Corporate PR budgets are up, measurement and evaluation are gaining budgetary backing, and measuring "outcomes" seems a better indicator of a PR firm's standing than tallying "outputs." These are some of the findings from the USC Annenberg Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center in its seventh Communication and Public Relations Generally Accepted Practices (GAP VII) study, issued every two years.
PR/Communication has growing corporate stature: "In nearly 60 percent of responding companies PR/COM reports directly to the 'C-Suite' (chairman, CEO, COO, etc.), reflecting today's increasingly transparent, communication-intensive environment. Measuring changes in attitudes and opinions (outcomes) rather than clippings (outputs) keeps gaining adherents."
And "Social media has become mainstream: Seventy percent of PR/Comm departments report budgetary responsibility for social media monitoring and 66 percent for social media participation," up 17 percent and 13 percent, respectively, from two years ago. Yet "PR/Comm departments appear to be mostly taking on increased social media responsibilities without additional budget." Facebook, Twitter, search engine optimization (SEO) and online videos are the "most widely used" corporate social media tools.
The USC Annenberg press release, if not the study (involving 620 senior communicators) itself, is a good place to index your own progress in the craft.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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