Corporate executives appear to experience a major disconnect between the results they expect from PR and what they actually get, according to a new survey by New York-based firm North 6th Agency.

According to the survey, a majority of the executives polled (33 percent) claimed that PR was of the utmost importance to their specific business outcomes. However, relatively few (only 10 percent) said PR has actually been highly effective in driving those desired outcomes. On a one-to-five rating scale, a majority of executives (27 percent) rated PR’s effectiveness on their desired business outcomes at only a two.

Moreover, only 30 percent of executives believe that their PR teams have been made fully aware of key performance indicators related to PR.


When it comes to what specific business objectives are wanted out of a PR campaign, most executives seemed to have pretty clear ideas about the goals they have in mind. A vast majority (82 percent) cited raising brand awareness, while 70 percent cited driving revenue. A third (33 percent) said recruiting talent is their top goal, while about a quarter (24 percent) said raising capital is their primary objective. Only 12 percent said they turn to PR to prepare for an IPO.

In terms of media relations, an overwhelming majority (82 percent) of executives polled said that quality of the press coverage they receive is their most important PR goal. Only 18 percent said they simply wanted to achieve a higher volume of press coverage.

Taken together, the survey suggests that clear communication (regarding overall strategy and desired outcomes) between PR teams and management, as well as outlining specific, measurable goals and KPIs, are paramount to executing effective PR strategies and campaigns.

The survey also discovered that a majority of the executives polled in the survey (41 percent) said they rely only on internal PR teams. Less than a quarter (22 percent) said they outsource all of their PR initiatives to an outside agency. One in five (20 percent) said they divide PR work between an internal team and an external agency.

North 6th Agency’s “2019 PR Effectiveness & Alignment Survey” polled 55 executives at U.S. companies in October, 78 percent of whom are stationed at companies with fewer than 500 employees. A majority (60 percent) of executives polled hold positions of VP level or higher. The survey was fielded to members of the Revenue Collective via LinkedIn.