Our new research roundups will highlight some of the pertinent studies coming out of the PR industry, looking at topics as varied as the business that produces them. The feature will run periodically.  Send your latest findings to [email protected].

AI: Excitement and Concern  

A survey of 400 US comms leaders by WE Communications and USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations finds that communicators found a mix of fear and fascination about AI among respondents, with reservations around security, privacy and disinformation balanced by a sense of curiosity and optimism. Key findings are:

  • AI fluency and generative AI experimentation in communications are low, opportunity for education and action. 
  • Communications leaders are acutely aware of the challenges with AI adoption.
  • New skills and a mindset shift for communicators are key to capturing the AI opportunity.

Black Voters

Almost half of Black voters believe that the Democratic party takes their votes for granted and doesn’t do enough for the Black community, and half feel that President Biden is either not fulfilling his campaign promises to African Americans or is only making a token effort to do so, according to new research from Global Strategy Group.

The survey of 784 Black registered voters found both of those sentiments are much more pronounced among Black voters under 45 – male and female – and that those younger Black voters are also more likely to approve of the Republican brand, suggesting that defection risk continues to be a real possibility and that younger Black women cannot be neglected.

Democrats should seriously consider making that case by communicating with Black voters on less traditional Democratic media outlets such as FOX News because the poll finds that about one in three Black voters use conservative media outlets as one of their primary sources of news and information, GSG said.

Fortunately for Democrats, large majorities of these conservative media consuming Black voters have favorable opinions of both President Biden (69%) and the party writ large (76%), and almost three in four (72%) are high propensity voters, the study found.

PR Not Confident in Data Literacy

More than half (57%) of PR and marketing pros lack confidence in their data literacy skills, and 44% admit they have presented a metric they did not fully understand, according to new research from CoverageBook.

The reporting platform’s survey of 400 respondents also found that 91% of in-house communicators would be willing to invest more in PR if they had more confidence in agencies’ capabilities.

Yet most respondents (68%) said they do not have anyone in an in-house data role, or an external measurement team (98%). Crucially, 62% of directors lack confidence in their junior team’s data literacy, but nearly three-quarters of all managers and directors (71%) would be more likely to promote a junior member of the team with good data skills.  

Top British Brands

Shell (brand value up 10% to £40.1 billion) holds on to its position as the most valuable British brand, having taken a global leadership role in helping customers divest from Russia helping provide some degree of energy security to Europe, according to Brand Finance’s annual rankings. The brand valuation consultancy also reports:

  • Utility Warehouse is fastest-growing British brand, more than doubling in value to £364.4 million.
  • Dettol cleans up as strongest British brand, earning AAA+ rating and Greggs is on a roll with AAA rating.
  • The Body Shop has highest Sustainability Perceptions Score, rated 6.83 out of 10.