into how PR and marketing communications pros worldwide define their roles, measure their success, work with influencers, and use the tools at their disposal today. The companies surveyed 3,700 respondents from 82 countries to create a detailed new report on the global state of digital PR, which can be downloaded here.

The report determined that PR professionals are now more ‘social’ than ever:

  • The top PR offerings are no longer media relations and press offices but rather social media management (77%), content marketing (77%), influencer marketing (67%) and link building for SEO (56%)
  • Despite a shift towards digital, PR professionals still report mainly on traditional media coverage and only 38% report on analytics from influencer campaigns
  • In the face of an abundance of data sources, PR practitioners globally are looking for a single source of truth that combines all their insights in one place
  • Budget constraints top list of challenges facing PR professionals in keeping up with new technology and software
  • PR professionals account for 33% of global social listening users – maximizing the potential of social listening tools to protect, measure, and promote brands
  • Traditionally technical fields such as SEO are now closely intertwined with digital PR

North America leads the charge for adoption of social listening and analytics. The region also ranks high in daily use of social listening tools compared to the global average. Another interesting regional finding is that PR pros in the US and Canada value the affordability of social listening tools more than the global average.

The benefits of social listening and analytics in PR are not fully utilized yet:

  • 48% of marcomms professionals use social listening and analytics tools
  • 80% of PR corporate positioning for senior executives globally is not driven by social media analytics
  • 15% of PR professionals globally use social listening tools for newsjacking – a huge missed opportunity
  • 52% of global marcomms professionals highlighted engagement as a key metric to prove the value of their work while only 17% consider share of voice as a key metric

PR influencer collaborations evolve with new social media platforms, features & metrics:

  • Influencer marketing is considered a PR offering across the world – particularly in the Americas and Southern Europe, with almost unanimous consensus in Italy (91%) and the US (87%)
  • The most common way PR pros engage with influencers for brand collaborations is through discounts or competitions & giveaways (49%) followed by attending events (41%) and affiliate marketing (30%)
  • B2C influencer campaigns are the most common globally, with PR pros in North America engaging the most with B2C influencers
  • To prove the ROI of their influencer collaborations, most global PR pros report on engagement rate (45%), potential reach (44%) and conversions to sales (37%)

 While there’s no shortage of challenges in the PR industry, they key to success is keeping up with industry trends, topics, and practices. The full report can be downloaded for a complete review of its insights into the evolution of PR in North America and the world.

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