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What’s New and Next for Comms and PR?
Highlights from PR Week and Cision’s 2021 Global Comms Report
You can also listen to a recap of the report on the Pitchin’ and Sippin’ Podcast here.
In 2017, inspired by the continuing evolution in how PR is both practiced and perceived, Cision and PR Week joined forces on an initiative to clearly identify and more deeply understand communicators’ use of and interaction with technology, data, measurement, content, and influencers. The report is now in its fifth year, and many observations from this year’s report underscore the impact COVID-19 has had — and will continue having — on the industry and the practice of communications.
There are many sections to this report, but THEPRBAR has decided to specifically highlight 3 key sections that encompass the wide breadth of the report.
- Channel Choices – shifts pertaining to the social media channels being prioritized by brands.
- People of Persuasion – an overview of who has the most sway over how consumers think about products, and ultimately decide to spend their money. The report reveals data on the most persuasive influencers, and, in turn, strongest partners with whom brands should work.
- Platforms of Persuasion – from brand websites to blog posts, what types of content brands most rely on to influence consumer behavior and spending.
We will also sprinkle in a few other findings that we found noteworthy from the report.
Traditional Media vs New Media:
In recent years, much focus has been placed on whether comms pros should prioritize their outreach to traditional media or newer outlets (bloggers, social media influencers, etc.) The report collected survey data by country to see what they would answer in an either-or scenario.
Specifically, the numbers below reflect how many respondents chose to prioritize traditional journalists and media over newer outlets:
- U.S. – 73%
- Canada – 53%
- UK – 59%
- China – 53%
- Globally – 64%
To reiterate, if you’re in the US, 73% of people are still focusing on targeting traditional media and journalists over new outlets such as bloggers and influencers – take note!
“New social media channels always elicit immediate excitement However, when brands decide which platforms to prioritize with their content, the same ones still rule the roost. That said, this year’s data reveals a notable shift among the top four channels.”
If you see the physical report, there are a ton of numbers listed as it evaluates 8 countries across 10 social platforms (see above). Here are the nutshell basics of what’s important to know: Facebook is by far the most prioritized content platform globally and in each country, except Sweden, whose respondents placed Instagram among their top four choices the most. When each country is viewed individually, certain platforms stand out amongst the rest.
YouTube is notably popular among Canadian respondents. TikTok Is very popular in both China and Germany. As for the U.S, the disparity between the top five platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube) and the bottom five (TikTok, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, and WhatsApp) is far greater than it is in any other country.
Focusing on the US specifically, the following percentages reflect how many respondents placed that given platform among their top four choices.
- Facebook – 85%
- Instagram – 72%
- LinkedIn and Twitter – 71%
- YouTube – 69%
- TikTok – 14%
When it comes to deciding where you put your effort or your client’s efforts, we encourage you to reflect upon where your people or your ideal audience are “hanging out”. THAT’S where you should show up.
People of Persuasion:
“A part of facilitating consumer behavior is understanding who has the most influence over how they think about products and, ultimately, decide to spend their money on them.” In this section, the report indicates who respondents deem to be the most persuasive influencers and, as such, strong partners to work with.
First up, global metrics. The following percentages reflect how many respondents placed that influencer among their top four:
- Everyday Consumers – 71%
- Mainstream Journalists – 68%
- Employees – 56%
- Bloggers – 55%
- Celebrities – 53%
- Corporate Executives – 53%
- Micro-influencers – 45%
“Everyday Consumers” come in with the highest percentage and mainstream media coming in a close second.
Here are the metrics for the United States:
- Mainstream Journalists – 80%
- Everyday Consumers – 69%
- Micro-influencers – 58%
- Employees – 52%
- Bloggers – 52%
- Corporate Execs and Celebrities – 45%
MICRO influencers in the US have more influence than celebrities – worth noting when thinking about your 2022 PR strategies.
Platforms of Persuasion:
When reviewing the different “Platforms of Persuasion”, first off, let’s review the 8 different types of content that have the most influence on consumers.
The 8 content types are:
- Online Feature
- Brand Website
- Brand Video
- Social Media Post
- Broadcast Feature
- Print Feature
- Blog Post
Globally, an Online Feature has the most persuasion power coming in at 66%. Brand Website ranked second at 55%. Tied for third at 53% was Brand Video and Social Media Posts. Next, Broadcast Features were reported at 50%, and Ads at 48%. Below Ads, the study reported Print Features at 42% and Blog Posts in last place at 34%.
For the US, Social Media posts ranked at 70% and Online Features took second at 68%. From there, Brand Video and Brand Websites ranked a close third, followed by Broadcast Feature, Print, and Ads. Blog Posts took last place again.
Summary: If you’re looking to increase your influence in 2022, Social Media, online media, and owned content should be of top priority.
Finally, the last stat we wanted to highlight from the 2021 Global Comms Report – Paying – and Earning – Attention leads us to a general industry trend seen across the communications industry. That being, almost 8-in-10 pros (79%) say their PR campaigns focus on engaging the end-user/target audience. Only 21% said it is about getting as many stories placed as possible.
So as the saying goes, if you’re looking to be strategic in 2022 and beyond, don’t spray and pray, get specific, niche down, and understand YOUR or your client’s unique audience.