If there’s one thing that’s constant in PR, it’s change.
Brands and organizations are constantly finding new ways to get mentioned in the media. What was traditionally newspapers and TV has now turned into blogs and podcasts as people continue to consume more content online.
Here’s a snapshot of where things are based on our research and internal data.
PR industry statistics
Here are some interesting PR industry statistics we were able to round up.
1. The global PR industry is expected to continue growing by 10% each year until 2024 (source)
According to data from Business Wire and SpendEdge, total PR spending is expected to grow by 10% each year until 2024. This amounts to an increase of $30 billion each year.
This graphic shows how this further breaks down.
2. PR is the 8th most stressful job in the U.S. (source)
According to CareerCast’s most stressful job survey, PR is the 8th most stressful job in the United States.
This is why many in the PR industry also suffer from mental health problems. According to Innovative PR, the stress is often caused by things such as:
- Tight deadlines.
- Unreasonable clients.
- Constantly changing media landscape.
- Confrontational reporters.
- Cynical public.
The challenge of proving the benefits of PR to clients and corporate managers can also cause anxiety.
If you’re struggling with anxiety in your PR role, here are a few ways you can manage it:
- Speak up – Your clients or boss may not fully understand what goes into your role. If you miss a deadline or fail to reach a goal, take the time to explain what happened in an objective way.
- Ask for help – Seeking help from a professional if things go too far is an important step in recovery.
- Say “No” – It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you take on too many things. Limit what you say yes to so you don’t become overwhelmed with work.
If you’re still feeling anxious, Mayo Clinic has some helpful tips for coping that might help.
3. The average annual salary for a PR specialist in the U.S. is $62,800 (source)
In May 2022, the median annual wage for a PR specialist in the United States was about $62,800. Ultimately, the salary depends on the location, company, and experience of the PR specialist.
4. The average hourly rate at a PR agency is between $100-$250 per hour (source)
At our agency, we don’t charge hourly. But when you pay per hour, expect over $100/hr for an external PR agency or consultant.
5. The average cost for PR services is $10,000 per month (source)
If you want something good, expect to pay $10,000 per month or more for PR services. This money is used for content creation, pitching, press release writing and distribution, and other services that may be part of an agreed monthly retainer.
Journalist behavior statistics
Understanding the struggles of journalists can help you perfect your approach to PR. Here are some helpful journalist behavior stats we found.
6. 90% of journalists check press releases (source)
According to data from Business Wire, 90% of journalists still check press releases. Data from Cision shows that 73% of these checks are done online.
Don’t skimp on press releases. While outreach is still a great way to reach journalists within your project’s scope, press releases can pick up passive mentions that you otherwise may not have gotten.
7. 22% of journalists explicitly ask for multimedia content in their pitches and with their press releases (source)
1 in 5 journalists want multimedia with their pitches. What’s more, in the past 6 months, 81% of journalists have included images in their content.
When sending media to journalists, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Have high-resolution content: High-resolution videos and images are a must if you’re sending media.
- Link, don’t attach your files: Many emails with attachments get automatically deleted or don’t get through the spam filters.
- Make it accessible: Don’t make journalists sign up with their email to access your content.
Going by the list of most-used media formats, images might be the best way to get from an inbox to getting published.
8. 20% of journalists use social media to promote their content (source)
Journalists are using social media, but it’s not to receive media pitches. They’re instead using social media to promote their content, interact with their audience, network, and see what’s going on in their niche.
9. 46% of journalists receive more than 50 pitches per week (source)
Some receive as many as 150 per week! Not only that, but the vast majority of journalists (91%) say only about half the pitches they receive are relevant to their audience or sector, resulting in a healthy portion of emails being trashed.
10. 46% of journalists prefer not to be pitched on social media (source)
While nearly 1 in 4 journalists finds it acceptable to be pitched on social media, nearly half prefer that you stick with email. Be careful when choosing your platform of choice for pitching.
PR outreach statistics
Outreach is what we specialize in, so we were able to provide some unique insight here.
11. The success rate of PR pitching is under 5% (source)
This is an internal data point.
When we do our pitching, we usually land a 3-5% success rate. However, campaigns can fall short of expectations, especially if it’s the first campaign for a client, and land more in the 1-3% success rate range.
Future campaigns perform better because we have data from past campaigns to leverage during the next build.
12. The average open rate of a cold email is 44% (source)
If your cold emails are getting an open rate in the 40-50% range, you’re performing as expected.
However, 8% of cold email campaigns have an open rate of 80% or more, and approximately 33% of campaigns have a 60% open rate or more. So it’s not unheard of to get a 50% open rate for a high-performing campaign.
13. Approximately 50% of cold email campaigns have a reply rate of under 10% (source)
This goes for PR, too. Most cold emailers need to aim for the 10-15% reply rate benchmark. Optimizing past that level isn’t always the best use of time.
However, if you have a small list of targets, going to the extreme on personalization and warming up your prospects can be important.
14. The average cost of a single successful placement in digital PR is over $1,000 (source)
Siege Media, another digital PR agency, has a cost per placement that averages around $1,000 if your content asset doesn’t go viral. This is pretty close to what we see in our work, so we can confirm that these numbers are probable.
15. There are no guarantees – or exact statistics – for going viral (source)
There are no guarantees when it comes to viral content. Realistically, your content probably won’t go viral. And that’s okay.