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PR pros are anticipating “considerable” change in coming years, largely through technology advances, and are betting heavily on owned and shared media.
In its 2019 Global Communications Study, the Annenberg Center for Public Relations at USC surveyed more than 1,500 PR pros worldwide to identify emerging trends and current beliefs about the industry.
Both agency pros (61%) and in-house communicators (53%) predict “considerable” change will occur over the next five years. Most (59%) believe technology will be the biggest driver of that change.
However, PR pros should also expect to see their work and the work of marketing departments become more commingled.
Many consumers already see marketing and PR messages as interchangeable, and industry insiders expect the two roles will become more integrated. Over half say that marketing and PR will become much more integrated; another 39% say the roles will be somewhat more combined.
Agency pros are bullish on PR financially, with 86% predicting a rise in revenues. In-house marketers are less sanguine, but 50% believe they will see an increase in their department’s budget.
CEOs responding to the survey are ready to bet on the PESO model, which combines paid, earned, shared and owned media. These communications leaders say the power of earned media will decrease over the next few years, while social media and online publishing will create a need for owned and shared media.
For the future, 38% believe shared media will be the most valuable and 36% say owned media will take