Communications Pros Struggle With Tightening Budgets, Measurement

February 13, 2020

PRWeek Single Biggest Communications Challenge Feb2020One in 5 (21%) global communications and marketing professionals say that their single biggest communications challenge is tightening budgets. But working within a tighter budget is not the only challenge these professionals face, as revealed in a survey [download page] from PRWeek and Cision.

Some 20% share of the more than 500 agency and in-house communications and marketing professionals surveyed say that the inability to measure the impact of their communications efforts effectively is their single biggest challenge. Among US respondents, not being able to measure impact effectively was the top challenge (27% share), and it was also within the top-3 responses for 65% of the US communications professionals surveyed.

Tightening budgets and the inability to measure impact effectively were also the top challenges in 2018, although these challenges seem to have grown. Tightening budgets rose from being in the top-3 challenges for 51% of communications and marketing professionals in 2018, to 57% by the end of 2019. Similarly, the inability to measure impact effectively was one of the top 3 responses in 2019 for 54% of respondents, up from 50% in 2018.

When it comes to challenges in PR measurement, the most difficult, according to 30% share of respondents, is aligning metrics to revenue or vital business KPIs. Additionally, around 1 in 5 (22%) communications professionals find converting data into actionable insights the most difficult challenge. This is particularly important, as past research has found that company leaders are often using data and analytics as part of their decision-making process.

Communications professionals also report there is room for improvement in their current earned media analytics capabilities. Three in 5 (61%) say that while they can identify the business impact of specific outlets where they’ve received coverage to some extent, they could do much better. More than half (56%) said the same about their ability to measure their brand’s share of voice compared to their competition.

You can download the full report here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 527 agency and in-house senior-level professionals from the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Sweden and China (including Hong Kong). The survey was fielded between July 11 and August 12, 2019.

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