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PR Statistics

Last updated: 08.07.2022
Author: Ana

Creating a successful marketing and branding campaign could never happen without PR help. Public relations aim to connect businesses to the outside world utilizing many different procedures to increase brand visibility and (online) presence. While other aspects of marketing and branding are equally important, today, we’ll be focusing on the most crucial PR statistics and the importance of public relations in marketing to help you boost the image of your business this year and beyond.

PR Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • 72.8% of PR managers are female. (Muck Rack)
  • 72% of PR professionals say that politics make their jobs harder. (Sword and the Script)
  • The global PR market revenue is expected to reach $129 billion by 2025. (Statista)
  • Over 40% of PR experts see the media as unbiased. (Sword and the Script)
  • ‘Digital PR’ has only 320 searches monthly. (Reboot Online, Twitter)
  • US public relations agencies spent $11.51 billion in 2020. (Statista)
  • Less than 45% of PR professionals have a crisis communication plan. (Muck Rack)

General PR Stats and Facts

1. 88% of PR specialists say that digital storytelling is the future.

While there are many widely used public relations procedures to choose from, 88% of leading PR professionals believe that one of the new PR strategies, digital storytelling, is the way to go. They state that digitalization has found its way into just about any sector and that the PR industry is no different.

(USC Annenberg)

The Top PR Strategies That Will Shape the Industry’s Future

2. 21% of PR professionals report to their CEOs instead of CCOs.

PR is commonly mistaken for marketing rather than being marketing’s number one ally. Public relations statistics, however, show that 21% of PR experts report their work to CEOs rather than chief communication officers. These figures are based on a survey of around 300 professionals, and 97% are based in the US. 

(2021 Strategic Communications Survey)

3. 72.8% of PR managers are female.

The ladies seem to be taking over the public relations industry, as statistics show. Women account for 72.8% of overall PR management job positions. In terms of ethnicity, Hispanics or Latino women account for only 3.1% of that number, 3.1% go to Asian, and 10.7% to Black women.

(Muck Rack)

4. 72% of PR professionals say that politics make their jobs harder.

PR stats show that 72% of public relations experts stated that politics heavily influence the PR industry and that partisan politics made their jobs a lot harder in 2020. In addition, 38% of them think that brands shouldn’t be a part of politics.

(Sword and the Script)

5. Less than 50% of large US companies engage in PR activities.

According to Statista’s public relations industry analysis, 46% of large US enterprises (with 500+ employees) recognize the importance of public relations and utilize it in their business strategies. Currently, companies are mostly interested in email marketing (71%) and social media management (71%).

(Statista)

6. An average PR annual salary in the US is $51,140.

Public relations job statistics show that the base salary for PR roles ranges between 

$38k and $73k, while the total pay amounts to between $35k and $76k, meaning that the average hourly pay for a public relations specialist in the US is $19.98 per hour.

(PayScale)

7. The global PR market value is expected to amount to $129 billion by 2025.

The public relations industry growth has been skyrocketing since 2016 when the market was valued at $14 billion. That number jumped to $63.8 billion in 2018. According to Statista, the global public relations industry is expected to reach $129 billion by 2025.

(Statista)

8. The PR industry spending in the US in 2021 was estimated at $6.6 billion.

According to public relations revenue statistics, the PR industry is booming in the United States. What’s interesting, the spending on marketing services regarding public relations has been gradually increasing since 2017. Still, in 2021, it’s spent on sales promotion the most ($88.2 billion).

(Statista)

9. 95% of PR specialists say that they present the truth in their work often or sometimes.

Most people may think that one of the leading public relations trends is to lie to their audience or embellish the truth, but what do the PR specialists say about that? According to a recent study, 95% of experts say that they present accurate and truthful information either “often” or “sometimes.”

(Sword and the Script)

10. 41% of PR experts say that the media is unbiased.

One of the most commonly known PR facts is that they have to work with the media to achieve the best results possible. When asked whether they think that professional reporters are unbiased, 3% said they believed they’re always unbiased, while 41% of PR experts noted that reporters are often objective and unbiased. On the other hand, 37% said reporters are sometimes unbiased, while 17% said rarely, and 2% said never.

(Sword and the Script)

11. The most popular communication tool among PR professionals is email.

Sure, we all expected PR professionals to spend their working hours constantly communicating with others, especially journalists, but who would have expected that all of them spend most of their time using emails? Other commonly used tools among PRs include direct messaging, phone, and video conferencing software, as evidenced by the latest public relations statistics.

(Muck Rack)

The Most Popular Communication Tools Among PR Professionals

12. The highest percentage of PR professionals choose web analytics as their top marketing tool.

On the list of the most popular marketing software are marketing automation, web analytics, marketing cloud, email automation, and CRM software. Interestingly, about three-quarters of PRs never use marketing clouds, CRM, and marketing automation software.

(Muck Rack)

The Leading Marketing Solutions Among PR Professionals and Their Usage Frequency

13. ‘Digital PR’ has only 320 searches monthly.

According to public relations industry trends, the term ‘digital PR’ has an average of only 320 searches a month. It hasn’t reached the popularity it deserves yet, but being recognized by Google’s John Mueller for its importance equal to technical SEO is a good start.

(Reboot Online, Twitter)

14. One in 10 marketers said that they were focusing on digital PR in 2019.

The importance of public relations in marketing can’t be stressed enough, but it seems that marketers didn’t give it much thought in 2019. In fact, digital PR statistics show that less than 1 out of 10 marketers focused on digital PR in 2019.

(Reboot Online)

15. 82% of PR experts say that technology will considerably or greatly change the industry.

