Majority of companies shut out PR from the top table, research finds

Three out of five companies do not have senior PR people at board or executive committee level, research from Hotwire Group has found.

Comms research: Hotwire Group CEO Brendon Craigie
Comms research: Hotwire Group CEO Brendon Craigie

A Hotwire survey of senior global comms professionals, found that although 84 per cent of senior communications professionals rated communications as the function that has the most influence on corporate reputation, only 41 per cent said that a PR professional sits on their company's board or executive committee.

Brendon Craigie, CEO, Hotwire Group, said: ‘Digital and social media has put the spotlight on the communications function and the stage is set for PR to sit at the top table within more organisations. For this to happen we need to think bigger, be more sophisticated in how we measure success, and be bold in the manner we seize opportunities.’

The report showed that 50 per cent of senior communications professionals have experienced a budget increase in 2011, compared to 2010. However, when it comes to allocating resources, more than a quarter (27 per cent) still spend less than 10 per cent of their budget on digital and social media.

Respondents (46 per cent) also stated that PR has the greatest influence over social media, compared to 36 per cent who rated marketing as the most influential.

The research also looked at the impact social media is having on locally and globally coordinated communications. Results found that 22 per cent of senior communications professionals stated social media has led to more locally controlled PR initiatives and 22 per cent felt that it had created more globally-led campaigns.

The results came from a global online survey carried out with the Holmes Group as part of Hotwire’s Innovation in Communications conferences in London, Paris, Sydney and Munich.

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