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THE VERY BEST 10 Communications Challenges in 2022: Its not the Budget its the Clutter

Budget was previously on the list of top communications challenges, but its slid down the list each year for days gone by five; comms budgets dont arrive as an issue until #8 and garnered just 13% of the votes from respondents.

Ask 10 PR visitors to define pr and youll get 10 different answers. Ask 10 PR pros what their top communications challenges are and around three in 10 will say:

1) slicing through the noise (35%);

2) way too many priorities (31%); and

3) insufficient employee experience (25%).

Those findings stem from the recently released fifth annual JOTW Strategic Communications Survey for 2022.

The outcomes mirror the shifts which have happened in the communications landscape in the last 2 yrs, wrote Karen Swim, PR, Marketing and SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING Consultant, Words For Hire, LLC and President of Solo PR Pro.

Karen was among five contributors to the years survey assisting to both draft questions and analyze the outcomes.

Slicing through the noise has turned into a key issue for several organizations and brands because the media landscape is becoming more dispersed and consumers shop around from a wide selection of sources, she continued.

Additionally, we have been bombarded with information at the job and inside our personal lives, and contains are more difficult to go up above the noise and chaos of everything.

(click image for higher resolution)The top communications challenges are cutting through the noise (35%); too many priorities (31%); and lack of employee experience (25%).

Insufficient employee experience

Having less employee experience is really a new challenge close to the the surface of the list for the very first time. Its a fascinating time and energy to that answer pop so on top of the list because companies are concerned about the economic future. Some are thinking about restructuring, and frequently, they forget about more capable workers first.

This past year this survey found communicators are more valued by organizations in the wake of the pandemic. The pandemic brought with it uncertainty and clear communications is paramount in times of uncertainty. The pandemic could be waning, however the uncertainty hasnt so letting go of season communicators in difficult times could prove more costly over time.

I really do note that organizations are valuing experienced communicators a lot more than they have during the past, says Michelle Garrett, a PR consultant at Garrett PR and in addition among our contributors, in the report. You can find way too many crucial elements on our plates, so people that have experience are occasionally better in a position to navigate for the reason that kind of environment.

Stacey Miller, the vice president for Communications at the Auto Care Association, and another contributor, agrees.

The truth that leaders dont understand comms dropped this type of significant amount again [compared to prior year results] really exemplifies the way the events of days gone by many years primed demand for comms professionals in organizations, she said in her assessment. It feels good to finally be understood.

The very best 10 communications challenges in 2022

Once you consider the whole set of top challenges, none of the gained a lot more than one-third of the votes. This just would go to show how diverse the challenges come in communications by sector which reflects how diverse the role is becoming with regards to skills.

Listed below are the very best 10 challenges based on the survey:

  • 35% slicing through the noise
  • 31% way too many priorities
  • 25% insufficient employee experience
  • 25% ever-expanding duties
  • 23% measuring results / ROI
  • 22% insufficient staffing
  • 20% leaders dont understand comms
  • 13% insufficient budget
  • 14% disinformation, misinformation, mal-information
  • 12% prolonged reviews and approvals

Communicators have always discussed slicing through the clutter, and complained about leaders not understanding communication, or focusing on how to gauge the outcomes of their work, in accordance with Shonali Burke, Chief Marketing Officer, Arena Stage, in addition to a contributor. There may be much more noise today than there is 20 years back, but that’s what smart communication is definitely about.

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How communications challenges change as time passes

Weve asked a question about top challenges on the JOTW survey now five years in a row. Its interesting to observe how things change as time passes (see graphic nearby).

A number of things stand out if you ask me when going for a long view of the survey results including these:

1) The slip and slide of comms challenges

In the years 2018, 2019 and 2020, the survey saw most respondents cite an individual answer because the top challenge. The solution varied some, but starting in 2021 and 2022, no answer gained this type of majority.

In PR and marketing, we often discuss the way the media landscape is fracturing and niche audience are rising. I wonder if the diversity of challenges in comms is really a natural outgrowth of the surroundings.

2) Forget about budget woes for communicators?

Budget was previously the #1 challenge facing communicators. Its slid down the list recently, nonetheless it always ranked on the list of top seven. Aside from this season.

Budget doesnt arrive as an issue until #8. Even then it garnered just 13% of the votes. I find this simply stunning.

We asked a separate question earlier in the survey about communications budgets. While about one in three (34%) say budgets are up this season more respondents (38%) say budgets are flat. Furthermore, about one in five (20%) be prepared to decrease (12%) or decrease significantly (8%).

3) Priorities and noise swap places

This past year this survey discovered that way too many priorities was the very best challenge and slicing through the clutter ranked second. This season those two challenges have swapped places and thats a promising sign because both of these are clearly related.

The main element to slicing through the clutter would be to a) be louder or b) vary. To vary, you need to focus. Because the old saying goes, 1 / 2 of strategy is deciding everything you wont do.

Way too many priorities is indeed closely aligned with the initial question about how exactly our work has changed, that i dont be prepared to see changed within the next 3 to 5 years, said Gini Dietrich, Founder & CEO, Spin Sucks in her contributions. While our work continues to evolve sometimes as quickly as in 24 hours we shall continue steadily to have way too many priorities.

She continued, And, so long as we cant gauge the brand awareness work we do (that i recognize is extraordinarily difficult to accomplish), we shall continue being pulled in way too many directions as executives turn to capitalize on results.

(click image for higher resolution)How communication challenges change over time: Last year this survey found “too many priorities” was the top challenge and “cutting through the clutter” ranked second. This year those two challenges have swapped places and that’s a promising sign because these two are clearly related.

Concerning the JOTW Strategic Comms Survey

This survey was a joint effort betweenNeds Job of the Week(JOTW) andSword and the Script Media, LLC. Subscribers to both organizations were solicited to take the survey through mentions in the weekly newsletter, dedicated email requests and social media marketing.

Gini Dietrich and Karen Swim also solicited respondents from their respective communities atSpin SucksandSolo PR Pro.Altogether 483 respondents took the survey online, using Survey Monkey, from Friday, May 6, 2022, until June 14, 2022.

The majority are located in the U.S. (76%) and 70% have 11 or even more years of experience. 60 % are in-house communicators; another 15% work with agencies and 25% are self-employed as consultants or freelancers. Detailed demographics are contained in the full report.

The entire report is freely on SlideShare:The 5th Annual JOTW Strategic Communications Survey for 2022and will be looked at or downloaded without registration. A copy in addition has been embedded below for easy viewing. Finally,this is a PDF copy of the reportfor anybody that prefers that format.

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