The future of digital PR

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This month I was chuffed to be asked by the PRCA to join its panel for the launch of the 2018 Digital PR and Communications report and to discuss the findings with like-minded individuals. Now in its sixth year, the poll of PR professionals working across multiple sectors, both in agency and in-house, looks to provide a benchmark of how the PR industry is performing with digital communications.

Chris Brown, account manager at Stone Junction

Having participated in the survey myself, it was reassuring to see the results were not too dissimilar to my own views.

When asked about the reasons behind their organisation’s social media presence, most in-house respondents cite driving awareness (83 per cent), increasing brand awareness (64 per cent) and driving a wider audience reach (65 per cent), figures that have largely remained unchanged since last year. 

The three leading digital and social media areas on which brands spend their marketing budget are: paid social media activity (55 per cent), web design and build (51 per cent) and video-based content (49 per cent).

The prevalent services that clients expect PR and communications agencies to deliver on are: blogger outreach (40 per cent, down from 49 per cent), social influencer outreach (40 per cent, down from 56 per cent), digital crisis management (36 per cent, down from 51 per cent) and online reputation management (36 per cent, down from 51 per cent).

Snapchat and Pinterest have seen the biggest drop in usage by in-house teams, dropping to 10 per cent and 3 per cent respectively. Instagram’s usage has increased to 56 per cent this year, although this still represents at 9 per cent drop since 2016.  

Unsurprisingly, Twitter (94 per cent) and Facebook (72 per cent) continue to be the most popular platforms amongst brands.

One statistic that did surprise me though was the number of companies and clients not using social media due to fear of attack from campaigners (12 per cent). For us, our clients are confident in our ability to manage their social media output, from drafting and scheduling updates to responding to questions and increasing follower numbers. With the proper training, many, if not all, concerns can be addressed with confidence.

If you need help with your digital output, or perhaps would like some advice about dealing with those difficult questions on social media, you can contact me on chris@stonejunction.co.ukor give me a call on 01785 225416.

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