Research Indicates PR Pros ...


I speak at the Mumbrella Conference in Singapore tomorrow, charged with answering the question, “Does PR Get Storytelling?”

Obviously, I have my views on the topic.

But what about the PR folks on the front line. What do they think? To find out, we surveyed over 400 PR professionals based in Asia pulling from both internal teams and consultancies.


Breakdown of Survey Respondents


The experience level of those surveyed was evenly split from two years to over 20 years.

The survey started with a question that cuts the core. Do people believe their agencies or departments consistently resonate with the target audience?


Content Resonates with Target Audience?


The data surprised me. You can see a large percentage of communicators believe their content does NOT hit the mark. OK, seems like a promising start. Acknowledging the problem sets the stage for making changes.

Next, we asked each survey participant to choose up to three obstacles to creating high-quality content.


Major Obstacles to Creating High-quality Content


“Lack of research” is the No. 1 reason?

“Don’t understand the target audience” — right, that’s a problem — and “tight deadlines” rounds out the top three.

I’m now sensing denial. And most do not buy into the premise that expertise might be holding the profession back.

The use of anecdotes offers one of the best litmus tests for storytelling. We asked participants if they were to audit all of the content created by their department or consultancy, what percent of the content would be anecdotal.

Seventy-six percent thought that the amount of anecdotal content would come above 5 percent, and 42 percent thought over 10 percent of their content was anecdotal.


What Percent of Your Content is Anecdotal?


Sticking with the anecdote theme, we also asked if they believed anecdotal content has a place in news releases.


Anecdotal Content in News Releases?


As you can see, folks were quite bullish on feathering anecdotes into news releases. But does their perception align with the reality of how news releases are constructed?

Without getting into the details that I’ll share tomorrow, in analyzing what’s coming out of the other end of the pipe, the “science” suggests that PR professionals do not deliver on the premise of storytelling even though they think they do.

Which should make for a lively discussion tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to it.

Leave a Reply