SINGAPORE — A new PR Newswire study finds content production (55%), measuring campaign impact (54%) and budget constraints (51%) are the three biggest communications challenges facing businesses across the APAC region.

The company’s inaugural Asia-Pacific Corporate Communications Report also shows that nearly six out of 10 businesses prioritize enhancing brand influence over sales growth and conversion in their campaigns.

To optimize brand awareness, 70% of businesses consider news websites as the most important communications channel, above other platforms such as corporate websites (58%), print media (56%), and social media (60%), according to the survey of 948 communicators in 10 countries (Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam).

In addition, 85% of businesses prefer using press releases to announce business news or promote new products and services. News posts on official social accounts (79%) and corporate websites (72%) followed.

Regionally, businesses from Thailand (80%) and Australia (75%) place the highest priority on news websites. Businesses from Thailand (76%) and Hong Kong (73%) place the highest priority on print media. Enhancing online and offline visibility on key channels were the top communications objectives. 

The most common topics in corporate press releases are events (63%), new products/services (61%), industry perspectives (39%) and award announcements (38%).

Additionally, 37% of businesses plan to increase their earned media budget, with larger businesses (employing at least 1,000 people) showing a greater willingness to do so than their smaller counterparts.

The study also uncovered different levels of concern for communicators across the region. Maintaining trust and audience engagement showed the greatest variation, with 69% of businesses considering it a challenge versus 28% of companies in South Korea and 20% in mainland China.

On average, 60% of B2C businesses ranked maintaining trust and engagement as a challenge, notably higher than the 32% of B2B businesses that did so.

All of which, the study said, point to key takeaways including: authenticity, relevance and transparency are increasingly important; an official version of corporate news is valuable; corporate news should tie to big picture subjects to pique journalists interests; and search engine visibility should be a top communications priority.