USC Research identifies PR best practices…

Jerry Swerling from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication was in touch regarding the release of their fifth study of generally accepted practices (GAP) in Public Relations.

This is (to me) a heavyweight look at the profession including responses from over five hundred practitioners.

There’s some interesting findings including:

  • Low funding for measuring PR effectiveness (with an overage of 6% of budgets going on measurement)
  • The higher you report in the organisation – the higher your budget
  • Companies now most commonly use multiple PR firms


The study also identifies a set of best practices:

  • Maintain a higher than average ratio of PR budget to gross revenue (GAP PR/GR Ratio).
  • Report directly and exclusively to the C-Suite.
  • Optimize the C-Suite’s understanding of PR’s current and potential contributions to the success of the organization as a whole.
  • Establish an effective social responsibility strategy for your organization.
  • Establish an effective digital-media strategy for your organization.
  • Establish an effective issues-management strategy for your organization.
  • Optimize integration and coordination of PR/Communications, both within the PR/Communications function, and with other organizational functions.
  • Encourage highly ethical practices across the organization, beginning with communication.
  • Encourage the organization-wide adoption of a long-term strategic point of view, beginning with communication.
  • Encourage the organization-wide adoption of a proactive mindset, beginning with communication.
  • Optimize the integration of PR and reputational considerations into top-level organizational strategies.
  • Measurably contribute to organizational success.


This is a detailed research report, relevant to anyone in communications.


Download the research

You can download the study in its entirety here (PDF) or you can access the various different sections here.


Related news item:

European PR Research

From Richard Bailey I see that EUPRERA (The – deep breath – European Public Relations Education and Research Organisation – sigh) is undertaking a survey on PR and communications management in Europe.

Why not complete this ten minute survey!