Vocus Survey: 64% of PR Professionals See Increasingly Important Role in Marketing Mix

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Survey Finds Social Media a Key Focus for 2010, yet PR Planning is More Difficult; PR Pros Seek to Innovate Process and Invest in Technology to Manage Change

A leading provider of on-demand software for public relations management. Follow us on Twitter: @Vocus

PR people are a new hybrid of professionals who understand the value of incorporating viral marketing, relationship marketing, social marketing and Web analytics into their roles and responsibilities.

Vocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: VOCS), a leading provider of on-demand software for public relations management, today announced the results of a survey of more than 1,800 marketing and PR professionals. Among the key findings, and in light of a changing media landscape, 80 percent say social media will be a key focus in 2010 while 64 percent said planning will be more difficult. Though social media has been a primary catalyst for change in the PR industry, respondents see PR’s role in the overall marketing mix becoming increasingly more important.

Despite the view that PR’s role is becoming increasingly important, PR professionals may feel they are being asked to do more with less. Social media for example, the catalyst for much of the change facing the PR industry, is naturally a key focus for 2010; however, this only adds to the duties the PR professional already undertakes on a day-to-day basis. To help manage, PR professionals report turning to process innovation and investments in technology as top solutions for balancing an increased workload.

The survey also explored budgets and found reason for cautious optimism. Forty-two percent of PR professionals report that they expect budgets to be flat in 2010, however nearly one-third also report budgets will increase. Of those, 24 percent reported expectations for slight increases, while another five percent said budgets will increase significantly.
Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Trying times. 64 percent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that PR planning will be more difficult in 2010.
  • Cautious optimism. 42 percent indicated PR budgets will remain flat in 2010, though one-third also said they anticipated their budget increasing slightly (24 percent) or significantly (5 percent).
  • Innovate and invest in technology. 63 percent are planning to refine processes in 2010 while 51 percent will invest in new technology in order to do more with less.
  • Social media to be a key focus in 2010. 80 percent of respondents say they will focus on social media in 2010; multimedia is not far behind with 63 percent, while measuring results, SEO and viral campaigns trail with 58, 57 and 56 percent respectively.
  • PR increasingly important to marketing. 64 percent believe that PR will become increasingly important in the overall marketing mix in 2010.

“One of the most compelling findings from this survey are the indications and perceptions of how the lines are blurring between PR, advertising and interactive marketing functions,” said Deirdre Breakenridge, the president of PFS Marketwyse, who also contributed to the survey design and analysis. “PR people are a new hybrid of professionals who understand the value of incorporating viral marketing, relationship marketing, social marketing and Web analytics into their roles and responsibilities.”

The survey queried US-based PR professionals about their perceptions of PR planning for 2010. The survey was conducted from October 21, 2009 to November 12, 2009.

The results of this survey will be presented to an audience during a live Webinar on November 12, 2009 titled, “PR Planning Considerations for 2010,” featuring Breakenridge, co-author of “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations.” All respondents who completed the survey, and registrants to the Webinar, will receive the complete survey results by e-mail.

Members of the media and blogging community can request a copy of the complete survey results by sending an e-mail to fstrong-at-vocus-dot-com. The Webinar will also be recorded and posted for viewing shortly after the live Webinar; register here: http://tinyurl.com/yhrbv8p.

About Vocus
Vocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: VOCS) is a leading provider of on-demand software for public relations management. Our web-based software suite helps organizations of all sizes to fundamentally change the way they communicate with both the media and the public, optimizing their public relations and increasing their ability to measure its impact. Our on-demand software addresses the critical functions of public relations including media relations, news distribution and news monitoring. We deliver our solutions over the Internet using a secure, scalable application and system architecture, which allows our customers to eliminate expensive up-front hardware and software costs and to quickly deploy and adopt our on-demand software. Vocus is used by more than 4,000 organizations worldwide and is available in seven languages. Vocus is based in Lanham, MD with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit http://www.vocus.com or call (800) 345-5572.

This release contains "forward-looking" statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These are statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as "may," "will," "expects," "projects," "anticipates," "estimates," "believes," "intends," "plans," "should," "seeks," and similar expressions. This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, Vocus’ expectations and assumptions concerning future financial performance. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual future results to differ materially from those projected or contemplated in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may be significantly impacted by certain risks and uncertainties described in Vocus' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Frank Strong
Vocus
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