20+ PR Industry Statistics You Should Know in 2023

Table of contents

We all love numbers, right? What better way to make your point than to back it up with the stats, figures, and data that paint a clearer picture of what you’re talking about?

Using numbers helps your audience to get a better, more precise understanding of the topic at hand. When you say “Most people…”, does that mean 51% or 90%? When you tell your readers that something doubled, did it go from 2 to 4 or from 40 to 80? 

There’s a big difference and using the right stats can help your readers come away better-informed thanks to the data that you use. 

You might not think that PR lends itself to quantifiable measures but — no offense — you’d be wrong. There are plenty of stats out there that tell us something about the nature of our business, pain points we encounter, what works & what doesn’t, and lots more. 

So with that in mind, here are some statistics from the PR industry that can help in a variety of contexts. Whether you’re writing about PR or a specific topic within it, making a presentation on a PR issue, or just have an obsession with numbers (it happens…), here are some statistics that you should know about PR in 2022. 

Quick note: All the results below are taken from large sample sizes comprised of a variety of company types, locations, and team sizes.

PR statistics on the state of the industry 

The global PR market is worth more than 97 billion US dollars 

Back in 2020,  the global PR market was worth 88 billion U.S. dollars. By the end of 2025, the industry is expected to surpass a value of 129 billion dollars (Statista, 2022). 

Marketing is PR’s best friend within a company

Internal PR teams increasingly work with other departments on company goals. When asked which departments were most likely to be ‘aligned’ with PR in the future (select all that apply), here’s what PR pros said:

Marketing / Advertising60%
Internal Communications60%
Human Resources38%
Investor Relations 20%
Other  12%
Source: Ragan Communications, 2020

Clients will continue hiring PR firms to handle daily communications

PR agency clients will still be hiring PR firms to handle daily interactions with consumers, build brand awareness loyalty, and communicate with stakeholders (IBISWorld, 2021).

PR matters more internally, here’s how

Interesting insights here on PR’s connection to business outcomes. Here are the responses to How can PR increase its value inside your organization? (select all that apply):

How can PR increase its value inside your organization?Brand deptsAgencies
Getting more coverage & starting more media relationships 61%50%
Tying PR activities to key business activities  57%48%
Producing measurable results   50%46%
Implementing better technology         19%52%
Delivering creative solutions 39%45%
Source: Muck Rack, 2021

The median annual wage for a PR specialist in the US is $62,800

In May 2022, the median annual wage for a PR specialist in the United States specialist was about 62.8 thousand U.S. dollars (Statista, 2022). Ultimately, the salary depends on the location, specific company, and the experience of the PR specialist. 

PR statistics on PR skills

Storytelling is the most important PR skill

While you can’t operate with just one PR skill, some are regarded as more important than others. Here are the responses to What skill sets will be most important in a PR pro moving forward?:

Storytelling           72%
Social media61%
Internal Communications52%
Technical skills22%
Source: Ragan Communications, 2020

Flexible & creative is the way to go

This is similar to the previous topic, but this time it is more about personal attributes rather than PR skills. Here are the responses to What attributes will be most important in a PR pro moving forward?:

Flexibility 75%
Entrepreneurial mindset38%
Ability to work with all departments62%
Creative thinking  70%
Business acumen48%
Source: Ragan Communications, 2020

PR statistics on pitching

Journalists still want to receive press releases 

Some might say that press releases are dead… Yet, 78% of journalists consider press releases, news announcements, and newsworthy stories the kind of content they want to receive from PR professionals (Cision, 2021). 

Thursday is the best day to send a press release 

Wondering when should you send your press release? The best day to send a press release is on Thursday when the average open rate jumps to over 26%. The worst days, however, are Wednesdays and Fridays when even 85% of your emails can get lost in the journalists’ inboxes.

The best day to send a press release
Source: Pinterest

The best time to send a press release is between 10 am and 2 pm

This is when editors open about one-third of all the emails they’ve received. Early mornings are less effective: open rates drop to 20.5% between 6 and 10 am.

The most important component of a pitch is its relevance 

The two answers seem to be variations of the same idea, leaving everything else far behind. Here are the responses to Which of the following components do you believe is most important in a pitch?:

A topic relevant to the journalist42%
Content personalized to the journalist35%
Catchy subject line4%
Short in length3%
Including graphic elements or video1%
Statistics in headline    1%
Source: Muck Rack, 2021

Journalists receive hundreds of (irrelevant) pitches

More than 1 in 4 journalists (28%) receive over 100 pitches per week – and most of these pitches are reported to be irrelevant (Cision, 2021). Pitches that sound like marketing brochures, lack transparency, or are followed by numerous follow-ups – quickly land in the virtual trash. 

Journalists respond to just 3% of pitches

Do you often get responses from your media contacts? If so, you might not believe that journalists respond to roughly 3.27% of all pitches they receive (Propel, 2021). Given that most of the email pitches are irrelevant, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise. 

PR statistics on the use of technology

Technology will be key in driving industry growth 

59% of PR professionals believe that technology will be key in driving the transformation of the PR industry (USC Center for Public Relations, 2019). No wonder. Over the last few years, it’s become clear how much value PR automation can give to PR professionals. Just consider the potential daily, weekly, and monthly time savings alone

PR professionals are using the tools of the trade

PR pros turn to various tools for help in getting the word out and following what’s being said about their brands and clients. Most agency PR pros use a media database (57%) and media monitoring software (51%) daily.
Interestingly, 49% of surveyed PR pros do not use PR reporting software to measure and analyze the impact of their campaigns and earned media efforts (Muck Rack, 2021).

PR agencies benefit from media monitoring, data analytics, and CRM software 

PR professionals favor media monitoring tools that make it easier to track brand mentions and show tangible results to clients. At the same time, PR CRM software has become increasingly important when it comes to managing relationships with clients, media contacts, and influencers (IBISWorld, 2021).

Social media tools are not that popular among PR professionals

Does everyone in PR use social media as much as everyone else? Here are the responses to How often do you use tools to manage or monitor social media?:

Source: Muck Rack, 2021

Media relations management doesn’t get easier 

60% of PR professionals say media relations is harder or much harder compared to last year – while about one-third (35%) say it’s about the same (JOTW Communications Survey, 2021). 

The biggest challenge in PR is getting responses from journalists 

What are the top PR challenges professionals in the industry face? No prizes for guessing the top answer. Here are the responses to Which of the following challenges does your PR/communications team face? (select all that apply):

Getting responses from journalists   59%
Budget limits 49%
Measuring business impact46%
Lack of quantifiable measurement37%
Discovering relevant journalists   34%
Collaborating with other departments18%
Source: Muck Rack, 2021

What’s the future of PR? 

Industries evolve and PR is no exception. Here are the responses to Where do you see the focus of the PR profession in the next 2-3 years? (select all that apply):

Business strategy43%
Purpose-driven initiatives51%
Digital-only    10%
Artificial Intelligence  7%
Integration with Internal Communications  25%
Reputation management43%
Crisis management40%
Change management 32%
Technology proficiency18%
Source: Ragan Communications, 2020

PR predictions for 2022

Some of these predictions may have been on your radar already while others might come as a surprise. Here are 6 trends that are going to define the conversation about PR in 2022 (Prowly, 2021):

  • Moving closer towards content regulation on social media 
  • A greater emphasis on social responsibility & business ethics 
  • The rise of Artificial Intelligence and data science 
  • Digital events are the new norm 
  • Soon, everyone will have a podcast 
  • Paid exposure is likely to replace earned media