The Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) unveiled today the findings of its first ‘State of Hispanic PR’ industry survey. The survey, conducted in partnership AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing, aimed to measure the opinion of industry professionals in order to tailor and develop programming to address specific needs or shortcomings.  A total of 182 industry professionals completed the survey, which was segmented into three categories: agencies, clients and media.


Overall Findings:

  • The industry is changing and integration is well underway
  • While budgets have increased, PR is still underfunded
  • There has been a definite shift to develop more video assets
  • Agencies are expanding their services to include other marketing disciplines
  • The Hispanic market story needs to be told differently
  • Content marketing and brand journalism are more and more important to clients
  • PR still has a way to go in being considered essential among top management
  • Social media has been a game changer and is increasingly being considered a function of PR, not marketing


  Among Agency/PR Practitioner (71% of respondents):

  • There is a significant number of freelance professionals in the industry, 28% of respondents described themselves as freelancers, 53% as agency employees and 18% as corporate employees
  • 61% of respondents are members of professional organizations, 44% are members of HPRA, 33% are member of PRSA, 21% are members of both organizations and 6% designated other.
  • Large brands accounted for more than 50% of their clients
  • More than 46% of respondents singled out Share of Budgetas the main pressing issue in the industry.  Integration (24%) and the development of talent (22%) followed as the next most pressing issues.

o   More than 92% of respondents stated that talent development is important to their organization

  • 91% of respondents feel that PR is underfunded
  • 80% of respondents communicated that they have seen a shift in budgets to increase & support PR activations

o   Social media, content marketing and integrated campaigns were cited as the top reasons for this shift.

o   Only 8% noted that they have seen a decrease in budgets

  • Among clients and agencies, 88% said that they have seen an increase in budgets to support the development of video assets
  • Social media has significantly impacted the industry, with more than 65% of respondents stating that their clients actively seek counsel in this discipline.

o   Only 5% of respondents stated that their client see social media as a marketing function

  • 93% percent of respondents agree that the industry has made progress in integration, however over half of those think there is still a way to go
  • 94% of respondents stated that they have expanded their service offerings to include other marketing disciplines


Among Media/Journalists (10% of respondents):

  • More than 82% of journalists stated that they interact with PR professionals on a typical work day
  • More than 41% stated that they see PR practitioners as a resource and reach out to them when they need relevant content
  • 59% feel that the typical press release needs to evolve as they are looking for more visual content to accommodate the needs of their audience
  • 59% liked to be pitched ideas first, 41% liked ready to gocontent
  • When it comes to spokespersons, 65% stated that they preferred industry experts. Only 6% opted for a brand representative
  • 94% use social media platforms for research on consumer and business trends, but also to extend the reach of their news stories
  • Email was noted as the preferred channel for pitching (76%)
  • 94% rely on search engines as a mean to look up information for their stories
  • Only 6% of respondents cited language of a press release as a barrier for them not to publish a story
  • 65% of respondents stated that they place a stronger value on those brands that have a direct relationship with them


Among Clients/Marketers (19% of respondents):

  • 31% of respondents stated that PR is handled in-house with no agency support, more than 65% stated that PR outreach is shared with agencies
  • 66% of respondents stated that Hispanic PR outreach is typically initiated by marketing activities and 26% stated that these efforts were initiated by corporate communications
  • 49% of clients stated that PR reports into a marketing department, 40% stated that it was an independent department, but 11% said that even though it was independent, it was funded by marketing
  • 71% considered PR activity marketing communications, 23% corporate communications, less than 3% considered it community relations
  • Over 54% of marketers said they are shifting dollars to seek additional PR activations. Integrated campaigns, social media and content marketing are top reasons for the increase in investment.
  • A majority of clients (63%) assert that top management believes Hispanic PR contributes to moving the organization forward, however, there is still a significant portion (37%) who think their management feels it is a box to check
  • More than 94% of clients believe that the lines between PR and marketing are blurring as the demand for integration escalates, in order for brands to go to market with a consistent message
  • More than 88% of clients think content marketing and brand journalism is important and most essential to their overall strategy
  • As it relates to engagement through events, clients considered sponsorship and cross-promotion as most effective (46%), followed by niche and hyper-targeted events (37%)
  • A resounding majority of clients (97%) think that influence ratings and social demographic data have become more important than ad equivalency and impressions figures


In summary, there is a sizable opportunity for growth in the industry, clients are placing a greater value on Hispanic PR, agencies are adapting in order to keep up with the changing landscape and Hispanic media is no longer traditional, it’s evolving and becoming more sophisticated in the way we serve content to Hispanic audiences.


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