This week I attended the PRCA Digital PR Report Launch where key statistics surrounding the effects of digital in PR were revealed from a survey of 228 in-house and agency PR professionals. Being the chairperson of the PRCA for the South East and East Anglia regions, as well being the MD of my own agency, the report – produced in partnership with The Holmes Report and YouGov – bore some positive and reassuring findings. Here are my thoughts on the most pertinent statistics unveiled:
62% of organisations have seen digital budgets rise over the past 12 months
This is a positive sign, clearly necessary in the digital boom and I expect it will only rise over the next few years. Despite budgets rising, most PR agencies are only taking 11%-20% of their revenues from digital and social. However I foresee this percentage rising as reputation management continues to move online and this is proven through the 16% growth in demand for online reputation management services from PR agencies.
The main motivation for social media for 87% of companies is general marketing
This high statistic is worrying as social media is not only relevant for the purpose of general marketing. Customers expect engagement, collaboration and customer service through digital platforms and companies must see social media as an opportunity to become social and benefit from a different form of data. Although social media is an efficient form of marketing, organisations are not tapping into valuable information by utilising social media fully.
Image-based social platforms such as Instagram (72%) and Pinterest (63%) are expected to grow in campaign use
This does not surprise me as I anticipate a new generation of social networks to gain momentum, despite the big three (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) remaining ever present. One of the results of the digital boom is the growing consumer desire for quick to digest, instant engagement and image-based platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are perfect for this. With the lucrative and young Generation Y and Z markets utilising image-based social media platforms the most, this trend is only set to rise.
The report provided me with excellent food for thought and I will be using these statistics and anticipated trends to drive my agency goals.