Digital Developments and Brexit - Both Challenges & Opportunities for PRII Members


In the final report on the recent Annual Member Survey, PRII President Cian Connaughton MPRII, looks at the challenges and opportunities facing members and how the PRII is addressing them.

Developments in digital and social media and Brexit were two of the key issues identified by members.  

While they can see plenty of opportunity in the digital and social media space - both enable direct communication with audiences and easier measurement – a number of challenges were raised:

  • organisations solely focusing on digital marketing to the detriment of PR;
  • competition from digital marketing agencies and influencers;
  • blurring of the lines between paid-for and earned content and;
  • keeping up to speed with emerging platforms.

Similarly, Brexit is viewed as a two-sided coin. While there are lots of unknowns, members see it more as an opportunity than a threat. Key here is the possibility of providing communications advice to businesses moving to Ireland.

Other challenges of note are increased competition from other communications disciplines, including non-PR professionals offering “PR” services, and finding talented PR professionals.

On the upside, members are reporting more opportunities for growth as the economy continues to improve. There is also growing understanding outside of the profession of the benefits of investing in PR.

We are using this valuable feedback to ensure that our plans for the year ahead meet your needs.

We know that social media will remain a key area. That’s why we are continuing to promote our Guidelines on Engagement with Social Media Influencers.

We are also organising new best practice skill-sharing workshops in this and other areas in the coming months.

We are highlighting our professional codes of conduct. They are especially relevant given the pressure to gain coverage and the challenge of fake news. 

In response to the challenges and opportunities of Brexit, we’ve launched the new PRII Certificate in European Public Affairs (in association with the European Movement Ireland). It will help members manage the implications of Brexit.

A half-day conference on Public Affairs in May will also give you the opportunity to keep up to speed with developments in this area.

Finally, I know from talking to members that they place a high value on the Institute’s events and networking opportunities. That’s why the programme for the year ahead promises lots of topical and enjoyable occasions. 

The 2017 PRII Annual Survey received 130 responses (13.5% of the current PRII membership). Previous reports looked at:​

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