Maybe it’s because we train and teach PR and communications skills, but we’re always fascinated by surveys – who takes them, what they reveal and the gaps that they highlight.
We recently completed our first Academy Opinions Survey, a joint venture between the Irish Academy and Opinions.ie to take the pulse of the PR industry in Ireland. The results were quite fascinating.
Here’s what really struck us.
On the positive side:
40% of people working in the industry are involved in some sort of study because they need to “keep their skillsets up to date”. Industry professionals are actively acknowledging and responding to a fast-changing media and communications landscape.
32% rated the sex equality in pay and promotion in their companies as Excellent. That’s a super result. Hats off to the communications industry. That looks like a genuinely gender-blind approach.
On the negative side:
Only 10% of respondents rated their business as ‘excellent’ when it came to stress management. That’s very poor and probably indicates a need for more research to identify what is causing the stress. We’ll ask some more questions about this in our next survey.
And a whopping 42% of respondents said that the key challenge faced by the communications industry was keeping abreast of social media.
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So what else did we learn from this survey?
Well, surprisingly, the lowest challenge for consultancies was client retention (10%). Obviously, firms feel that when they win the business, they mind it carefully and get the repeat business.
The top four biggest challenges facing people in the communications industry are:
- Keeping abreast of technology & Keeping abreast of social media (42%)
- Maintaining brand profile in the market (38%)
- Handling changing client expectations (34%)
And respondents were generally satisfied (ranked good to excellent) with their
- Job (96%)
- Salary (76%)
- Intellectual challenge (94%)
- Level of responsibility (94%)
Who were the top 5 ranked PR consultancies according to our respondents?
1. Fleishman Hillard (44.3%)
2. Drury Communications/Porter Novelli (41.0%)
3. (joint third) Wilson Hartnell/Ogilvy and Edelman (34.4%)
4. DHR Communications (31.1%)
OK – let me tell you who took the survey. Our ezine issues to people with an interest in communications, so we knew that the target audience would be media and communications literate.
Over half of the respondents were working in communications and, in fact, we attracted a nice representational sweep of communications in our respondents, who identified themselves as belonging to the following categories:
10% Event management
We were also very pleased with the mix of experience represented in this survey
59% of respondents had over 10 years’ experience in the industry
16% had between 6 and 10 years
And 25% had 1-5 years
That’s a great mix of new industry entrants to senior practitioners. Views worth listening to we think.
Finally, there was also a great mix of employed, employee.
55.7% of people were employees
27.9% business owners
And 3.3% unemployed.
Our next survey will be done in the coming months. If you would like to suggest any areas of research just let us know – we’ll be happy to include them.