News: Business leaders’ perception of PR and communication soars

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THE Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), the world’s largest and most influential PR professional body, has today published a new study that highlights the important role communications teams played in helping businesses navigate through the uncertainty of the last two years, including Brexit, the Coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

The study of CEOs and CFOs from large organizations with more than 250 employees indicates that 92 per cent of respondents believe their communications teams played either a ‘very important’ or ‘important’ role in helping their business deal with the seismic external challenges since the start of 2020.   

The survey, which was first carried out in June 2020 and has since been built upon by its Value of PR group, also showed an increase in the strategic importance placed on the contributions of communications professionals (up 21 points to 89 per cent), perhaps indicating the impact that crises and issues can have on recognizing the value of having in place a strong communications team.  

80 per cent of respondents stated that communications were ‘very important’ when it came to strengthening and protecting their corporate reputation, up from just 39 per cent who gave the same answer in 2020.  

89 per cent said that their communications teams provided strategic counsel to members of the senior leadership team, compared with just 68 per cent two years ago.  

More encouragingly, 62 per cent said they expected their communications team to play an even more strategically important role in the next two years.  

Francis Ingham (pictured), director general at the PRCA, said, “The PRCA represents more than 35,000 professionals worldwide and this study is further evidence of the valuable and important role that those individuals play every single day in directly impacting the business objectives of their organizations. What’s more, business leaders’ confidence in their communications teams is expected to increase in the future. We should take a moment to reflect on this achievement and then continue to keep doing what we are doing.”

Adam Honeysett-Watts, Value of PR lead at PRCA, added, “There is no denying that most business leaders understand the value their communications teams bring to their organizations. While we hoped this would be the case, it is great to hear the feedback directly. The lesson here is that those businesses that have communications teams and plans in place are better prepared to weather a crisis and those that don’t are operating at a significant disadvantage.” 

This PRCA study was carried out by Yolo Communications among 252 CEOs and CFOs from large organizations (250+ employees) between 7 June – 4 July 2022 to understand their perceptions of communications professionals. The previous study, also conducted by Yolo Communications, was carried out between 9th – 18th June 2020 among 464 CEOs/CFOs from large organizations (250+ employees).