PR's Relationship With Top Management is Improving

Last Updated Jun 5, 2008 12:41 PM EDT

According to the USC-Annenberg study of 520 PR departments in the U.S., PR practitioners are feeling very good these days about their relationship with top management.

This survey result is at odds with conventional wisdom, which has PR people perpetually wringing their hands about their perceived lack of status with the C-Suite. I think we've arrived, people.

The authors state: "The results reflect a consistently healthy degree of management support for PR that can be leveraged to expand budgets and staff. The authors believe that the status of PR practitioners in their organizations as serious contributors and counselors to senior management is stable and strong. This and other key indicators of professional good health (i.e., budget and staff growth) suggest to us that the PR industry is better positioned to weather an economic downturn than it has been in the past."

Other findings regarding PR's relationship with management:

  • It is encouraging to see that, even among smaller organizations, PR practitioners are more and more involved in the important strategy meetings at which the key decisions and direction of their organizations are planned and analyzed.
  • The profession consistently does best among the largest respondent organizations. To the extent that those organizations represent the most successful American enterprises, this can be seen as a strong endorsement of the profession that organizations of other sizes might be wise to emulate.
  • The conviction of respondents that CEOs value the contributions of PR is now undeniable and signifies a much improved self-image and degree of confidence within the profession over previous surveys.
  • Nonetheless, the authors believe that practitioners must guard against the unhealthy flip side of that confidence â€" overconfidence. Still to be addressed is the evaluation-related question, "from what hard data do they (and their CEOs) derive their optimistic beliefs?"
TOMORROW: The 13 Best PR Practices among internal PR departments.
  • Jon Greer

    Jon Greer has been analyzing media and PR for more than 25 years. He's been a journalist and a PR executive, and has been a featured speaker for many years at the Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit, and served as Bulldog's Editorial Director for their PR University series of weekly how-to audio conferences.

    Jon provides PR services including media relations and freelance writing to clients including start-ups, law firms, corporations, investment banks and venture capital firms. In addition, Jon provides spokesperson training. Learn more about Jon's training programs at The Media Bridge.