Digital Communications & Social Media: Challenges for the PR industry (2010)

This report explores the top ten digital challenges facing communications disciplines, investigates the use and uptake of social media tools, and identifies the role and key responsibilities of Heads of Digital Communications. We also review salary levels for senior digital communications practitioners as well as identify current and future digital expenditure in organisations. 

It is difficult to think of any recent development within the PR and corporate affairs industry that has generated as much debate, analysis and discussion as the emergence of digital and social media. This development is forcing the communications and PR industry to evolve its traditional areas of expertise, flex its skill set and develop new knowledge – for the first time in years. Though viewed as just another channel by many, this assessment fails to recognise the profound and far-reaching shift in the balance of power between an organization and its stakeholders brought about by the arrival of social media. Our research suggests that, whilst some companies have embraced these new developments, the majority of communications professionals are still struggling to make sense of it and the disorder it has generated. For many, the integration of comprehensive social media activities into their longer term strategic communications planning is still very much either ‘thought in progress’ or ‘work in progress’.

This report explores the top ten digital challenges facing communications practitioners, looks at the impact on each of the key communications disciplines, investigates the use and uptake of social media tools, and identifies the role and key responsibilities of Heads of Digital Communications. We also review salary levels for senior digital communications practitioners as well as identify current and future digital expenditure in organizations. 

How social and technological changes are transforming the role of the corporate affairs director

Watson Helsby recently participated in a Glasshouse Partnership panel event in which we discussed how social and technological changes are transforming the role of the corporate and public affairs director.

James Thellusson chaired the panel, which included: Dee Cayhill, Director, Watson Helsby, executive search consultants; Hugh Davies, Corporate Affairs Director, 3; Martin Thomas, author of 'Crowd Surfing, non-executive Glasshouse Partnership; Matt Warman, consumer technology editor, Daily Telegraph. Click the video below to play.

Dee Cayhill talks about the impact of digital communications on the role of the Corporate Affairs Director

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Digital Communications & Social Media: Challenges for the PR industry (2010)