As with most industries, the public relations industry is heavily influenced by technological advancements. More precisely, 59% of public relations professionals say that they feel technology will significantly change the industry, and an additional 23% say the change will be of a great extent.

(USC Annenberg)

16. A single press release can cost anywhere from $400 to $2,000.

One of the well-known public relations facts is that you have to be ready to pay the price whether you want an eloquent public relations strategy or an articulate single press release. For example, Business Wire, one of the leading press release distribution companies, charges $830 for 400 words and an additional $230 for each additional 100 words.

(Sword and the Script)

17. US public relations agencies spend over $10 billion annually.

US public relations agencies seem to be big spenders, according to Statista. In 2019, they spent $11.27 billion, which is a substantial amount to begin with. That was also an increase compared to 2018, when PR agencies spent an estimated $10.64 billion. In 2020, their expenses amounted to $11.51 billion.

(Statista)

18. Less than 50% of PR professional communicators have a documented crisis communication plan.

Public relations facts show that, while 59% of PR communicators say that they have a strategy draft, only 45% admit to having a documented crisis plan. It’s also worth mentioning that 9 out of 10 in-house communication team leaders have regular challenges with content creation.

(Muck Rack)

19.59% of PR experts find that getting a response from journalists is a big challenge.

PR experts will often work with journalists as a part of their public relations strategy, but it seems that that is not the easiest task they are faced with. In fact, 59% of public relations professionals say that receiving responses from journalists is the biggest challenge in their line of work.

(Muck Rack)

20. 90% of professionals think that PR and marketing are integrating.

We’ve already established that PR is not to be confused with marketing, as they can work together but don’t necessarily have to. According to public relations stats, 90% of marketers and PR experts think the two are integrating and will eventually become intertwined.

(Reboot Online)

21. 51% of executive teams have daily or weekly PR briefs.

One of the new public relations trends is giving executive teams a heads up when it comes to public relations and communication strategies. That’s why 36% of those teams have weekly PR briefs, 15% have daily briefings, while a quarter is briefed on a case-by-case basis.

(Muck Rack)

22. The number of PR firms in the US is 53,617.

PR statistics show that the popularity of public relations shot up in the past years, as the annualized growth of PR firms between 2017 and 2022 is 4.5%. Also, the number of PR businesses this year is 4.5% higher than it was in 2021. California, New York, and Florida are the states with the most PR firms.

(IBIS World)

23. Currently, there are 49,707 PR employees in the US and 63.9 are female.

While you may think that people would be fighting over getting into a lucrative career such as PR, the public relations industry analysis tells a different story. The statistics also indicate that this industry comprises 63.9% women and 36.1% men. Also, the average age of a PR in the US is 40.5.

(Zippia)

24. Twitter was voted the best platform for following journalists by over 90% of PR pros.

One of the most common forms of PR is finding good journalists and following them on social media. That’s why 54% of PR professionals follow journalists on their social media sites before pitching to them. 91% say that Twitter is the best platform for following journalists. Meanwhile, when it comes to social media platforms for developing communication and social media strategies, PR statistics show LinkedIn is the top choice among PR pros. Twitter comes in second, with 77% of PRs voting for this platform. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok close the top five.

(Muck Rack)

The Leading Social Networks That Are Essential to PR Professionals and Their Company’s Communication Strategies

25. 95% of professionals say that they’re not worried about budget cuts.

Now, we established the importance of public relations in marketing and the value of PR on its own. The latest statistics show that PR pros are confident about next year’s budget. 45% of them think the budgets will increase, and 50% think it will remain the same.

(Muck Rack)

PR FAQ

How old is the public relations industry?

While there were a lot of instances of communication management and public influence in the past, most people say that the establishment of the Publicity Bureau agency in Boston in 1900 can be directly linked to the start of modern PR.

(Institute of Public Relations)

How much do companies spend on public relations?

While it’s difficult to cite a specific amount, one thing is certain — companies spend a lot on PR. Public relations industry statistics show that most billion-dollar companies will cough up anywhere from $250,000 to $25 million on different forms of PR annually.

(Axia Public Relations)

How much do PR firms charge per hour?

The PR rates vary, ranging from $20 per hour to even $500 per hour. The average hourly rate is roughly $125, according to data collected by the professor of communications at Radford University, Vincent Hazleton.

(Chron)

Are public relations and marketing the same thing?

While most people tend to put the two in the same basket, the main difference is that marketing’s primary goal is to promote a specific product or service, while a public relations strategy always aims to maintain a positive reputation of a person, brand, or a service.

(The Muse)

How can public relations help a company?

PR value statistics show that PR is 90% more successful in influencing consumers than advertising. A well-thought-out PR campaign significantly helps boost brand awareness, increases websites’ ranking on search engines, and generally improves brands/services’ public image.

(Forbes)

Conclusion

After going through some of the essential PR statistics and trends in public relations, it’s safe to say that PR plays a vital role in building businesses’ success. The public relations industry, however, is much more than just a powerful marketing tool — it can make or break anyone’s public image, be it a brand, a political party, or an individual. It is one of the backbones of marketing strategies worldwide for a good reason, and we expect that PR will continue to grow as an industry in the years to come.

Sources: Muck Rack, Sword and the Script, Statista, Statista, Sword and the Script, Reboot Online, Twitter, Statista, USC Annenberg, 2021 Strategic Communications Survey, Statista, PayScale, Statista, Sword and the Script, Muck Rack, USC Annenberg, Sword and the Script, IBIS World, Zippia, Institute of Public Relations, Axia Public Relations, Chron, The Muse, Forbes