Strategies & Tactics

Survey: PR Profession Investing More in Technology

June 1, 2018

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[shutterstock]

PRSA and APPrise Mobile’s second annual Technology Trends survey found that professionals are ramping up spending on technology, with a focus on mobile and analytics.

While companies increasingly recognize the importance of mobile technology, the survey found that there isn’t a real strategy behind its use in the workplace.

In other findings, email continues to be the most highly used messaging tool, despite the fact that most respondents believe that it isn’t the most effective form of communication. Compared to last year, there is also greater usage of and reliance on social media, social collaboration and messaging.

Fewer employees report that messaging tools have been implemented throughout their entire company (38 percent) than in 2017 (45 percent). At the same time, more employees say that messaging tools are utilized primarily by groups of employees (55 percent) compared to last year (31 percent).

Adoption

More than 700 PR professionals responded to the second annual survey, which sought to understand companies’ budget priorities, which technologies are most effective and what needs to be done to ensure that communicators are best equipped to do their jobs.
“We’re seeing greater adoption of social and mobile media, without companies relinquishing established strategies and channels,” said Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRSA’s 2018 Chair. “Technology investments are certainly going up, and the next step will be for organizations to assess whether their ROI is growing commensurately.”

As Jeff Corbin, CEO of APPrise Mobile noted, the vast majority of the workforce is now composed of younger generations. “They are dependent on the small screens of their mobile devices, so we need to think not so much about what technologies we use, but how we effectively use them to get our key messages into the hands of our target audiences,” he said.

Key findings from the Technology Trends survey include:

Spending

  • 44 percent of respondents said their company is investing more in technology now than it did last year; 36 percent said their investment is about the same.
  • 51 percent said they are spending on mobile technology, 51 percent on analytics and 4 percent on video.
  • Fewer than half of respondents said their company does an “OK” job in offering digital tools to communicate; 38 percent said their company should “rethink” their digital workplace communications strategy; and only 9 percent said the company they work for does a “great job.”

Technology Use

  • Messaging technologies increased from 14 percent in 2017 to 42 percent this year.
  • Mobile jumped from 8 percent to 23 percent.
  • Social collaboration rose from 15 percent to 37 percent.
  • Social media usage nearly doubled from 26 percent to 50 percent.

Evolution

  • 44 percent of respondents said their companies have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy.
  • 97 percent use their own mobile device for email.
  • 56 percent use messaging apps on their personal device.
  • 33 percent access their company’s intranet on their mobile devices, but 71 percent said the experience either doesn’t work or is difficult.

Jeff Corbin, founder and CEO, APPrise Mobile, will discuss the findings during a June 7 webinar titled “Trending Technology Tactics for the Internal Communications Professional.” The webinar is free for PRSA members. It will be available on demand starting June 14 on prsa.org/pd.

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