Unlikely insights from study of PR world

I like to look for the unlikely, counterintuitive insights in the research studies about the world of PR.

The latest (and dare I say, best) report is Muck Rack’s recently released annual State of PR. You can download the slide deck here.

Conventional wisdom: PR is a grind, you gotta work long hours to get ahead.

Actual research result: Only nine percent of PR pros report working 51 hours a week or longer. And the percentage of pros who work 41-50 hours is pretty close to the percentage who work only 26-40 hours per week. I’m fortunate to be in the latter group. I’m not saying you should slack off (especially if you’re new to this biz), but if you’ve got the compensation and autonomy you want, no need to spin your wheels just to hit the weekly hours that Henry Ford decided his assembly line workers should put in 100 years ago.

Conventional wisdom: Media relations is getting tougher than ever.

Actual research result: A whopping 59 percent of pros believe they’ll be landing more earned media in the future. Doesn’t mean it’s getting easier, just that pros are optimistic that they will continue to adapt and be successful.

Conventional wisdom: If you ever call a journalist, their response will make your phone combust in your hand, leaving burn scars on your ear and soul forever after.

Actual research result: Bear with me on this. Only 28 percent of brand PR reps included phone as one of the most effective pitch channels (1:1 email was by far the favorite). But isn’t that higher than you thought it would be? A quarter of PR pros at brands are finding the phone effective. That’s up from 18 percent last year. I think it may also be a function of less competition. For sure, many journalists will never answer. But for those who do, you can make a stronger connection.

Think I’m nuts? Download the research and draw your own conclusions (yes, that’s me on slide 2 as a research partner).

This article was originally published on June 22, 2022

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