Over the past month, we have run the first in a new annual survey aimed at taking the temperature of arts PR across the country. The results show that regional coverage and cost of living crisis are high on PRs' list of concerns, with reduced space for arts coverage also featuring prominently.
It revealed a notable shift about how PRs have felt about regional coverage, and specifically broadcast, in the past year and how they feel about its future. When asked to compare how difficult coverage was to land in 2022 compared to 2021, regional broadcast was reported as the least difficult compared to national and regional reviews, features and news stories. Though nearly 60% said that regional broadcast was either easier to achieve or the same to achieve in 2022 compared to 2021, the figure drops to 33% in their expectations for the future, with many citing cuts to BBC regional radio as one of the biggest challenges facing arts PR in the coming year.
The majority of PRs feel valued in their role, with only 5% saying they didn’t feel valued and - matching the findings of the CIPR State of the Profession survey on the reputation of PR more broadly – 62% saying either very or extremely valued. 85% felt that their role is meaningful. Despite this, 62% said they had either considered or strongly considered leaving the arts industry over the past year.
The sample showed a majority of respondents identify as women, and almost all respondents are white/white British.
Mobius Head of Press Emma Berge said:
“Working in arts PR is changing year on year, and landing coverage with shrinking space is proving more challenging now than ever. However, it’s clear that practitioners know how important it is, and it’s encouraging to see that PR is valued amongst their arts professional colleagues too. Challenges over the coming year are going to be felt keenly across the industry, with cuts to regional press and the ongoing cost of living crisis putting pressure on PRs and performers alike. Looking ahead, it’s crucial that we address that arts communications, like the communications sector more broadly, faces a lack of diversity. As an industry that champions diverse voices, that lack of diversity in communications needs to be addressed to achieve a more inclusive industry."
Established in 2003, the team at Mobius provide PR, marketing, design, print and distribution services for the arts, specialising in theatre and dance. They have an established track record of working on festivals and other multi-strand events, as well as initiatives in health, tackling social issues and engaging local communities. They promote arts in London, across the UK and at Edinburgh Festival Fringe.