CHICAGO, IL and TORONTO, ON–Cision, the global leader in consumer and media intelligence, engagement, and communication solutions, today released its 2024 Global Comms Report: Elevating & Evolving in partnership with PRWeek, highlighting the evolving role of strategic communicators as business drivers.

Now in its seventh year, the annual report examines the perspectives of more than 400 PR and corporate communications professionals across 10 countries on what it means to be a strategic communications professional today. The report sheds light on the challenges and opportunities they currently face amid factors like increased pressure to prove impact, more sophisticated data and analytics, emerging technologies like AI, shifting consumer behaviors, and a complex media landscape.

Among the report’s most intriguing findings is the growing role of – and dependencies on – PR and corporate communications teams within the C-suite. Nearly half (41%) of senior-most communications leaders report to the CEO directly, and a remarkable 92% say their C-suite sought their counsel more often last year than in years prior, up from 87% who said the same in 2021. With this level of influence comes greater expectations of how communicators can impact the bottom line. PR and comms teams indicated feeling increased pressure to play a key role in moving the needle on business factors such as revenue, share of voice, and overall brand equity.

When asked to name the factors they consider CEOs’ biggest priorities for comms, nearly two-thirds (60%) of respondents cited “building sustainable growth and value,” an increase of 6 percentage points from just a year ago. Other priorities include the ability to respond in a timely manner to changing marketplace dynamics and opportunities (55%), customer acquisition/engagement (43%), and driving sales/revenue (42%).

“Strategic communicators have…earned a seat at the table when it comes to influencing strategy and driving business outcomes,” Carrie Parker, Chief Marketing Officer, Cision.

“Strategic communicators have more than proven their value to the C-suite and have earned a seat at the table when it comes to influencing strategy and driving business outcomes,” said Carrie Parker, Chief Marketing Officer at Cision. “High-performing PR and Comms teams are aligning their arsenal of tools and expertise with organizational goals to drive transformative change.”

Additional Report Takeaways:

Generative AI: The majority of PR and comms professionals (65%) have started experimenting with generative AI for things like content creation, press release writing and audience research; however, the degree of adoption varies, with 32% of comms teams describing their usage as “frequent,” and 33% saying it is “infrequent.” The rest are only in the consideration stages of experimentation (27%), unlikely to use them at all (7%) or unsure about their plans (1%).
Identifying Influence: Everyday consumers are considered the most effective influencers, as brands look beyond celebrities to boost awareness and enhance sales.

Need for Reliable Data: Comms professionals are increasingly focused on measurement, with 42% saying they very much rely on data and analytics – up from 30% who said the same last year.

Social Media Dominance: Reliance on both earned (53%) and paid (46%) segments has increased year on year.
“PRWeek has been collaborating with Cision on the Global Comms Report since 2017, and I have always been proud of the enlightening and detailed global PR snapshot we’ve been able to provide, along with valuable counsel from various industry leaders,” said Gideon Fidelzeid, Editorial Director at PRWeek.

Cision is the global leader in consumer and media intelligence, engagement, and communication solutions. We equip PR and corporate communications, marketing, and social media professionals with the tools they need to excel in today’s data-driven world. Our deep expertise, exclusive data partnerships, and award-winning brands and products, including CisionOne, Brandwatch, and PR Newswire, enable over 75,000 companies and organizations, including 84% of the Fortune 500, to see and be seen, understand and be understood by the audiences that matter most to them.

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