Los Angeles / July, 2023: The impact of the dramatic events of 2022 – Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis and global economic uncertainty – continues to reverberate worldwide. The recent layoffs in the technology and startup funding winter have shaken things to a great degree adding to the ambiguity of the future. These reverberations are also reshaping the global operating environment of PR and comms firms as well as clients’ communication needs. The global annual PRBI Barometer is a decision-making tool that allows member agencies to make knowledgeable business decisions.

PRBI member Brunnen Communications’ (Helsinki, Finland) latest annual PRBI Barometer released  this month at the AGM in Milan, surveys the views of PR and comms agencies in more than 40 countries on changes in PR trends and communication priorities. Regardless of geographical location, many (46.7%) agencies believe that the demand for their services will be higher this year than in 2022. At the same time, respondents expect modest growth in their clients’ PR budgets. Media relations, strategic communication and content production are in particularly high demand in 2023.

The findings showcase that PR and comms firms’ clients still value competence in media relations as well as systematic and influential strategic communication along with the fact that few clients have the necessary expertise or tools in-house. In the current volatile operating environment, organizations are in high need of support in building sustainable reputation and trust.

“Investing in communication during unprecedented times such as what we are experiencing now is a shrewd decision that can have far-reaching implications. The winners of this situation are those organizations that are able to take control of the crisis and see a way through to the other side. Communication cannot work in isolation but must be woven into the very fabric of business. We are delighted to see so many clients recognize the value of communication agencies in these turbulent times. It is great that they view us as a strategic partner and understand that the influence of what we bring to the mix can actually be measured,” says Brunnen Founder and Chair Taru Nikulainen.

PR and comms firms around the world agree that this year’s most popular services are media relations (63.2%) and communication strategies (57.9%). One notable change from the previous year’s survey is that the third most popular service is now content production (57.9%). Change communication and internal communication are not far behind either.

“As tedious and run-of-the-mill as content production may seem to many comms professionals, the power of goal-oriented, high-quality content should not be underestimated. Producing well-designed and expertly executed content – especially when the goal is to achieve a particular result – often takes both skill and resources that clients may not have in-house,” Nikulainen also added.

Ethics more important than ever
The latest survey clearly highlights the significance of ethical PR. More than half of the respondents (56.3%) saw ethical conduct in both communication and client relations as important or very important. In a world flooded with un-curated information, the integrity of communication and communication professionals is increasingly crucial.  

Global PRBI Barometer as a decision-making tool allows member agencies to take a knowledgeable decision. The annual survey, and the next set of results will be published in the spring of 2024.

PR Boutiques International (PRBI) is a global network of more than 40 PR and comms firms in more than 40 countries across five continents. Its members are founder led, independent, strategy-driven PR boutiques unified by excellence, achievements and approach.

Taru Nikulainen
Partner, Brunnen Communicationstel
+358 (0) 50 325 7347
[email protected]