Global Communication Report

The annual Global Communications Report conducted by the USC Center for Public Relations is designed to provide insight into the evolution of the global communications industry by analyzing emerging trends. Each time we survey professionals working in the field, we discover new insights into what makes PR one of the most dynamic profession in the universe.

Past research has predicted the convergence in marketing and public relations, and the scale of change disrupting the public relations industry, and looked the industry’s evolution of ethics and future use of technology and artificial intelligence. 


2020 Global Communication Report

The 2020 Global Communication Report examines the evolution of activism and finds that the new generation of activists are younger, more diverse, and more collaborative. These “New Activists” are aligned with PR professionals in the belief that the key to creating long-term change is not protesting, but voting.

This year’s report, a comprehensive survey of more than 1,000 public relations leaders and students worldwide and of nearly 300 citizens engaged in public action and politics, looks at the PR industry’s views on activism, how prepared communicators are to react or work with various activist groups, and who they think will drive change in the future. Communicators believe that activism will grow in influence over the next five years, and that “average citizens” will be one of the most influential types of activist.

Download the 2020 Report

The Global Communication Report is produced annually by the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations, in conjunction this year with Union Pacific, Worldcom Public Relations Group, Morning Consult, and the following organizations: Arthur W. Page Society, Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management, IABC, International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, International Communications Consultancy Organization, Institute for Public Relations, Italian Federation of Public Relations, MCC Consulting, PRCA, PR Council, PRSA and PRSSA. The survey of PR professionals, educators and students is designed to provide insight into the evolution of the global communication industry.

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Previous Reports

2019 Global Communications Report

The 2019 Global Communications Report predicts that technology will help citizens become more engaged, but also more misinformed and more polarized. More than 2,100 public relations leaders, CEOs and students worldwide responded to our survey during January and early February 2019. We asked professionals about the use of technology in the PR industry, and we asked students to tell us what they think about the profession they will someday lead. This year’s research indicates that while the coming years will bring considerable or drastic change, technological innovations will be a significant driver of this change in the industry.

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2018 Global Communications Report

The 2018 Global Communications Survey predicts that future consumers will not know or care where the information they consume is coming from. In early 2018, we asked public relations leaders from agencies and corporations around the globe to predict where the communications field is headed. We also asked PR students to tell us what they think about the profession they will someday lead. The research indicates that the clear-cut lines between news stories written about a product or company (earned media) and advertisements bought to promote a product or point of view (paid media) are becoming increasingly blurred.

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2017 Global Communications Report

The USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations (CPR) released key findings from its second annual Global Communications Report, a comprehensive survey of more than 800 public relations executives from around the world. For the first time ever, the report also features insights from almost 700 public relations and communications students, along with in-house marketing executives.

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The Evolution of Public Relations

The USC Center for Public Relations partnered with Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to understand current client-side marketer perceptions of public relations in tandem with the 2017 Global Communications Report.

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The Inaugural USC Annenberg Global Communications Report

Public relations executives from across the globe contributed to the future of our dynamic profession by participating in a Global Communications Report we conducted this spring in conjunction with the Holmes Report, the Institute for Public Relations, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, the PR Council, the Worldcom PR Group and PRSA.

The Global Communications Report is designed to provide unprecedented insight into the evolution of the global communications industry by analyzing emerging trends in talent, structure, compensation, and diversity on both the client and agency sides of the business. More importantly, the Report will help those entering the PR industry better understand the skills and traits they will need to be successful.

Read the Report