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Board Level Visibility of Communications Activity is Strong - Despite Global Recession


14 Jun 2012


Public Affairs

Grayling has today released the first results from its new global quarterly survey of in-house communications professionals, Grayling PULSE, in which over 1200 communications professionals participated worldwide. The objective of PULSE is to provide valuable data and insights upon which communications professionals can respond to, better plan and benchmark their organisation’s approach to communications activities and their own internal PR resources.

The key findings from the first global PULSE survey, and those which Grayling believes will prove to be the critical global trend indicators for the communications industry over the next three years, are:

- Globally, over a fifth of those who responded said that investment in PR is still increasing this quarter, against a backdrop of ongoing client budget pressures and continued global economic instability

-  Visibility of communications activity at board level, and with it the perceived value of communications activity to commercial success, remains very strong with increases of 47% and 55%, respectively

- Organisations remain cautious in budget and resource planning in many areas; project PR support sees a 20% increase in spend versus an 11% increase for retained support. In addition, in-house teams’ headcount shows growth with 25% reporting an increase this quarter

- The Consumer & Retail sector appears to be trying to invest its way out of recession with the largest proportion of responses reporting an increase in spend this quarter (28%), increase in-house team headcount (32%) and increase of visibility of communications at board level (52%)

- Unsurprisingly, spend on social media & digital is reporting the largest increase in investment with 44%; corporate communications and reputation management was 26% and 17% reported an increase in spend on CSR communications

Geographically, Asia-Pacific sees the largest increase in PR investment this quarter with 17% reporting an increase; Middle East also performs well with 9.2% reporting an increase and only 5% reporting a decrease.

Michael Murphy, Grayling Global CEO commented on the results: “The global PULSE findings reflect many of the trends that we are seeing from our clients around the world. Despite the challenging economic conditions, there are many new opportunities, both in traditional as well as emerging markets, with clients increasingly looking for more flexible, entrepreneurial and cost effective solutions in order to meet their communications needs. Importantly, the visibility of the importance of communications in the boardroom and its impact on commercial success continues to grow strongly.”

“Going forward, we hope that the quarterly PULSE report will provide our clients and others in the industry with invaluable benchmarking data to help them with their own communications planning. We also hope to prompt debate around important issues facing our industry and provide insights which can be acted upon collectively by Grayling teams and our clients around the world.”

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries or for further information about Grayling please contact Bridget Taylor on +44 (0)207 932 1855 or email For further information visit:


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