the comms2point0 survey 2012: it's getting harder and it's getting digital

Here it is. Our 200th post. It's a landmark one too. A snapshot of what comms people think and do in the UK in 2012. Some of the results are surprising. 

by Dan Slee

Okay, the results are in and in the first comms2point0 survey people have had their say.

A total of 151 PR, comms and digital comms people have had their say on a range of topics that face the profession. 

It’s a quick snapshot of comms people and what they think.

Some things are becoming clear. It’s clear that digital communications is a growing field and will get bigger.

There will be fewer press releases by comms teams which underline the need to understand the new channels. But don’t think that the web is unleashing the latent ability of comms people. A majority of people think their job is harder.

Here’s a snapshot of the results:

Social media is more important than writing a press release. The biggest skill to have as a comms person in 2012 is the ability to use social media with 79.2 per cent choosing it – compared to just 48.3 per cent picking the ability to write a press release.

Being a comms person is getting harder. A clear majority think it’s a harder job with 69.7 per cent thinking so.

There’ll be more social media content. A clear majority talk of doing more digital communications with 92.7 per cent saying they’ll do more.

Twitter is bigger than Facebook. Every single person – 100 per cent - who took part spoke of their organisation using the 140 character format compared to 92.1 per cent using Facebook.

Non-comms people are using digital. 72.8 per cent allow people outside the comms team to use social media.

There is a slight trend towards fewer press releases. People who said their organisation would be writing more was 14 per cent, with 24 per cent writing fewer and 62.0 per cent the same.


The social media league table of use.

1. Twitter 100.0 per cent

2. Facebook 92.1 per cent

3. Flickr 56.3 per cent

4. LinkedIn 43.7 per cent

5. Google Plus 19.9 per cent

6. Pinterest 13.2 per cent

Audioboo 13.2 per cent

7. Instagram 6.0 per cent

8. Soundcloud 5.3 per cent

9. Quora 0.7 per cent

10. N0tice 0.7 per cent


The raw data

1. Hello. We thought we’d take a look at the state of public relations in the UK 2012 as well as get some feedback on what we do at comms2point0. At random and because we're like that we'll choose some lucky person to send cake to as a way of saying thank you. Firstly, about you. This is open to people living and working in the UK. Do you work in public sector, private sector or third sector?

I'm private sector 14.0 per cent

I'm public sector 74.7 per cent

I'm third sector 3.3 per cent


2. Tell us about the job you do. Are you mainly...

A press officer 13.5 per cent

A marketing person 10.1 per cent 

A communications person 61.5 per cent 

A digital communications person 30.4 per cent

An internal comms person 7.4 per cent 


3 Okay, does your organisation plan to do less, more or the same digital communications - such as social media - over the next 12 months?

Less 0.7 per cent

More 92.1 per cent

Same 7.3 per cent 


4. Which digital channels do your organisation use?

Facebook 92.1 per cent

Twitter 100.0 per cent

LinkedIn 43.7 per cent

Flickr 56.3 per cent

Instagram 6.0 per cent

Pinterest 13.2 per cent

Google Plus 19.9 per cent

Quora 0.7 per cent

N0tice 0.7 per cent

Soundcloud 5.3 per cent

Audioboo 13.2 per cent


5. Does your organisation allow non-communications people to use digital channels to communicate on behalf of the organisation?

Yes 72.8 per cent

No 24.5 per cent

I just don't know 0.7 per cent

Not applicable 2.0 per cent


6. Thinking about press releases, does your organisation plan to write the same number as last year, about the same or less?

About the same 62.0 per cent

More 14 per cent

Less 24.0 per cent


7. If you were hiring tomorrow what skills would you look for? (choose more than one if you need to)

Personal skills 71.8 per cent

An ability to write a press release 48.3 per cent

An ability to use social media 79.2 per cent

An ability to plan a campaign 69.1 per cent

An ability to have tact and diplomacy 61.1 per cent


8. Is public relations and communications getting harder or easier (and can you tell us why?) 

Harder 67.9 per cent

Easier 14.3 per cent

Don't know 17.9 per cent

A big thank you to everyone who took part and shared the survey.

Dan Slee is co-founder of comms2point0. He also blogs here.

Picture credit.

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