The Global Communications Report – PR in Five Years’ Time


The landscape of PR within the next 5 years is going to change dramatically, according to a report published last week. Led by the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations in conjunction with the Holmes Report, the Global Communications Report is the first of its kind. Over 1,000 senior PR professionals from around the world took part in the survey, which was designed to assess the state of the industry over the next five years.

First and foremost, the agency business will grow from $14 billion to $19.3 billion, with a subsequent estimated increase in headcount of about 26%.

In accordance with this, all respondents feel their jobs will become more “complex, challenging, and strategic,” with a shocking 27% believing that their role will not be adequately describing using the term “public relations” in five years’ time.

What  Will Change?

As stated in numerous “2016 prediction” blog posts, one of the major drivers of public relations will be content creation and amplification. 81% of agency leaders questioned in the report expect that PR professionals will need to deliver “more content” across “more channels” with “more creativity” over the next five years.

3 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Game

  • As mentioned in a previous blog: you should provide valuable, educational, and engaging content. PR relationships are built on trust in the form of long-term relationships.
  • Utilise backlinks. Again, as mentioned in a previous blog post, you should not rely on personally driving content towards your own website.
  • Establish thought leadership. Build credibility, influence, a unique perspective, and charisma.

The Bad News

As Fred Cook, Director of the USC Center for Public Relations, states, “If content creation is the engine for growth, the industry will need to invest in people who can develop world-class creative.” Accordingly, the greatest challenges for PR professionals over the next five years will be to recruit and retain employees that can provide said content. Indeed, writing skills were ranked as the most important (89%), surpassing business literacy (62%), analytics (62%), and research (48%).

Be on the lookout: over the next few weeks, the Holmes Report will be analysing their findings in even more detail to reveal more predicted shifts in the PR landscape.

I’d love to hear what you think; get in touch –

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