US PR heads beat their UK counterparts to CEO access

WASHINGTON DC: More in-house PR heads in the US report to the most senior executive in their company than in the UK, according to a recent survey conducted by Washington DC-based research company the Public Affairs Group.

WASHINGTON DC: More in-house PR heads in the US report to the most

senior executive in their company than in the UK, according to a recent

survey conducted by Washington DC-based research company the Public

Affairs Group.



The survey shows that, among 539 companies examined across 26 sectors,

51 per cent of communication heads report to the chief executive

officer.



The companies surveyed all had a turnover of over pounds 625 million and

included oil company BP and telecoms giant AT&T.



These figures contrast with the 25 per cent of UK in-house

communications chiefs who report to their chairman or chief executive,

according to last year’s PR Week In-house Survey (PR Week, 21

August).



The remaining 49 per cent of US PR heads report to their firm’s chief

operating officer - the equivalent of managing director in the UK, or to

vice- presidents - the equivalent of UK directors. In PR Week’s

findings, 25 per cent of UK PR heads reported to their company marketing

director while 16 per cent reported to the managing director. The Public

Affairs Group did not find any US PR heads reporting to marketing

staff.



Of the 539 companies quizzed in the US survey across 26 industry

sectors, just 75 responded directly. Third party information was used

for much of the report’s findings.



Commenting on the survey, Public Affairs Group vice- president Donald

Marzullo said: ’It demonstrates the value that CEOs and shareholders are

placing in the communications function.’



The report found that communications budgets average pounds 2.3 million

each year.



SURVEY RESULTS



- 51 per cent of US public relations heads report to the CEO



- 19 per cent report to the chief operating officer



- 11 per cent report to the executive vice president



- In-house teams average 5.2 professionals



- One third of communications heads are women



- 50 per cent of US PR heads have spent their careers in communications.



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