Brunnen Communications – viestintätoimisto

PRBI Barometer: The year 2022 will focus on strategic communication

PR agencies are now most in demand about strategic communication skills, media relations and crisis communication skills. The results are shown in the annual PRBI barometer, which examines the views of PR agencies in more than 40 countries on changes in the demand for PR services and priorities. Regardless of their geographical location, the majority (67%) of agencies believe that the demand for PR services they provide will be slightly higher than in 2021. According to respondents, clients’ PR budgets will either remain unchanged or increase slightly.

Clients’ interest in verifying the influence of communication was already highlighted in last year’s barometer, and now its weight has grown even more. Clients are interested in how the influence of their communication can be measured. However, few have the skills or tools to do so.

Exceptional times have brought the demand for clarity of communication into the spotlight. Stakeholders’ behavior can only be guided by unambiguous and sufficiently concise wording, which in turn requires strong communication skills.

“Organizations have woken up to see more closely that effective communication starts with a well-aligned strategy and an understanding of its goals. For a few decision-makers, it is no longer enough to judge the success of a communication by the number of pairs of eyes or media hits. Communication has only been successful when it has had the right impact on stakeholders”, says Taru Nikulainen, Owner and Managing Director of Brunnen Communications in Finland.

Communication is expected to be influential

The results of the PRBI barometer show that PR agencies are increasingly being asked to measure the effectiveness of communication in the strategy: in 2022, media relations (80%), communication strategies (72%) and crisis communication consulting (54%) are estimated to be the most sought-after services. This is followed by content production (45%), influencer marketing (32%) and employee branding (25%).

“Employee engagement is still an important part of an organization’s reputation and assurance of expertise. I do not think that its importance is diminishing, but the exceptional year has raised the need to buy support for crisis communication, which is particularly demanding and requires rapid reaction. Media relations holds its own year after year, regardless of surveys and studies. Organizations understand that the view formed by journalists weighs a lot when it comes to building a reputation and corporate image”, Nikulainen sums up.

The International PRBI Barometer is an important tool for decision-makers

Brunnen Communications launched an international PR barometer in December 2020. The barometer helps PR service decision-makers see what services are being invested internationally and what clients expect from PR agencies. The data collected through the survey will make it easier for purchasing decision-makers to assess their own expertise and critically review priorities. At the same time, the barometer is pushing service providers to develop their services and serve their clients even better.

“As the only Finnish member of the international PR Boutiques International network, we use the barometer to get first-hand information about what is expected from PR and communication in 2022 and how clients would like to connect communication to their strategic goals. Almost 30 international network agencies around the world responded to the barometer”, says Taru Nikulainen, MD of Brunnen.

Brunnen publishes the barometer every year, next time in early 2023.

PR Boutiques International (PRBI) is an international network of more than 40 communications agencies in more than 40 countries on five continents. The members are privately owned PR agencies specializing in strategic communication, who actively utilize each other’s expertise.

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