Majority of Leaders in Marketing & Communications Cover Both Roles

Insights into priorities, concerns, metrics and budget outlooks for 2024

Approximately 70% of marketing and communications leaders say their role is a mix of both functions, according to new survey results from Muck Rack, the Public Relations Management (PRM) platform that enables organizations to build relationships with the media, manage crisis risk and demonstrate PR’s impact on business outcomes.

Muck Rack’s first ever State of Marketing and PR Leadership report, which surveyed 193 marketing and communications professionals with the title of director or above to examine the evolving landscape of marketing and communications leadership, also found that 44% of marketing and communications leaders report to the CEO.

Regardless of specific roles, leaders across marketing and communications share almost identical priorities: they aim to broaden their reach and enhance their share of voice in the market. However, there are differences in top concerns. Communications and marketing communications (marcom) leaders prioritize building and maintaining media relationships while marketing leaders highlight reporting and analyzing impact as a top concern.

Internal communications has become increasingly crucial at organizations, particularly over the past few years. Muck Rack’s survey found that human resources or another non-marketing function (38%) and communications (37%) leaders are most likely to oversee the function.

“This data shows that communications and marketing leaders don’t have clearly defined roles in many organizations,” said Gregory Galant, cofounder and CEO of Muck Rack. “While there will always be overlap, especially when it comes to brand management, fostering media relationships, storytelling and spotting risks are skills that require the expertise of a seasoned communications professional. Businesses looking to grow market share should consider investing in building successful communications and marketing teams that partner closely on brand initiatives, but operate separately under two distinct leaders.”

Marketing (42%) and marcom (49%) leaders are more optimistic about the potential increase in their 2024 budgets. However, most communications leaders expect their budgets to stay the same.

Collaboration remains a cornerstone of success when marketing and communications teams operate independently. Teams frequently engage in cross-functional collaboration, with regular meetings occurring at least once a week. This reflects the need for close partnership between marketing and communications teams.

Marketing leaders value lead generation as the top success metric, followed by sales, web traffic and conversion rate. Communications leaders focus on the number of stories placed, key message pull-through and reach/impressions. Marcom leaders value lead generation, web traffic and social media engagement metrics, as well as number of stories placed, reach and website impact.


The self-administered survey collected 384 responses and used a total of 193 between September 7 and October 26, 2023. The respondents hold CCO, CMO, Director, Vice President, or other C-suite positions. We asked a series of role-confirming questions that allowed us to sort them into three groups: marketing leaders, communications leaders, and marcoms leaders, based on their primary function.

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