NEW YORK: PR and word-of-mouth marketing spend grew 12.4 percent to $6.41 billion in 2011, according to a report released this week by investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.
The growth identified in the VSS Communications Industry Forecast 2012-2016 was attributed to the increasing use of social media and digital services.
These same categories are expected to grow 14.2 percent to $7.32 billion in 2012. PR specifically will increase 8.3 percent to $4.22 billion as firms continue to offer expanded services incorporating multiple media, with revenues for these areas expected to hit $11.35 billion by 2016.
Even with this expected growth, however, some PR pros are still “learning to ride the horse” that is social media, said John Suhler, president and co-founder partner of Veronis Suhler Stevenson: “They are used to sending press releases to media outlets, and now you're talking about having a direct conversation with consumers, and that's new territory.”
Overall, traditional media, which includes PR and word-of-mouth marketing, is expected to grow 4.2 percent in 2012 to $75.91 billion, thanks to promotion around this November's US elections and the London Olympics.
Across all media categories, spending within the US communications industry will increase 5.2 percent in 2012 to reach $1.189 trillion as consumers and businesses increasingly embrace digital technology, according to the report.