I took part in an interesting (and eye-opening) workshop yesterday at Leeds Metropolitan University, Sharing Best Practice in Digital PR Education. Organised by Leeds Met and the Higher Education Academy the day was a sort of sounding board for the state of digital PR education in higher education with some case studies and workshops you can see my slides below or over on Slideshare).
I started taking notes but then gave up and just tweeted the majority of the event. You can find a Storify of the day here.
I did however, jot down some of the most interesting findings from a number of pan-European research projects that are currently underway: Euro Communications Monitor and the European Communication Professionals Skills and Innovation Programme.
I was typing while listening so didn’t manage to grab the exact stats but these (and more data) should be available on the respective websites.
European Communications Monitor insights:
- Dealing with digital/social media is second top issue for European communicators (survey respondents consist of 2,700+ senior PR practitioners across 43 countries; mainly in-house in global/big businesses)
- Data shows they believe they’re currently doing online stuff (quite tactical) but weak(ish) on i) developing social media strategies; ii) evaluating social media and iii) developing/understanding legal frameworks . Some additional weakness in terms of engagement, i.e. “initiating dialogue with online stakeholders”
- Also shows strong agreement that social media changes perception of organisation – both externally and internally (!)
- Strong agreement that digital gatekeepers are relevant for PR, e.g. bloggers, community managers, consumers on social media (!)
- Big gap between perceived importance of social media issues and implementation – i.e majority agree social media issues are vital, but the comparative number of practitioners doing anything about it is lower
- Mobile dev is biggest gap among practitioners
ECOPSI insights (this survey is a more qualitative investigation and focuses on practitioner competencies). The data specifically refers to Social Media Managers and it seems my only two notes include:
- strengthening visual story-telling is a key need
- as is managing ‘real-time’ communications