PRNEWS/IPR Research Shows the Evolving Communication Function

Begging Charles Dickens’s pardon, for PR it’s the best of times and the worst, according to a new survey about organization from PRNEWS and the Institute for PR (IPR). More than 300 respondents tell us communication is in demand across the company, yet budgets and headcounts are stuck.

First, the good news: communicators’ responsibilities are growing. A rousing 81 percent say PR’s responsibilities have increased during the past two years. In addition, the survey shows a significant majority of communicators (71 percent) believe this trend will continue, at least in the near term.
Flat Budgets Ahead
The not-so-good news? A tune many communicators know well, ‘Do More with Less,’ will remain popular. Its spin-off, ‘Do A Lot More with Less,’ will top the charts. With an uncertain economy, few C-Suites are willing to increase budgets to grow communication teams despite a larger remit.

“Nearly three-quarters of respondents say their budget has stayed the same or decreased during the past two years and 64 percent anticipate their headcount will remain the same or decrease,” says Tina McCorkindale, IPR’s president and CEO.

Moreover, only 42 percent say their department/function is large enough to handle current responsibilities.

The survey was fielded for four months in 2020, including two months before the pandemic hit, and two after.


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