PR experts have to continually optimize their communications tactics to stay on top of their game. To better inform your decision-making, we present the 25 top PR statistics for 2022.
1. Worldwide PR Industry Revenues Will Reach $129 Billion by 2025
Public Relations facilitates communication between different stakeholder groups such as between businesses and consumers. This earned the industry a market value of over $97 billion entering 2022. Up until 2025, the industry is expected to grow annually by more than 7% to more than $129 billion worldwide.
2. The Total PR Industry Income Reached $14.5 Billion Entering 2022
Data provided by the U.S. Census shows that in 2020, the PR industry generated total revenues of 14.5 billion dollars in the US, showcasing growth despite the coronavirus outbreak. This data proves the resiliency of the industry and its growing importance for dispersing messages. Such results bode well for potential income earnings in 2022.
3. Public Relations Increased its Lobbying Activities
Interestingly, the pandemic increased the PR field’s presence in Washington DC and lobbying activities as well, with the health sector being the top lobbying spender in 2020.
In 2021 the lobbying spent added up to $3.73 billion and predictions show that this number will keep growing in 2022.
4. Threat Intelligence Will Become a Must in PR
Data from the European Communications Monitor 2020 shows that more than half of organizations reported that they have been victims of a cyberattack at least once. In addition, 40% of companies that suffered such attacks report critical reputation loss. Public Relations specialists are increasingly called in to help manage the situation and Threat Intelligence is considered to become their main asset. Threat Intelligence helps to scan and evaluate risks, empower protection strategies, and inform decisions around people and organizational security.
5. Through 2030, the PR Industry Adds Over 31,000 Jobs Every Year
In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains a positive outlook on the 2022 job growth in the Public Relations field. As a matter of fact, through 2030, the industry can add 31,000 more jobs and experience 29,000 job openings annually.
6. Median Public Relations Salary Reaches $63,000
The most recent government figures indicate a median salary of around $63,000 for Public Relations Specialists in the United States. However, ultimately, the salary depends on the job’s location, with professionals who live in cities with a higher cost of living earning more than others.
7. Data Literacy Is a Must-Have Skill in 2022
Like other professional fields, Public Relations continues to experience disruption. Blockchain, Web3, IoT, the metaverse, – the list goes on. Such environments are heavily based on data. As a consequence, PR pros must become proficient in handling data and analytics to help their organizations achieve business objectives, create more efficient strategies, and prevent crises.
8. Midsize PR Firms Shrank the Most in 2020
For quite a few years, PR firms with revenues of $50m to $250m showed the strongest growth. The pandemic completely reversed this growth trajectory, with a negative impact of -8% in 2020.
9. Edelman Employs the Most PR Professionals with Over 5,100
Based on the number of employees, Edelman remains the largest Public Relations firm in the United States with a staff of over 5,100. It outpaced Real Chemistry and APCO Worldwide which employ over 1,300 and 700 employees, respectively.
In 2019, Edelman realized a growth rate of .4% from 2018 to 2019 and a fee income of $892 million.
10. Over 8,500 Public Relations Firms Operate in the United States
The United States houses over 8,500 public relations firms. The industry employs an estimated 56,000 professionals.
Spool Marketing and Communications received an honorable mention as one of the fastest-growing American PR agencies.
Another key player in the industry remains Ketchum, Inc. The agency focuses on brand marketing, corporate communications, and healthcare.
Professionals in the PR Field
11. About 73% of PR Professionals Believe the Field Won’t Look the Same in 5 Years
It’s always interesting to understand how professionals in their field see themselves. An estimated 73% of PR pros believe that the industry’s definition will evolve further.
12. PR Moves from Creative to Strategic Planning
Mad Men gave the public a peek into PR in the 1960s when creativity ruled. In 2022, the most important skill has become strategic planning according to 88% of respondents. Media relations savvy, social media knowledge, and DEI follow it.
Getting the Message Across
13. Thursday Pitches Receive a 27% Email Open Rate
In 2022, some believe that Thursday between 10 am and 2 pm remains the best day to send a press release. The combination can result in a 27% open rate.
14. Journalists Prefer to Receive Pitches on Mondays
Interestingly, journalists prefer to receive pitches on Mondays.
Journalists set their weekly plans right after the weekend, so pitches sent to them on Tuesday can miss the mark.
15. Send Pitches in the Morning
Over half of Public Relations professionals like sending pitches between 9 am and noon. One-third of journalists like receiving pitches between 5 am and 9 am. Another 33% prefer the 9 am to the noontime slot.
16. Keep the Word Length at 100 or Less
About 50% of professionals keep their pitch length under 300 words. However, journalists prefer to read 100 words or less. Only 13% of public relations specialists write pitches at that length.
17. The Email Pitch Headline Matters
Researchers found that journalists receive between 10 to 500 PR pitches daily. Therefore, catching the eye of busy journalists is another challenge.
At least 42% of professionals believe that the subject line helps garner attention for an email pitch. That’s followed by customization per journalist with 35%.
18. It’s OK to Follow Up Twice
Follow-up emails remain acceptable to journalists. An overwhelming 90% expect one follow-up and will accept two. They consider three too many.
When sending a follow-up, wait three to seven days, a protocol that an estimated 57% of professionals practice.
19. The 1:1 Email Pitch Wins Over Mass Email Pitches
A whopping 96% of PR pros also believe that it’s best to send a one-on-one email to a journalist as opposed to the mass email approach, calling them, or reaching out on social media.
20. 9 out 10 PR Agencies, Brands, and Non-Profits Reach Out to Online Publications
PR agencies, brands, and non-profits reach out to online publications the most with 91% and 97%, respectively. Print newspapers, print magazines, and newsletters round out the top channel choices.
21. At Least 49% of PR Pros Cite Budget as a Challenging Aspect of their Job
Budget plays a key role in PR. About 49% of PR professionals cited budget as a challenge.
22. Over 31% Rely on Project Management Software
To complete their work, at least 31% of PR pros use project management software daily. In addition, 33% use social media tools daily.
The Digital Shift
As PR industry members become more data-minded and less Mad Men creative, the digital shift in this field becomes more obvious. Moreover, companies have adopted the use of data analytics to measure benchmarks and forecast growth.
23. 93% of PR Pros Still Rely on Spreadsheets
An estimated 93% of PR professionals use spreadsheets to track reporting. Then, 47% share their reports with the executive team, 39% with marketing, and 31% company-wide.
24. Email Continues to Rule Distribution
For professionals in the field, email remains the most used distribution tool at 89%, especially since 85% of reporters use email to check PR pitches.
Nevertheless, PR pros also use chat, live meetings, and communication hubs such as Slack at 46%, 41%, and 13% respectively. In one year, this saw a 67% jump thanks to remote working.
25. Aggressive Data-Driven Approaches in 2022 Will Include Social Media Analytics
Several PR professionals will adopt a more aggressive data-driven approach in 2022 as measuring success becomes a bigger focus. For 10% of surveyed PR pros, clicks, social media engagement, and sentiment will enter the fold.
The forecasted market growth combined with an always evolving role for professionals in this field is building the foundation for an exciting time in the Public Relations industry.