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13 Public Relations Statistics Summarizing 2021

88% of PR pros say creativity is critical for businesses to recover from the pandemic – and other public relations statistics summarizing 2021 

Every year this blog pours over dozens of public relations surveys and breaks down the findings. At the year’s end, we go back through all of the PR statistics for a year-end roundup piece.

The exercise is a useful reflection on what’s transpired during the year, and perhaps, gives us an azimuth for the next one.

In years past we’ve combined the PR and marketing statistics into a single post. However, this year we’ve separated them into two pieces. The price summarizing marketing statistics for 2021 was published earlier in the week.

1. PR is more valued in the wake of the pandemic.

Following a tumultuous year, 80% of PR and comms professionals say organizations place a greater value on comms, according to the 2021 JOTW Strategic Communications Survey

When asked about specific functions, respondents overwhelmingly said employee communications (93%) grew in importance compared to pre-pandemic times. More than half (64%) of respondents anticipate their organizations will adopt a hybrid work environment.

Read the whole post: Wake of the Pandemic: Businesses Value the Role of PR and Communications More than Ever [Survey]

2. Comms departments have stronger business relationships.

The Coronavirus pandemic has left communications teams with more work but also stronger business relationships. That’s according to a survey of 750 communicators tallied up in the 2021 Communications Benchmark Report by Ragan Communications.

When asked how COVID-19 affected the communications department, nearly 8 in ten (79%) respondents said they felt an increased workload. Additionally, 42% said the comms shop had strengthened relationships with other departments – and about a quarter (26%) said they gained a seat at the strategic table and one in five (21%) said they had better access to the CEO.

Read the whole post: Changing Relations with Business and Media: Summaries to 3 Studies for Communicators

3. The 10 top communications challenges facing PR.

Communicators faced a plethora of challenges and “too many priorities” tops the list:

  • 40% said too many priorities
  • 37% said cutting through the noise
  • 36% said leaders don’t understand comms
  • 35% said ever-expanding duties (i.e. social media, content, etc.)
  • 29% said not enough staffing
  • 26% said not enough budget
  • 24% said scope creep
  • 23% said measurement / ROI
  • 12% said executive buy-in
  • 11% said lack of alignment with marketing

Read the whole post: Too Many Priorities: The 10 Top Communications Challenges Facing PR in 2021

4. The media relations struggle is real.

Some 60% of respondents say media relations is harder or much harder compared to last year – while about one-third (35%) say it’s about the same.

That’s according to the 2021 JOTW Communications Survey, which polled 300 communications professionals. These are veteran communicators too – about 88% of respondents have 11 or more years of experience as a professional communicator.

Read the whole post: The Media Relations Struggle is Real; Experts Describe What it May Mean for PR

5. Reporters receive hundreds of pitches.

The State of the Media survey by Cision, which surveyed 2,700 journalists, found, “More than 1 in 4 journalists (28%) receive over 100 pitches per week with most ending up in the virtual trash due to irrelevance. And, contrary to popular belief, a sizeable percentage say they like receiving pitches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

Read the whole post: Another Acquisition and More Podcast Monitoring Tools [PR Tech Sum]

6. Reporters respond to just 3% of pitches.

Propel analyzed 700,000 pitches and “found that journalists respond to roughly 3.27% of the pitches they receive. This means that, on average, it takes about 31 media pitches to any range of journalist contacts to get a response to any one of the pitches you send to them.

Read the whole post: LexisNexis Launches White Label Press Release Service [PR Tech Sum]

7. Top-tier pubs are more likely to read pitches.

An analysis of 650,000 pitches by Propel finds ForbesBusiness Insider and The Wall Street Journal are the most pitched publication in the U.S. However, the WSJ opens email pitches about 80% of the time, while the Business Insider opens about 60% of the pitches. It appears Forbes opens even fewer.

Read the whole post: One IPO, One M&A and the Best Media Monitoring Solutions for 2021 [PR Tech Sum]

8. Be clear, not cute with subject lines.

The “top 0.3% best-performing subject lines – the ones that saw an open rate above 90%. Unsurprisingly, the most common word used in these stellar subject lines was ‘now.” Runners up included ‘embargo,’ ‘release’ and ‘launch,’” according to data from Muck Rack.

Read the whole post: Voice Interface for Public Relations? Meltwater Wants to Build its Own Siri [PR Tech Sum]

9. Reporters check company social sites when reporting.

When reporting on a company, 86% of reporters say they consult the company’s social media channels at least some of the time. Further 58% “usually” or “always” check those sites in the course of developing coverage.

Read the whole post: How 2,400 Journalists Use Social Media for Reporting [And Why PR Should Get Serious about Social]

10. Does PR think sponsored content is credible?

Credibility – that is third-party validation – has been the media relations value proposition forever. Can sponsored content be credible?  Yes, at least some of the time, according to 62% of respondents.

When asked “Why?” many of the answers written in boiled down to this:

“It depends on who is sponsoring the content, and who is creating it. The audience makes the determination if either is credible.”

In other words, who matters as much as what and where.

Read the whole post: Why PR Needs to Get Over its Strong Aversion to Sponsored Content

11. PR places a premium on creativity in Covid era

Nearly nine in 10 (88%) to the Creativity in PR study “believe creativity will be either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important to business recovery post-Covid.” The study, the seventh annual, is based on a poll of “more than 300 agency and in-house executives from across the world.”

Nearly 70% of respondents said creativity is a higher priority in the era of Covid. Among agencies, “92% of agencies say that client expectations of creativity have risen since the onset of the pandemic.”

FleishmanHillard Executive Creative Director Dan Margulis had a rather perceptive quote on the findings:

“Creativity has always been the way out of crisis…Crisis forced us to act but also freed us to evolve. We didn’t get here through convention. We have creativity to thank for getting us through.”

Read the whole post: PR Placing a Premium on Creativity; Findings from 5 Studies in Public Relations

12. Reputation tops margin in business decisions.

“85% of business leaders and decision-makers say that reputation is a higher priority than margin when making decisions,” according to a survey by Signal AI.

Read the whole post: PR Tech Recommends Reporters You Should Pitch [PR Tech Sum]

13. The average cost of a press release.

Press release pricing ranges from about $400 to $2,000 dollars depending on the distribution vendor and options.

Read the whole post: How Much Does Press Release Distribution Cost? [and other FAQs]

* * *

Look for the annual predictions post to run next week as we close out the year.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
Priorities of B2B Marketing: Owned, Shared, Earned, Paid – in that Order

Image credit: Unsplash

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