Key takeaways from the 2020 ICCO World PR Report

31 January 2020

As a member of the BPRA, we are also part of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and its 41 associations representing the communication and PR agencies of 66 countries. It is through this organisation that we received our quality certification last year.

Thanks to its global status, ICCO provides a comprehensive overview of the Public relations sector.  Published every year, the ICCO World PR Report surveys more than 3000 global agencies directors and offers invaluable insights into the industry.

Positive professional perspectives

The recently released 2020 report provides interesting and important pieces of information. First, the perspectives for PR are globally positive.  This trend has been observed for a few years now. CEOs are more and more aware of the corporate reputation issue, embracing the fact that their reputation is indeed their most valuable asset. They count on the Public Relations agencies to work on this aspect (it is their 1st PR goal, before product promotion and sales). Second, the report shows that PR agencies are globally meeting their clients’ digital needs. Lastly, ICCO observes a clear trend towards more strategic consulting in PR services, even though traditional media relations work remains crucial.

Corporation Reputation at the core of business strategies

The report also includes a survey of 600 C-Suite executives across 12 countries in companies with more than 1000 employees. It reveals that not all industries worry as much about their corporate reputation, with the Energy and Healthcare sectors lagging behind… Surprising given the trust challenges they currently face. Reputation is an important part of setting long term business strategies for most executives, even though only a third of them say they think about it on a daily basis.

Regarding global issues,  clients identify 3 key themes :

  1. Sustainability and climate change
  2. Diversity and inclusion
  3. Data privacy

Public discussions around Fake news

Among the most critical issues for PR professionals, the report outlines that our own trade’s reputation could be improved with a clearer stance on the fake news discussion. Our role as credible sources for media, decision makers and public institutions is at stake.