BLCS Survey 2014: Social media in demand as a resource, but much less so as a skill

Social media have topped a list of areas in which comms directors believe they need more resource, but were placed much lower in a list of skills they valued in their team.

KPMG head of global comms Brian Bannister: "Acceleration in the use of social media"
KPMG head of global comms Brian Bannister: "Acceleration in the use of social media"

The data emerges in the latest VMA Group-commissioned Business Leaders in Communications Study, seen exclusively by PRWeek ahead of its publication later this week.

The survey asked more than 250 comms directors to state whether they thought demand for resources would increase or decrease in the next two years in 16 different areas.

Social media topped this list with 81 per cent predicting an increase and just one per cent a decrease.

Social media’s importance was further underlined when 72 per cent placed ‘keeping up with rapid evolution of social media techniques’ in their five most important challenges.

This put social media second only to ‘number or complexity of key audiences’, which was named by 77 per cent.

However, the apparent importance of social media was put in context by the category's low ranking in the five skills most highly valued by comms directors.

Only 27 per cent of them put it on their list and seven other skills were more highly prized.

Five most highly valued skills Score
Ability to articulate and influence 83%
Integrity, transparency and good judgement 77%
Creative and strategic thinking 76%
Writing skills 51%
Organisation and leadership 50%
Business acumen 49%
Fit with the organisation's culture 44%
Social media and digital 27%
Listening skills 17%
International experience 17%
Additional language capabilities 4%

Brian Bannister, head of global comms for accountancy firm KPMG, said: "The challenging economic climate has highlighted the acceleration in the use of social media and its impact on the way organisations communicate."

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