The JOTW Strategic Communications Survey for 2022
5th annual survey of 483 professionals working in
communications, public relations and public affairs.
Conducted in partnership by Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW)
and Sword and the Script Media, LLC
There is a lot of value of conducting a survey of communication professionals, then analyzing it and sharing the results. But there is even greater value when we essentially repeat the survey on an annual basis because we can identify and observe trends. There are a lot of forces acting on the business world, and our roles within it. Those forces have influenced the results on a year-to-year basis. The results are especially meaningful this year as we emerge from the global pandemic that affected us all in some way.
Our survey format has been easy for communicators to take part. We had 483 respondents this year, more than we’ve ever had before. And we’ve invited several experts to help us review and analyze the results, which will help us to comprehend the data.
Many of those responses came from communicators in my “Job of the Week” network, but we also had some well-connected comms pros push the survey information out to their networks, too. Frank and I are grateful to them, and to all of those who took the few minutes to help us understand the state of our profession this year.
Ned Lundquist, ABC, IABC Fellow
Captain, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Editor and Publisher
The Job of the Week Network LLC
Last year this survey found communications was more valued than ever. Businesses and organizations had turned to communications professionals for help navigating a range of challenges. This year the survey suggests those same comms professionals have been rewarded with a greater volume of work – and of a variety that’s changing.
Resources haven’t kept pace. While about one-third of respondents say comms budgets are up – more say budgets are flat or declining. Budget alone can’t solve the problem as “a lack of experience” among staff is among the top three challenges. This may present an opportunity for agencies and consultants as well. “An extra pair of hands” is the top reason for hiring outside resources.
Against this backdrop, comms pros are also concerned about bias in their day-to-day work. They worry about it in mediums across the board – including algorithms, influencers and traditional media sources. That may be why, in part, we see a shift towards taking a message directly to audiences.
Most respondents say their organization is placing a greater emphasis on owned media this year – and by a wide margin. Many are realizing the opportunity to build an audience, along with trust an engagement directly, though I’d caution to avoid abandoning other approaches, including media relations, altogether. Comms is most effective when it is integrated across owned, shared, earned and paid efforts.
Frank Strong, MA, MBA
Founder & President,
Sword and the Script Media, LLC
The Volume and Variety of Communications Work is Shifting, Finds 5th Annual Survey of Comms Pros