State of PR: Muck Rack

New Insights on Budget Concerns, Diversity, Adoption of PR Tech and More

Public relations professionals are still seeing challenges across the industry due to a troubled economy. Brands are more concerned about having enough resources (55%) than their agency counterparts (42%) and both anticipate budgets will stay the same next year, with brands more likely to say their budget will decrease, according to new survey results from Muck Rack. In addition, over 70% anticipate securing earned media will become more challenging over the next five years, and more than half are concerned about getting journalists to respond to pitches.

Muck Rack, the public relations management (PRM) platform that helps organizations find the right journalists to pitch, monitor and report on media coverage and prove the value of earned media, released its fifth annual State of PR report which surveyed 1,034 PR and communication professionals to provide insights into the current state of the industry, as well as predictions for the future.

“Our survey results show more than half of PR professionals feel the term ‘public relations’ needs to be redefined more broadly and we’re seeing a rise in tech adoption, specifically with AI and PR tech,” said Gregory Galant, cofounder and CEO of Muck Rack, “This indicates we’re reaching a real inflection point for innovation and change in the industry right now.”

Industry Priorities + Challenges
Earned media and PR continue to be viewed as essential to business success, with 42% of respondents stating they brief executives weekly on efforts and 90% saying leadership understands their work at least somewhat well.

Internal communications remain a priority for brands, with 44% saying their time spent on it is increasing.

Diversity continues to lack across the industry. About one-third of PR professionals surveyed say that their workplace has little to no diversity, and more than half say there is little to no diversity on the leadership team.

Media Relations Preferences
Measurement of PR efforts is still the best way to show success, with 31% of PR pros ranking stories placed as their most useful metric.

Eighty-nine percent say that a 1:1 personalized email is the preferred pitching method. The majority also aim for pitches to be under 300 words and sent on Tuesday before noon, with follow-ups sent three to six days later.

The majority of PR pros are pitching four types of media: online/digital (90%), magazines (66%), newspapers (63%) and TV (52%). Twitter (10% decrease) and phone calls (9% decrease) are losing their appeal as a pitching channel compared to last year.

Workflow Technology and Social Usage
PR professionals are increasingly adopting PR tech. Media databases are the preferred tool to find journalists, up 10% compared to last year. While 68% of PR professionals prefer to store media lists in spreadsheets, nearly the same amount (64%) say they prefer to use dedicated PR software.

LinkedIn is the new top social network for communications strategies, jumping 11% compared to last year. Twitter, which held the top spot last year, dropped 5%.

Download the full report to learn more about the current state of budgets, salaries, and measurement in the industry. Interested in learning more about Muck Rack? Request a demo today!

The self-administered survey collected 1,034 responses from March 31 to April 25, 2023. Most respondents came from U.S.-based journalists, with additional representation from Europe, Canada and Asia.

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