When it comes to marketing, UK professionals often look to the US to see what new trends and practices being developed that will wash up on our online and offline shores.
So it is with some interest that I came upon University of Southern California’s Annenberg Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center’s bi-annual PR report.
I do have a note of caution that there are notable differences in the scale (for instance US trade magazines generally having much larger readerships), approach and delivery as well as the business culture. Something perhaps that is overlooked, as US culture seems so familiar to many in the UK.
However the results of the report still might have resonance for UK based PR professionals.
The GAP (Generally Accepted Practices Report) VII is quite a detailed document so I will look in this entry at digital marketing section and how it relates to PR and look to cover another aspect in a following post.
Firstly the report rates social networking sites and sharing online video as the most used digital tools by (corporate) PR professionals. Online audio comes in lowest although it is simple to utilise mobile apps such as Audio Boo as an expedient way to place content (and higher quality should be easy to implement as well).
Facebook comes out top in the increase of use, substantially above Twitter and blogs, which are still growing in numbers, some 181million (for all uses) according to Technorati’s 2011 State of the Blogosphere.
Perhaps, not unsurprisingly virtual worlds are declining in popularity, and so are wikis. (It would be good to have further explanation, a weakness of the report).
Budgetary and strategic control (over 50% in both cases) of digital marketing, including SEO, is favouring the PR department rather than the marketing or customer service teams, the latter by a considerable margin.
66% of not for profit organisations – the highest recorded, compared to 36% public and 47% private companies – are frequent users of digital and social media tools and they favour Facebook and Twitter most.
So the most intriguing issue is Facebook emerging as the preferred mode of engaging audiences. Why do many US PR companies and practitioners favour a medium that corporate B2B and public sector would often treat with caution for their PR delivery in the UK?
But without deeper analysis, interpretation and more qualitative information we are perhaps just seeing the surface and not what lies beneath.