Over the past two months, we have run the second annual survey aimed at taking the temperature of arts PR across the UK.
When asked how easy or difficult different types of coverage – news, feature, review and broadcast – were to achieve in 2023 compared to 2022, a small percentage of respondents said that coverage was easier or much easier to achieve. The highest percentage was shown for regional broadcast and regional news at 16% each, which is in contrast to the last year’s predictions which showed that PRs were most worried about regional coverage. “Difficult’ was the most popular answer for five of the categories, and ‘neither easy nor difficult’ for the remaining three.
However, when asked how easy or difficult coverage will be to achieve in 2024, a strong pessimism appears. Only three of the eight types of coverage received any positive responses: regional feature, regional broadcast and national broadcast. Each of these had a single respondent saying that they felt coverage would be easier to achieve. When asked about the biggest challenges, nearly half the respondents said cuts to regional and arts media, with several citing cuts to local BBC and local newspapers. A quarter of respondents cited budget cuts as the biggest threat to arts communications.
Respondents to the survey work in-house at UK arts venues, as part of an agency or freelance, and across multiple art forms with theatre and performing arts being the most prominent.
Encouragingly, many respondents noted several ways that they have risen to the challenges: 28% have been using automation and AI to speed up processes, and in-house PRs have been engaging with influencers.
Similar to last year, the majority of PRs feel valued in their role, with:
Mobius Head of Press Emma Berge said, “The media landscape is constantly changing, and shrinking arts space has always been an issue. However, this year it feels more pressing than ever before, as the BBC and owners of regional papers announce more and more redundancies and cuts. It feels more crucial than ever for everyone to be supporting their local and arts media, whether it’s through subscriptions, social media engagement or just click throughs. In the face of these challenges, it’s good to see that PRs are finding new ways of reaching audiences, and that they’re embracing new technologies to speed up processes and give us more time to do what we do best: talk to people and tell stories.”
Last year’s survey results can be found here https://www.mobiusindustries.com/news/state-arts-pr-survey-2023/