Social media and budgets to make a challenging 2011

LANHAM, MD: The dynamics of budgets and social media will make PR more challenging in 2011, according to a new survey.

LANHAM, MD:  The dynamics of budgets and social media will make PR more challenging in 2011, according to a new survey from Vocus.

Sixty-percent of respondents said PR will be more challenging in 2011, led by 73% saying building out social media initiatives and strategy on tight budgets is a key obstacle. Thirty-eight percent of respondents expect PR budgets to remain unchanged from last year.  

The numbers come from Vocus's second annual planning survey.

“The challenge is bringing social media to a new level. The question is what's the next step,” said Vocus director of PR Frank Strong.

The advent of social media as a tool for the industry has largely dominated PR discourse. Eighty-percent of respondents said social media will play an even more important role in 2011.

But the ownership of social media strategy has also been a nugget of friction between marketers and PR professionals, said Strong. Compared to last year, says Strong, the survey shows the two disciplines are starting to mend their differences.

Twenty-three of respondents said marketing is leading social media efforts while PR is contributing, and 22% said PR is leading social media initiatives while several other departments are contributing. The two categories received the highest marks out of six categories.

“Departments are working together,” said Strong. “Social media is forcing people to cooperate.”

The web-based survey garnered 508 responses between October 26 and November 21 this year. Eighty-percent of the respondents were from United States, more than half described their jobs as PR and 36% described their position as executive level.

Strategic communications and measurement, 66% and 61% respectively, were among respondent's top priorities in 2011.

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