New poll: social media seen as major contributor to PR disasters

76% say social media is making public relations more important

TORONTO, July 18th 2017 Signal Leadership Communication Inc. (SLC), a social PR consultancy for executives and organizations dealing with digital disruption, today released the results of a new Nanos Research public opinion poll of 1,000 Canadians (link) that finds:

  • More than half of Canadians (54%) say that social media is a major contributor to PR disasters for companies. Roughly a third of (35%) feel that social media is a minor contributor and five percent (5%) say that social media is not a contributor to PR disasters. Six percent are unsure.
  • Just over seven in ten (70%) say that the best way for a troubled organization to respond is to “acknowledge the problem and communicate on social media.” Twenty-three percent (23%) say organizations should “acknowledge the problem but not communicate on social media.” Two percent (2%) said they should “communicate nothing” and five percent (5%) are unsure.
  • When asked about the importance of PR today compared to 10 years ago, more than three-quarters (76%) feel that PR is more important, 16 percent (16%) say that it is as important while five percent (5%) say it is less important and three percent (3%) are unsure.

“Real and perceived PR disasters have become all the rage and they are happening in a famous way almost every day,” says Bob Pickard, Principal of SLC. “Our new study points to the public’s belief that social media is causing the problem of PR disasters, and that communicating on social media is the best solution.”

“I have been practicing public relations around the world for more than 25 years, and this is the first time I have seen a study evidencing widespread public opinion that the power of PR is increasing, with social media directly driving PR’s importance,” he says. “Executives should take note and invest ample resources in their organization’s PR commensurate with the function’s rising strategic role in a social media age.”

Signal Leadership Communication Inc. (SLC) is a social public relations firm for executives and organizations with images to create, issues to manage, relationships to build, and reputations to protect in a digitally disrupted era. It is the one communications consultancy expressly dedicated to serving senior leaders with PR counsel that is both strategic and social by design, informed by a deep understanding of analytics, content, communities, media, sustainability and technology. The company is partnered with Nanos Research, one of North America’s premier market and public opinion research organizations.

A PDF version of the public opinion study presentation is available here.


Bob Pickard | | +1 (647) 822-1000 | @BobPickard

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