Home > PR > A quick look back at 18 PR statistics summarizing the profession in 2023

A quick look back at 18 PR statistics summarizing the profession in 2023

Pitching media remains a challenge; Twitter is still a journalist favorite; PR dabbled with generative AI as businesses worried about misinformation

Regular readers know I publish a weekly post every Tuesday. Many of the things I choose to write about are reports and surveys that give us a sense of what’s happening in the industry.

Sometimes I write a complete blog post on a report – and other times it’s just a blub. For example, on the first Tuesday of every month, I write a summary of all the news from the last 30 days coming out of the PR software vendors (aka PR tech sum). As part of that, I’ve started including a section on PR statistics when there’s enough work with.

At the end of the year, I go back through all my writings and pick out some of the statistics that stand out to me. I also link to the underlying source. If I wrote something substantive related to a statistic – I included a link to that too.

1. More comms teams report to the C-suite

Comms pros “are moving into the C-suite with nearly half (47%) now reporting to the CEO directly, a stark contrast from 2020, in which 57% reported communications was part of marketing,” according to a new survey Cision published with PRWeek.

2. Academics top CEOs as preferred sources

80% of journalists say “academic experts are the most credible sources, with CEOs dropping 12% in the last two years” according to a Muck Rack survey.

3. Corporate communications teams emphasized “repurchase”

“According to Cision data shared with Fast Company, ‘repurchase’ is among the most common keywords in this season’s earnings releases. here’s the top five: inflation (34%), interest rate (33%), repurchase (29%), supply chain (29%) and cybersecurity (9%).”

4. Here’s why B2B needs PR

55% of B2B tech decision-makers look to B2B news outlets for information first, but placements have value across the whole buying lifecycle.

Read more: PR ought to be in the B2B marketing mix because that’s where tech buyers look first

5. Press releases, abstracts and pitches – in that order

“The content journalists are most likely to use media releases (59%),” according to Burrelles. “Next is article abstracts or story pitches (13%), press kits (9%), contributed article by a subject matter expert (6%), and case studies (5%).”

6. Reporters favor pithy PR pitches

Short PR pitches – 150 words or less – had a better response rate (5.89%) than long pitches (1.46%) – 500 pitches or more, according to data analyzed by Propel.

Read more: Pithy PR Pitches Get a Better Response Rate Study Says

7. ChatGPT dominates online discussions  

ChatGPT has accounted for 25% of the generative AI conversations online over the first six months in 2023, according to Signal AI.

8. PR dabbles with generative AI

Despite reports everyone in PR is using generative AI – it’s simply not true. Not yet. Just 28% of 1,034 PR professionals surveyed by Muck Rack in March and April 2023 say they are using generative AI. Another 33% say they “plan to explore it” although the timeline for such exploration was not clear in the survey results. That cohort certainly shouldn’t be counted as among those who are using AI, although it has been. Finally, about 40% either have no plans to use it, or simply aren’t sure.

Read more: What does generative AI use in PR look like? [PR Tech Sum No. 45]

Just 28% of 1,034 PR professionals surveyed by Muck Rack in March and April 2023 say they are using generative AI (gAI).

9. How PR is using generative AI

Among the 28% that are using generative AI in the same survey as above, the survey found:

  • 57% are crafting pitches;
  • 48% are writing copy for social media;
  • 48% are writing press releases;
  • 44% are using it for research; and
  • 25% say they are using it for strategy and planning.

10. PR has a lot more to learn about AI

Just 12% of survey respondents say they were “very knowledgeable” about AI and its capacity to support PR, according to a survey by PR Week and sponsored by Notified.

11. Businesses worry about AI-generated misinformation

Most  67% “of business decision makers worry about their company falling victim to fake news or misinformation,” according to a survey by the research firm Danebury. PR software provider Vuelio commissioned the survey.

12. To win over journalists, PR needs to understand their audience

A survey of 3,000+ journalists found 75% say the top action any PR person can take is to understand a reporter’s target audience and what they find relevant; journalism statistics show reporters worry about accuracy, credibility and keeping pace amid more work and fewer resources.

Read more: 7 media relations takeaways from the 2023 State of the Media Report by Cision

13. Twitter is still a reporter-favorite

A survey of ~2,000 journalists by Muck Rack found that 78% of reporters say Twitter is the most valuable network; 7 in 10 journalists still use Twitter to find sources; 59% of journalists check a company’s social media site when reporting

Read more: 5-point memo to PR about Twitter from a survey of 2,000 journalist

14. Multimedia drives 6x press release engagement 

Data from announcements sent out over PR Newswire “shows that press releases that include multimedia elements get up to six times more engagement than press releases with text alone.” Source: 2023 State of the Media Report by Cision.

15. PR pitches and reporters’ response rates 

In Q2 2023, journalists opened an average of 49% of the pitches they received and responded to an average of 3%, according to the Propel Q3 2023 Media Barometer.

16. PR works long work hours 

Some “57% of PR pros work more than 40 hours a week and nearly 80% work after hours at least once a week,” according to the State of PR and Journalism Salaries 2023 by Muck Rack.

17. PR tracks an average of 8 metrics

On average, PR pros track eight metrics, the most common of which is counting placements, according to a survey by Muck Rack. Roughly half of respondents (47%) say they spend at least 25% of their time on PR measurement, the survey found.

18. Budgets look better for 2024

Marketing (42%) and marcom (49%) leaders are more optimistic about the potential increase in their 2024 budgets, finds a survey by Muck Rack.

* * *

Was there a statistic that stood out to you this year? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Separately, I’m always looking for reports to write about. Here’s what you need to know to earn coverage here.

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