• Vanessa Mitchell

A-Z of Public Relations Fact Sheet

Public Relations is a critical component of any healthy brand, communications and marketing program. Failure to keep across vital programs such as crisis planning, media messaging, media training, and media gatekeeping and outreach can place businesses in a precarious position when it comes to building trust and reputation in the public eye.



Let’s look at the A-Z of why public relations and media exposure is essential for any business serious about building their brand awareness and 'street credibility.'


AVE

While the use of the Advertising Value Equivalency for measuring impact has almost died out in the UK (16%) and in North America (18%), it remains commonplace in the Asia-Pacific (56%), says the Holmes Report, 2019.


Instead, 44% of PRs said clients were likely to ask for media clippings; 22% said clients wanted engagement metrics (typically related to social media); 12% said awareness metrics were important to clients; 4% said clients wanted sales figures; and just 3% said clients were looking for advocacy metrics such as net promoter score. Read more about why the AVE is worthless now.


Briefed

54% of executive teams are briefed at least weekly on PR and communications activities, with a little over one quarter briefed on a case-by-case basis.


CEO

Only 38% of professional communicators say they report to the CEO, not marketing.


Content

60% of PR executives believe content creation will be a vital part of public relations efforts in the future. According to recent research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers and 86% of B2C marketers think content marketing is a key strategy. The Institute also reports 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement and 72% say it has increased their number of leads.


Disaster planning

59% of communicators say they have a communications strategy drafted, but only 45% admit to having a documented crisis communications plan. This is a big risk in the age of ‘cancel culture’. It can take years to build trust with audiences, and minutes to lose it. Read more about this here.


Digital advertising

The cost of digital advertising is rising 5 times faster than inflation, PR can be more cost-effective and also more effective in terms of audience engagement and trust. According to Demand Metric, content marketing is three times as effective at generating leads than outbound marketing (such as cold calling), while costing 62% less. Similarly, 93% of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies.


Email

93% of journalists prefer to be pitched over email. In short, please don’t call a journalist to pitch or follow up. Here are a few reasons why your press releases aren’t working.


Following

54% of PR pros either always or frequently follow journalists on social media before they pitch them (Muck Rack, 2019).


High value

Thought leadership can create access to high-value decision makers. Almost half (47%) of C-suite executives say they have shared their contact information after reading thought leadership.


Industry

While the PR agency industry grew an average of 30% over the last five years, rates appear to be slowing. During the same period, corporate communication departments only grew by 12%.


In-housing

47% of PR pros said they’ve observed more PR work being taken in-house than outsourced to agencies.


Journalists

71% of journalists believe that the public trusts them less than they did three years ago, and they’d be right. Read more about this here.


Keep attention

82% of purchasing consumers view at least five pieces of content first before buying from the winning company.


Load

25% of journalists write on average seven stories a day, and this is a light workload compared to some in the industry.


Marketing

Cision says only 19% of a business’s PR personnel are likely to be involved in the development of overall marketing strategy. However, in a study by USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, nearly half of PR professionals and more than 60% of marketing executives said public relations and marketing will work together more closely in the future.


News

In 2018, 69% of people downloaded newspapers, online news or magazines.


Optimistic

52% of PR pros are at least somewhat optimistic about the future of the industry.


PR

87% of PR executives don’t believe ‘public relations’ will describe the work they do in five years, as they believe the term ‘public relations’ is too narrow a description of what the job actually entails.


PRIA

The PRIA definition of public relations is the ‘deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish mutual understanding between an organisation and its public’.


Quality pitching

PR pros say customisation/personalisation are the most important elements of a good pitch, followed by timeliness, and nearly 60% of journalists say they prefer email pitches that are no longer than 200 words in length.


RFPs

45% of decision makers said they invited a producer of thought leadership content to bid on a project when they had not previously considered the organisation.


Sellers

Only 39% of sellers said they believe thought leadership helps with lead generation, yet almost 60% of business decision makers said that thought leadership directly led to their awarding of business to an organisation.


Thought leadership

A recent report found 58% of respondents read one or more hours of thought leadership articles per week, and 55% said they use thought leadership to vet organisations they may hire.


Understanding

28% of journalists highlight that PR professionals can do a better job of researching and understanding their outlet before pitching an idea.


Vendors

A study found B2B buyers spend 83% of their time during their buying journey not engaging with vendors and instead engaging with information and content.


Word of mouth

Press, word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer referrals drive 4x the brand lift as paid media.


aXed

Gone are the days of journalists seeking news. Now, 100% of journalists stipulate their number one method of finding stories is through press releases.


Yuck

Even after all the training, 45% of journalists report the press releases they receive need a better news hook, and 27% indicated they dislike press releases that feel templated and include jargon.


Zero

18% of journalists say they always read the pitches they receive, while 35% say they sometimes read them and just 2% say they never read them, says Fractl.


At AZK Media, we're passionate about delivering exceptional public relations and thought leadership advice and solutions to B2B enterprises. We've worked on hundreds of campaigns across the UK, US and APAC, and have been recognised two years running by B&T as leaders in public relations. Discover more about how we can help you here.