A lack of sufficient resources has become a top concern among public relations professionals working both at agencies and for brands, according to a new report from PR management platform Muck Rack.

The annual report, which surveys PR professionals to get their take on the current state of the industry, found that about half (49 percent) of PR pros said that having enough resources is the top PR/communications challenge their company faces today. PR pros working for a brand are more likely to cite resources as a top concern compared to those working at agencies (58 percent versus 43 percent).

That said, the highest share of respondents (41 percent) said they expect their budgets to remain the same or increase within the next year.

Other pressing current concerns for PR pros include getting journalist responses (46 percent), managing stakeholder expectations (37 percent), justifying or showcasing their PR team’s value to stakeholders (36 percent), collaborating effectively with other departments (22 percent) and evaluating new technologies, tools, channels and media (20 percent).

According to the report, getting responses from journalists was a bigger priority for PR pros stationed at agencies than for those working for brands (54 percent versus 42 percent).

The report also discovered that AI has risen to become a top concern when it comes to the skills PR pros think their company should turn their attention to in the future. Almost half (44 percent) said they think companies should begin focusing on integrating AI tools into their workflow in the next five years, a percentage that has grown 13 percent in the last year. AI was actually the second-highest ranked skillset, with strategic planning claiming the number-one spot this year (46 percent). An additional 43 percent said media relations should be a top focus. Data and analytics (37 percent) and influencer marketing (30 percent) followed.

Muck Rack Study - PR pros were asked: In your opinion, how much diversity does your leadership team have?PR pros were asked: In your opinion, how much diversity does your leadership team have?

Overall, an overwhelming majority of PR professionals surveyed (88 percent) said they feel that leadership understands their work at least somewhat well, but PR pros at agencies are more likely to feel very valued than those working at brands. According to the report, more than half of PR pros who work at an agency (52 percent) reported feeling “very valued” by leadership at their jobs, compared to only 22 percent of those stationed at brands. According to the report, the number of PR pros at agencies who said they currently feel very valued dropped by 7 percent in the last year.

However, it should be noted that 31 percent of PR pros who work for brands said they feel valued or at least moderately valued, compared to only 20.5 percent of those who work at agencies.

Perhaps most troubling: Many PR pros expressed concern regarding what they characterized to be a lack of diversity across the industry, particularly in leadership ranks. While nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said their workplace has at least a moderate amount of diversity, more than half (55 percent) reported little to no diversity at all in their company’s leadership, and the highest share (36 percent) of PR pros characterized their leadership team as possessing only “a little diversity.”

PR pros working for brands were more likely than those working at an agency to say they think their company has “a lot” of diversity (22 percent compared to 15 percent).

Finally, it appears that after-hours work continues to be a disappointing norm for those working in the PR industry. Slightly more than half of respondents (51 percent) said they put in more than 40 hours per week, with an additional nine percent claiming they work more than 50 hours every week. Half of those surveyed (50 percent) said they found themselves putting in extra hours (be it late nights, early mornings or during the weekends) at least one time in the last week.

Muck Rack’s sixth annual "State of PR" report surveyed more than 1,100 PR pros between April and May.