January 20, 2023

New NYU SPS/PRWeek Report Reveals Today’s PR Professionals Have More “Progressive” Attitudes Than The General US Population

Survey Also Shows Current Practitioners, Despite an Industry Image Problem, Feel They Deliver Significant & Unique Strategic Value in the C-Suite, Among Other Findings

New York, NY, January 20, 2023 – In the 2022 NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) /PRWeek Attitudinal Survey of PR Professionals revealed that today’s public relations (PR) practitioners rate themselves consistently more “progressive” on political, economic, social, and safety issues than the general US population.

The joint survey, which was designed to learn more about the value and motivations of PR professionals, together with their perspectives on the profession and its practitioners, provided a key number of insights and findings about the profession, including:

  • Are PR professionals too progressive for their target audiences? – PR professionals are significantly more likely to self-identify as politically “progressive” (68%) than the US population (26%), a characteristic which also remains true across economic, public safety, and societal issues.
  • Does PR have a PR problem? – PR practitioners believe people have a largely negative view of the profession in terms of its value, its ethics, and respect for PR professionals.
  • The PR profession demands both creativity and business acumen – PR practitioners feel that “creativity” and “storytelling ability” are the profession’s most valuable skills. However, these are closely followed by “the ability to work with others” and “client management skills.”
  • Are PR professionals valued in the C-Suite – Surveyed PR professionals believe they bring significant and unique strategic value, especially at the executive level.

“With the current complexities of the PR profession, this study shines a light on some of the key attitudes and perceptions that exist among PR professionals today,” said Martin Ihrig, associate dean and clinical professor at the NYU SPS Division of Programs in Business. “These findings are incredibly relevant for all those interested or work in the field of PR, whether they are students in our program or industry leaders.”

"We are living and working in a purpose-driven world where the needs of business and society can’t be merely aligned; they need to be integrated into all our communications,” said Ken Kerrigan, senior vice president at the integrated communications agency, The Bliss Group, and NYU SPS faculty member. "Getting that right requires an organization, led by the public relations function, to actively listen to and engage with stakeholders across multiple communications channels. It is also encouraging to see from this study the importance the next generation of PR professionals places on ethics and purpose, while continuing to help drive an organization’s strategy and elevating the perception of our professional,” added Kerrigan.

Jim Joseph, chief executive officer, US, and global marketing and integration officer at Ketchum and NYU SPS faculty member, said, "We have an obligation to understand the needs and desires of the next generation of PR professionals, whose life experiences have been vastly different than those who came before them. This important study is an excellent start to learning more."

For the 2022 Attitudinal Survey, the data was gathered using two quantitative online surveys. One was a custom questionnaire distributed among PR professionals and PR graduate students aged 20+ to capture their impressions of the industry, including social value dimensions, motivators, ethics, tactics, the role and performance of PR, and needed skills. The second survey was distributed to a representative sample of 2,500 US residents aged 18+ not involved in the PR profession.

For the complete 2022 NYU SPS/PR Week Attitudinal Survey of PR Professionals, visit the NYU SPS Integrated Marketing and Communications web page.

About PRWeek
published by Haymarket Media, epitomizes the modern business publishing brand, spanning online, print, events, and social media, incorporating a paid-for content strategy and gated website. Launched in November 1998, it is the essential title for PR professionals in the US. PRWeek reflects an industry playing a more pivotal role than ever before, not only in the marketing strategies of companies, brands, and organizations but also within boardrooms and amongst the C-suite.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies
For more than 87 years, the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) has been a deeply respected institution of higher education that is grounded in applied learning. From its early years, training returning World War II veterans to fulfill the nation’s urgent need for skilled technical workers, it has evolved into a professional education powerhouse that offers 22 graduate degrees, 14 bachelor’s degrees for traditional and degree completion students, four associate degrees, and a plethora of continuing education courses and credentials.

NYU SPS is a thought leader, and serves as an incubator for new ideas in industries that are constantly changing, including real estate, real estate development, and construction management; hospitality, tourism, travel, and event management; financial planning; global affairs and global security, conflict, and cybercrime; global sport and sports business; publishing; executive marketing and strategic communications, integrated marketing; public relations; project management; executive coaching and organizational consulting, human resource management and development, and human capital analytics and technology; management and systems; translation; and professional writing. It is focused on building skills that open doors to opportunities in emerging fields and global markets. NYU SPS faculty members are leading experts in their areas of discipline, with a hands-on approach that encourages students to push beyond their limits and to break new ground.

Home to some of the largest and most prestigious industry conferences in the world, including the Schack Institute of Real Estate’s Capital Markets Conference, REIT Symposium, and National Symposium of Women in Real Estate; and the Jonathan M. Tisch Center’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, the School’s invaluable connections to industry leaders is a truly distinguishing factor in the education that it provides. Through career development services and resources provided by the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYU SPS, guest lecturers, site visits, participation in numerous conferences and events, and Global Field Intensives, students benefit from an NYU education that will set them apart. In addition, they can learn from and network with more than 39,000 NYU SPS alumni who live, work, and contribute to innovation in industry around the world. To learn more about NYU SPS, visit sps.nyu.edu.

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