The annual Global Communication Report conducted by the USC Center for Public Relations is designed to provide insight into the evolution of the global communication 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 rise of new activists and assessed how to engage with activist organizations, reviewed the convergence in marketing and public relations, tracked the scale of change disrupting the PR industry, and examined the industry’s evolution of ethics and its future use of technology and artificial intelligence.
The 2021 Global Communication Report, “Politics, Polarization and Purpose,” follows up on last year’s exploration of “new activism” to determine how politics affects polarization and, in turn, public relations. The hypothesis was that even though polarization is driven by politics it’s primarily a communication problem, which should be addressed by professional communicators.
This year’s report reviews the findings from two surveys. The first survey talked to U.S. residents about a wide range of social topics just after the Nov. 2020 presidential election. The second one queried more than 1,450 PR professionals and journalists on business and communications issues.
The results of these two surveys, as reviewed and discussed in the Global Communication Report, present a clearer picture of a troubling phase of our history and a pivotal time for our industry. The data provide valuable insights into the causes of polarization and some possible solutions.
The Global Communication Report is produced annually by the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations, in conjunction this year with Golin, Muck Rack, Worldcom Public Relations Group, and the following organizations: AMEC, Arthur W. Page Society, FERPI, Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, IABC, ICCO, Institute for Public Relations, MCC Consulting, PRCA, PR Council, PRSA, PRSSA, and SCoRE (Mumbai). The survey of PR professionals, educators and students is designed to provide insight into the evolution of the global communication industry.