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Digital PR and use of video on the rise

By David Beesley

Companies are continuing to spend on digital PR and social media with 53% saying budgets have increased since 2019.

That was one of the takeaway highlights from the 2021 PRCA Digital PR and Communications Report that surveyed 242 agency and in-house PR professionals across business services, finance and banking, technology and telecoms, charities and NGOs, Government and other sectors.

For Digital PR nerds like us, these reports provide a great idea what clients are now expecting from us as digital professionals.

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Video content continues to rise

Budgets for video content continues to rise with 61% confirming this is where brands are spending their money. Paid social budgets are close behind with 56% dedicating budget to this.

Is that a huge surprise, no. Investment in video has been increasing for years, which has brought the price to produce videos down and technology has made it much more accessible. 

From our own experience we know that publications are prioritising stories that come with videos. One, it's more engaging than another press release, and two, they have the option of placing ads on the videos, which raise revenue.

As PR consultants, we need to be more creative to get journalists attention, and a well produced video is at least one way of doing that.


Clients looking for social media support 

Interesting to see that clients are now expecting digital agencies to deliver social influencer outreach (32%) more than online press release distribution, which falls to 30% down from 51% last year.

Always willing to rise to new demands, the industry has increased it's Social network strategy offering by 8% over the past year - rising from 69% to 77%.


Demand for support with virtual events

What we found surprising is that 76% of agencies said they expected to help clients with virtual events in five years’ time. It's unclear as to whether this is over that five year period or that it'll be five years before there is a demand for this support. Our view is that it's the former, not the latter.  

The research was conducted in November 2020, so well into the global pandemic and social restrictions. From our own experience we've been helping clients with virtual events for the past 18 months, and the consensus is that this will continue well into 2021 and early 2022. 


Call for more SEO training 

We've been honing and refining our SEO knowledge for almost as decade now, so it is always a surprise when we see that over a quarter of respondents believed they needed more education on search engine optimisation. Beating augmented reality (25%) and social influencer outreach (20%).

Good SEO practice is at the heart of our content creation and feeds our analytics and measurement processes. So whilst still remains an area for improvement, we're comforted by the fact that this is recognised as being important and being demanded. 

It's important for the PRCA and other PR professional bodies to continue their education and training programmes in SEO, digital measurement, marketing and other areas that digital PR permeates. 

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