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Rising resource allocation for PR and communication sees higher percentage dedicated to measurement and evaluation - new GAP study

April 27, 2012


Higher spending on public relations and communication is being used for measurement and evaluation according to the latest GAP study from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.


Drawing information from more than 600 senior communicators in the United States, the study highlights activity in the PR and communication industry.  released its latest study on Communication and Public Relations Generally Accepted Practices (GAP).


Findings show that there has been an increase in the resources allocated to the PR and communication functions, with a 25% of the respondents foreseeing additional growth by 2013. A considerable portion of these resources has been dedicated to measurement and evaluation activities, especially to those related to social media monitoring tools. Senior communicators stressed the adoption of two different approaches: some companies use the “output” measures, focusing on data about clips and impressions, while other prefer the “outcomes” ones, taking into consideration the effect their activities have on the stakeholders attitudes and opinions.


The study also highlights the growing importance of PR and communication in today’s communication-intensive context. This trend is confirmed by the fact that more than half of the interviewees claimed that the PR and communication department reports directly to the board of directors. Moreover, the field is expanding including a more clear focus on activities such as internal communication,  customer relations and, of course, social media. Since 2010 social media participation has increased significantly with more than 53% of participants actively present on social networking sites and on micro blogs and they have included in their strategic planning activities related to both search engine optimization and video producing and sharing.


The seventh edition of the biennial report was conducted by USC Annenberg with the cooperation leading professional PR associations, such as Arthur W. Page Society, the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) together with two GA Members, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).


The findings offer valuable insights into the PR and communication industry, providing experts with relevant data and practical evidence they can use as tools both to better define and manage the communication functions in their organizations and to carry out benchmarking exercises/practices. 


More information on the GAP VII study can be found here: