The Rise of Earned Media

Cision and PRWeek today announced the release of their third annual 2019 Global Comms Report: The Path to Progress. The report surveyed more than 500 senior-level PR and marketing professionals in seven countries to uncover recent trends in communications. Among other findings, the 2019 Global Comms Report reveals that increased investments in data and shifts in social media strategy are helping comms teams clearly demonstrate their impact on a company’s bottom line. It also documents the rise of earned media.

The Path to Progress presents comparative year-on-year data that spotlights key trends shaping the comms discipline – including the finding that earned media is on the rise. 34% of global respondents’ overall media budget goes to earned media, up from 26% last year. Looking at U.S. respondents only, earned media’s prevalence is even more apparent. Notably more budget goes to earned media (39%) than paid media (31%), which has seen its share growth plateau since 2018 and now sits near owned media, which has 30% of the spend in the U.S.

Key takeaways from the report also include:

  • 67% of communicators believe the press release remains a major media communications tool
  • Instagram has grown in significance, with 22% selecting it as their most important social channel, up from 9% last year, passing Twitter and closing in on Facebook in importance
  • 61% focus their engagement efforts on mainstream journalists, an increase over last year
  • 67% feel confident they know how many people are actually reading their content, an increase in confidence in actual reach metrics over last year

“At Cision, we recognize the tremendous value of original research in better understanding the challenges and opportunities ahead for our industry,” said Jenn Deering Davis, VP of Global Comms, Content and Brand at Cision. “The themes emerging in this year’s survey highlight a lot of what our clients and even our own comms team face every day. Among many takeaways, it’s particularly interesting to see what this report tells us about the evolving perspectives on influencers and social media, as these tactics become even more mainstream and mature.”

Among survey results, the 2019 Global Comms Report offers insights into:

  • Noteworthy shifts in both the most impactful influencers and content platforms
  • Evidence that traditional media still carries sway
  • How PR pros are gaining more impact in the C-suite and across the business
  • How effectively PR is deciphering the data it collects
  • Comms’ current financial commitment to data and analytics
  • The biggest challenges PR pros face and how they overcome them with data and technology

“What excites me most about PRWeek’s collaboration with Cision on the third-annual Global Comms Report is how it brings into clear focus the progress the industry has made – both tactically and reputation-wise,” said Gideon Fidelzeid, managing editor of PRWeek. “The global data collected by the study does more than just tell a great story in and of itself. It’s instructive and serves as counsel to any PR pro seeking a tactical or strategic edge.”