The annual 2024 Global Comms Report from Cision and PR Week has been released – forecasting an evolution and elevation of PR and communications to take on an even more significant role to directly impact business factors. In this blog we look at the key trends the report identifies and break down what that means for our clients and PR agencies.
Moving the needle
One of the biggest shifts identified by the report is the expectation that comms ‘play a key role in moving the needle on business factors such as revenue, share of voice and a company’s overall value.’ Customer acquisition/engagement and driving sales/revenue are two of the biggest factors seen by respondents as comms departments’ biggest priorities in the eyes of their CEOs. This trend is seen as a result of seeing reliable and authentic communications as crucial to building a trustworthy brand and greater accessibility to more sophisticated data.
For marketing executives, this is likely to result in even greater pressure to show that what they are doing is delivering results. From website content and SEO to press releases and media relations, the marketing department’s responsibilities are growing in number and variety like never before – and they must all be showing to have an impact on the business’s bottom line.
This means a greater pressure on PR agencies to also show that the support they provide is doing the same. How does the strategy and tactics they are suggesting deliver on business goals, drive website traffic, build brand awareness and reputation, generate leads and engage with customers and prospects?
Earned media earns top marks
In a win for journalists, earned media has topped the list of content channels to prioritise, according to the 2024 Global Comms Report, which said 33% of respondents rely on earned the most out of their overall media strategies. Of course, all content channels – paid, earned, shared and owned – need to work together, but third-party validation is seen as crucial.
For many in-house marketers, this may make a public relations agency more important than ever. A good PR agency will work closely with national, regional and trade media so that they are not only able to tell you which publications are important to reach your target audience, but also create newsworthy pitches and sell them in on your behalf.
Niche influencer impact
The rise and fall of celebrity influencers has secured its own section in the 2024 Global Comms Report. While the report suggests celebrities have had their hay day, with people now “pretty savvy” about recognising when a celebrity is promoting something because they are being paid to do so, respondents highlighted executives, employees and everyday consumers as becoming key to influencer effectiveness.
This is good news for marketing departments because it means they have a ready-made influencer resource to tap into through the team they work with on a daily basis. But drawing out the creativity and consistency required to achieve impact can be tough. Here, a PR agency with experience of managing both company and personal social media is key, with different pages requiring different tactics to achieve maximum engagement, for both the individual and the business.
Rising to the occasion
Overall, the report sends a clear message that “PR’s star has certainly risen in the eyes of the C-Suite.” Generally, for companies looking to partner with PR agencies to achieve their marketing goals, this means they should be looking for an agency which emphasises strategy and which continuously evaluates the work they are doing, why they are doing it and what impact it is having.
To find out more about the results Proactive PR can deliver for companies – including brand awareness and reputation management, driving website traffic, thought leadership, lead generation and customer engagement – email firstname.lastname@example.org or arrange a meeting with our Marketing Director Jade Hush.