NEW YORK — June 20, 2017 — The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and theEMPLOYEEapp by APPrise Mobile today released findings from a new study on technology usage by the Communications Industry. The report is based on a survey of more than 600 communications professionals and reveals that while companies have embraced social media as an effective way to connect with external audiences, they are still relying on older, more established technologies like email to communicate internally with employees. The study found that while the vast majority of individuals now possess mobile devices, companies are behind the curve in effectively deploying and using them for communications and content distribution.
The survey explored the use of old and new technologies by communications professionals with respect to four main categories of technology: email, social media and mobile technology as well as messaging and social collaboration tools. The survey sought to determine how each is being used for both internal and external communications and their effectiveness for both.
“Communicators understand the importance of finding technology that suits our ‘always on’ culture and emphasizing the role that digital storytelling has in today’s mobile-first world,” said PRSA 2017 National Chair Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA. “Yet, based on organizations’ seemingly limited investment in newer technologies and reticence to move away from email and intranets, old-school communication tactics remain the dominant method of distributing information.”
Jeff Corbin, CEO of APPrise Mobile, commented, “The past several years have seen a very rapid change when it comes to the use of technology to communicate with an organization’s internal and external audiences. It is safe to now say that mobile technology is here to stay. The question therefore becomes how does our industry have to change to remain relevant in light of the fact that content is now being consumed primarily through the small screens of iPhones and Androids. The research that we conducted with PRSA addresses this question and shows where we are succeeding and where we need to rethink the way our work is done.”
Highlights from the Survey
Key findings from the survey are below. A more detailed report will be released in the coming weeks. To sign up to receive a copy of the report once it is issued, visit www.theEMPLOYEEapp.com/PRSA2017.
- Email is not likely to go away anytime However, when other factors are considered such as email overload, newer messaging technologies and greater consumption of content found on mobile devices, communicators agree that it is not the most effective way to reach external audiences.
- Email is used by 91 percent of respondents to communicate with external audiences; however only 27 percent believe it is the most effective way to communicate externally.
- Communicators found social 11 percent more effective than email for communicating with external audiences.
- Email is used by 95 percent of respondents for internal employee communications with 69 percent saying it is the most effective way to reach employees.
- A large percentage of respondents (63 percent) believe email will always be used, especially with internal audiences.
- Social media: Given the size and reach of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, communicators have grown increasingly familiar with how to best use these tools, especially for external communications.
- Most respondents (77 percent) said their company has a policy around social media.
- Fifty-five percent said their company had a formal policy.
- Forty-four percent said their company has an informal policy that relies on employee judgment.
- Mobile technology: Companies recognize the importance of mobile as a workplace tool and necessary counterpart to desktop computers. But most employees cannot access important company information through their Apple and Android devices.
- Roughly half (48 percent) said their organization had a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.
- Sixty-two percent said they either don’t access or have a very difficult time accessing their company’s intranet through their mobile device.
- Messaging and social collaboration technologies: A lack of uniformity exists with the use of messaging and social collaboration technologies and it is unclear which solution is the best and/or most effective. Importantly, messaging technologies are being implemented at a group level rather than institutionalized throughout an entire organization.
- Thirty-one percent said they use a variety of messaging technologies, while only 46 percent said their entire company uses the same platform.
- Slack is used most frequently (41 percent) among groups of employees; Workplace by Facebook ranks second (21 percent); disparate others are used as
The survey data was collected via a SurveyMonkey poll largely comprised of PRSA members. In total, 628 communications professionals responded to the questionnaire conducted from Feb. 6, 2017, through March 27, 2017. Communications professionals of varying tenure, industry, age demographic and agency/in-house designation were included.
About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community. The organization’s mission is to make communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career. PRSA achieves this by offering its members thought leadership, innovative lifelong learning opportunities to help them develop new skills, enhance their credibility and connect with a strong network of professionals. The organization sets the standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct for the public relations industry. PRSA collectively represents more than 30,000 members comprised of communications professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide and college and university students who encompass the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
theEMPLOYEEapp® by APPrise Mobile is an internal communications and employee engagement mobile solution that allows any organization to have its own native app on Apple and Android mobile devices (as well as a web app for any other device that has a web browser). It securely integrates with a company’s employee database and allows for the instantaneous push of messages and distribution of content (documents, multimedia, web links, calendar appointments and live events) directly to an employee’s mobile device. For more information visit www.theEMPLOYEEapp.com. To learn more about other mobile communications products by APPrise Mobile, visit www.APPrise-mobile.com