What PR’s love and hate most about their job

Posted on 28 Sep 2017

Matthew Longbottom, Account Director, discusses the results of a Headlinemoney survey.

At a recent event I was lucky enough to hear the results of a new survey of Financial PR’s conducted by Headlinemoney called ‘State of the Nation’. Over 70 financial service organisations were surveyed including banks, building societies, investment managers and adviser firms. 86% of respondents were in-house and there was a thorough mix of seniority and experience.

Most interesting was that 93% of respondents said that the content that they were most involved in creating were press releases. Research reports came in second at 84% and Twitter posts ranked the same as promoting company experts / spokespeople at 77% each.

I think this shows the differences between in-house and agency. Working at an agency we obviously create, draft and issue press releases, but this is far less common than it was a few years back and more time is spent now working on content, comments and articles, than a traditional press release. Press releases are clearly important (89% said that they thought that they were the most effective means to engage with the financial media) but perhaps more of this work is now being taken in-house while agencies are valued for their creativity and contacts.

Another very interesting point was the result that 59% of respondents said that they thought finding fresh angles to pass on to journalists was the most frustrating part of their job. Sourcing case studies came in at 56%, workload 44% and generating sufficient coverage at 31%.

I thought this was odd because creating and finding new angles is one of the parts of the job that I have always found the most enjoyable. When you hear about what a person or business is actually doing, be that dealing with the effects of a hurricane, choosing growing businesses to invest in, or developing highly complex payment systems that most of us take for granted, I have always found that the more you learn and understand about a business and their activities, the more interesting they become, and the easier it is to find a compelling narrative.

Then it was revealed what PR’s find the most satisfying part of their job; writing an effective press release came third at 51% and generating sufficient coverage came in second at 64%. The top answer at 67% was the same as the top frustration, finding fresh angles to pass on to journalists!

What was also interesting is that 42% of respondents think that there will be a noticeable amount of change in the industry over the next five years, with 10% of those saying that they expect complete change. It is easy to see where people most expect this change to come from with the finding that 60% said that they wanted to develop their digital know-how.