Finacial PR Talent in the Digital Age

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THIS SUMMER, WE ASKED over 150 senior professionals globally about their views on a range of subjects, from current priorities to marketing spend to talent, and how they see the financial PR landscape developing in the future.

The results highlighted that traditional media still has a role to play and is valued by the C-Suite as part of an integrated approach. The survey also indicated the rising prominence of digital and social media, and an apparent talent gap, with many companies lacking the necessary skills to capitalize in this new digital world.

Respondents were asked for their primary drivers for marketing and PR activity, with content marketing, digital media and social media making up three of the top four. The survey revealed that today’s C-Suite see the role of marketing and PR as highly strategic. In this new world of digital, data and content, marketing and communications professionals have an opportunity like never before. They have the power, insight and intelligence to play a crucial role in driving the business forward and delivering impact and results.

Mind the Talent Gap in the Digital Age Cognito’s first global survey looks at the future of communications in the financial services industry. The 2016 Reuters Institute Digital News Report showed continued sharp growth in mobile news consumption, as well as increased appetite for using social media channels to absorb news. Results from our own survey mirror this trend, with 85% agreeing that social media has increased in importance. It’s clear we are in a new era of integrated and multichannel marketing communications.

Nearly all (96%) respondents thought that social media is important to their firm’s PR program. However, only 44% have a social strategy in place – and for those who have one, only 51% are satisfied with it. This points to a discord between PR professionals, the board and sales teams, which creates a barrier to implementing an effective social strategy that is fully joined up.

Regarding talent, 30% of respondents cited a lack of expertise as a barrier to social success. This challenge is not restricted to social though; digital media and digital marketing were also identified as talent weak spots. The pace of media transformation has happened so fast that a talent gap has opened up. It’s vital that companies identify the skills now required, hire the right people and make sure employees receive the appropriate training.

Mobile platforms and social media lend themselves to content-driven output, but only 18% of our respondents were satisfied with the quality of their content, despite its rising importance. It’s no surprise that content, digital and social will dominate spend in the next five years, according to the survey.

The question is how quickly companies can upskill their team, provide engaging content, adopt new technologies and work with external partners in order to ensure they thrive. The most successful organizations will be those who turn the challenges into opportunities and build an integrated and multi-channel approach, with a robust measurement model at its core.

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