MONDAY 6 JUN 2011 6:54 PM


A new survey of senior communications professionals shows a major disparity between the influence that PR is said to have on corporate reputation and how it is represented at board level.

According to new global research by PR group Hotwire, 84% of senior comms professional regard comms as the key driver of corporate reputation – yet for 59%, the function does not have a seat at the top table of senior management.

In spite of the lack of senior management representation, exactly half of senior communications professionals have experienced a budget increase in 2011, compared to 2010. This reflects the expanding remit that many communications functions are being asked to take on.

But social media that was the main area of focus. Indeed, 46% of respondents said PR has the greatest influence over social media, compared to 36% who rated marketing as the most influential.

When it comes to allocating resources, more than a quarter (27%) still spends less than a tenth of their budget on digital and social media. But the majority of senior communications professionals now spend between 10% and 20% in this area alone.

The research also looked at the impact social media is having on locally and globally coordinated communications. It found that 22% of respondents believed social media has led to more locally controlled PR initiatives whereas 22% felt it had created more globally-led campaigns.

“These are incredibly exciting times for the communications industry,” said Hotwire CEO Brendon Craigie. “Digital and social media has put the spotlight on the communications function and the stage is set for PR to sit at the top table within more organisations. For this to happen we need to think bigger, be more sophisticated in how we measure success, and be bold in the manner we seize opportunities.”