Thought Leadership

Study Shows Top Concerns, Common Tasks, Average Salaries for PR Professionals

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Muck Rack’s latest State of PR report finds that most public relations professionals feel valued, with 88% saying their company leaders understand their work at least somewhat well.

According to a survey the media database company conducted, having enough resources and receiving responses from journalists are top concerns of public relations professionals. Half of respondents say insufficient financial and personnel resources are their biggest challenges.

While media relations remains a primary task for PR professionals, artificial intelligence now ranks as a higher priority, the report finds. A growing portion of PR practitioners (44%, a 13% increase over last year) say their companies must incorporate AI into their workflows to ensure success over the next five years. Strategic planning is another PR priority, the survey shows.

On average, 79% of respondents say they spend at least 25% of their time on media relations, the most common task cited. The best way to secure media placements is to ensure the journalist’s beat includes the topic being pitched, 37% of respondents said.

The survey finds that email is still the best way to pitch reporters. Three out of four PR professionals personalize their pitches usually or always, while fewer than 10% seldom or never personalize their story pitches to reporters.

Other tasks that PR professionals spend at least 25% of their time on include creating content (cited by 49% of respondents), developing thought leadership pieces (46%), measuring and reporting media results (40%), and working on corporate communications (29%). About half of PR professionals say the time they spend on internal communications stays the same or increases.

Most respondents agree that the best way to increase PR’s value is to produce measurable results. Regarding social media, LinkedIn is the most important platform for public relations professionals (cited by 50% of respondents), surpassing X/Twitter at 16%.

The report finds that more than half of the communicators surveyed work over 40 hours per week, and after-hours work is still the norm in the field. Most PR professionals work after hours at least one day per week, while nearly half of C-suite PR employees work after hours three or more days per week.

The average annual salary for a public relations job is $84,000. At agencies, the average salary is $90,000, while at brands, the average PR position pays $110,000.

Illustration: Willian

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PRSA Staff

1 Comment

  • In discussion of how public relations professionals spend their time, don’t any of them spend any of their time as strategic advisers to CEOs and other senior executives? That’s the highest-impact work a practitioner can do – provided he or she has qualifications and experience to do so – yet I see very little in the PRSA publications that suggest this is seen as a central role for practitioners.

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