CHICAGO – The largest and most global examination to date into the state of public relations profiles a profession being reshaped by forces as current as digital networks and as timeless as generational divides.


The Cross Cultural Study of Leadership in Public Relations and Communication Management conducted by the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at The University of Alabama reflects the views of nearly 4,500 global PR leaders across 23 nations. The research results were unveiled today at a summit of PR professionals and academic leaders at the Union League Club in Chicago, followed by the Plank Center’s annual Honoring Milestones in Mentoring awards banquet.


Respondents identify the impact of digital networks and massively available real-time information as the fundamental forces transforming the practice of contemporary public relations. The new realities and consequences of the digital revolution underlie the four most important issues identified by nearly two thirds of global respondents to the online survey. In order: managing the volume and velocity of information (23.0 percent); the role of social media (15.3 percent; improving measurement (12.2 percent); and dealing with fast-moving crises (11.9 percent).