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Communications Industry Investing More in Technology

May. 17, 2018

Second Annual PRSA/APPrise Mobile Technology Survey Shows Increased Reliance on Mobile Tech, Importance of Rethinking Digital Workplace Strategies

NEW YORK, May 17, 2018 -- The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and APPrise Mobile's second annual Technology Trends survey found that professionals are ramping up spending on technology, with a focus on mobile and improving analytics.

Companies increasingly recognize the importance of mobile technology, but the survey also found that there is no real strategy behind the use of mobile in the workplace. In other findings, email continues to be the most highly used messaging tool, despite the fact that most respondents believe it is not the most effective form of communication. Compared to last year, there is also greater usage of and reliance on newer communications technologies such as social media, social collaboration and messaging.

More than 700 industry pros responded to the second annual survey, which sought to understand companies' budget priorities, what technologies are most effective, and what needs to be done technologically to ensure that communicators are best equipped to do their work.

"We're seeing greater adoption of social and mobile media, without companies relinquishing established strategies and channels," said Anthony D'Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, 2018 Chair, Public Relations Society of America. "Technology investments are certainly going up, and the next step will be for organizations to assess whether their ROI is growing commensurately."

"The vast majority of the workforce is now comprised of younger generations like millennials and Generation Z," said Jeff Corbin, CEO, APPrise Mobile. "They are dependent on the small screens of their mobile devices, so we need to think not so much about what technologies we use, but rather how we effectively use them to get our key messages into the hands of our targeted audiences."

Key findings from the survey are below. The complete report will be released as part of a PRSA/APPrise Mobile webinar on June 7th. Click here to register.

  • State of Technology Spending
    • 44% of respondents said their company is investing more in technology now than it did last year; 36% said it is about the same.
    • Of those who said their company is spending, 51% said in mobile technology, 51% in analytics and 4% in video.
    • Fewer than half of respondents said their company does an "OK" job in offering digital tools to communicate; 38% said their company should "rethink" their digital workplace communications strategy; and only 9% said the company they work for does a great job.
  • Usage of technology year-over-year
    • Messaging technologies: 14% to 42% (200% increase).
    • Mobile: 8% to 23% (188% increase).
    • Social Collaboration: 15% to 37% (147% increase).
    • Social Media: 26% to 50% (92% increase).
    • Intranets: 53% to 65% (23% increase).
  • Evolution of Mobile
    • Only 44% of respondents said their companies have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy as compared to 48% in 2017.
    • 97% use their personal mobile device for email.
    • 56% use messaging apps on their personal device.
    • 33% access their company's intranet on their mobile device but 71% said the experience either doesn't work or is difficult.
  • Fewer employees report that messaging tools have been implemented across their entire company (38%) compared to last year (45%). At the same time, more employees report that messaging tools are used primarily by groups of employees (55%) compared to last year (31%).
    • Skype: 30%.
    • Slack: 14% (down from 41%).
    • Facebook Messenger (12%).
    • WhatsApp (11%).

Survey Methodology 
The survey data was collected via a SurveyMonkey poll largely comprised of PRSA members. In total, 717 communications professionals responded to the questionnaire conducted from January 17, 2018, through March 3, 2018. Communications professionals of varying tenure, industry, age demographic and agency/in-house designation were included.

About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the nation's largest professional organization serving the communications community. The organization's mission is to make communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career. PRSA achieves this by offering its members thought leadership, innovative lifelong learning opportunities to help them develop new skills, enhance their credibility and connect with a strong network of professionals. The organization sets the standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct for the public relations industry. PRSA collectively represents more than 30,000 members consisting of communications professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide and college and university students who encompass the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Learn more about PRSA at https://www.prsa.org.

About theEMPLOYEEapp 
theEMPLOYEEapp® by APPrise Mobile is an internal communications and employee engagement mobile solution that allows any organization to have its own native app on Apple and Android mobile devices (as well as a web app for any other device that has a web browser). It securely integrates with a company's employee database and allows for the instantaneous push of messages and distribution of content (documents, multimedia, web links, calendar appointments and live events) directly to an employee's mobile device. For more information visit www.theEMPLOYEEapp.com. To learn more about other mobile communications products by APPrise Mobile, visit www.APPrise-mobile.com.

Media Contact:
Rod Granger
Director, Content & Integrated Communications

2018 Tech Trends Infograph


Karen Mateo  
Chief Communications Officer
(212) 460-1454

Rod Granger  
Director, Content and Integrated Communications
(212) 460-0307