LONDON – Nine out of 10 in-house communications team leaders experience regular challenges with content creation, according to a new study.

The survey, commissioned by content agency Speak Media and conducted by The Pulse Business, found that comms directors are experiencing “content chaos,” due to a shortage of skills and resources, fragmented business units, and increasingly tight deadlines.

The most pressing issue, however, is a lack of measurement and analytics, cited by 33% of respondents.

One respondent said: “We need to be more rigorous in checking what content generates the most engagement, but have a lack of skills and resources in the team.”

Another respondent complained of “too many competing pressures and no prioritisation, because we don’t know what works and what matters,” resulting in an uncontrolled spread of “random content”.

Meanwhile, 29% of comms leaders point to content silos as the problem they struggle with on a regular basis, when sections of their organisation independently develop unshared content.

Other issues identified by the 400 comms directors surveyed included poor visual content, such as video, photography, illustration, graphics; and not having an editorial strategy in place. Only 10% of all respondents said they did not experience any form of content challenge.

Speak Media head of content George Theohari said: “Content chaos is going to cause some huge issues for organisations in 2020, as the breadth, ambition and time-sensitivity of content needed to fill their channels now rival that of some traditional news outlets.

“This development can create huge challenges for communications leaders. Content silos, editorial bottlenecks, duplication of content, and ‘off-strategy’ content divert marketing and communications directors from their role as comms strategists.

"And many large-scale communications teams can lack the specific editorial expertise needed to lead and coordinate the kind of multi-channel news team that will satisfy a brand’s many channels and stakeholders.”