PR leaders see authenticity, ROI, social media mastery as top issues facing the profession in 2009-10

July 6, 2009

In an era dominated by millions of corporate, institutional, government and other voices clamoring for attention through every communications channel possible, members of PRSA’s Counselors Academy responding to a national survey, ranked “providing authentic strategic counsel,” “demonstrating return on investment” and “mastering social media” as the top three issues to be addressed in helping their clients and advancing the future of the PR profession over the next two years.

The online survey was conducted in April and May among 450 members of the Counselors Academy. Eighty-nine responded, or almost 20 percent of those surveyed.

“The top issues are related to how agencies must focus on providing value and ethically driven, strategic and authentic client service,” Sydney Ayers, APR, chair, Counselors Academy, said in a release. “The results indicate the kind of forward thinking going on among senior counselors throughout the United States and bode well for the future of our profession.”

The survey asked respondents to rank from 1 to 5 their impressions of different internal and external issues facing the profession in 2009-10 in four major categories, with 1 being “Very Unimportant” and 5 being “Very Important.” The top four issues in each category include:

• Client Relations: providing authentic, strategic counsel, 4.66 (No. 1 overall); demonstrating return on investment, 4.54 (No. 3 overall); measuring results, 4.4; and connecting oublic relations to the C-suite, 4.22).
• Media and Technology: mastering social media, 4.65 (No. 2 overall); enhancing technology capabilities, 4.43 (No. 4 overall); decline of traditional media, 4.24; and the 24/7 news cycle, 4.21.
• External Issues: the economy, 4.44 (No. 5 overall); government regulation, 3.28; losing business to consulting firms, 3.24; and dominance of the biggest multinational firms, 3.12.
• Partnerships and Resources: values and ethics management, 4.27; developing strategic partnerships, 4.26; recruiting and retaining talent, 4.25; and expanding agency services, 4.12.

 More information on Counselors Academy and results of the survey are available here.


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