The Report Card on Public Relations Leaders is a biennial study that began in 2015 to survey leaders and their employees on leadership performance, job satisfaction, organizational trust, organizational culture and job engagement. Following small declines in leader performance in 2017 and 2019, the Report Card 2021 marks some improvements.
Report Card 2021
Leaders in public relations improved their performance during the volatile and challenging world of 2020-2022. For the first time since the biennial Leadership Report Card was launched in 2015, the grade for overall leadership performance rose to B-.
The Report Card 2021 marks improvements in overall leadership performance, and gains in employee trust, job satisfaction, job engagement and organizational culture. Most significantly, a previous widening gender gap regarding perceptions of leadership in PR was closed. The profession moved from average to “almost good,” with “great” still in the scope in the distance.
Nationwide, 536 PR leaders and professionals evaluated five fundamental areas of leadership linked to outcomes in our field—organizational culture, leadership performance, organizational trust, work engagement and job satisfaction.
The biennial Report Card is co-sponsored with Heyman Associates.
Report Card 2019
Is improving public relations leadership on the profession’s radar screen? According to the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations’ Report Card 2019, PR leaders received an overall grade of C+, reflecting little change from previous studies in 2015 and 2017.
Nationwide, 828 PR leaders and professionals evaluated five fundamental areas of leadership linked to outcomes in our field—organizational culture, leadership performance, organizational trust, work engagement and job satisfaction.
While grades did not shift from 2017, job engagement, organizational trust and job satisfaction dropped a bit. Even more concerning, previously reported gaps grew even more.
- Ragan’s PRDaily
- Bulldog Reporter
- PRSA’s Issues & Trends
- Repman Blog
- Institute for Public Relations
- University of Georgia News
- University of Alabama’s College of Communication News
- The Future Buzz
- The “Flack Pack” Podcast
Report Card 2017
In 2015 The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and Heyman Associates produced its first Report Card on PR Leaders. Leaders earned passing grades for the five areas examined—leadership performance, job engagement, trust in the organization, work culture and job satisfaction—but crucial gaps highlighted areas for improvement.
Nearly 1,200 PR leaders and professionals in the U.S. recently completed the same survey. Grades for leadership performance and trust were unchanged in 2017 but slipped for work culture, job engagement and job satisfaction. The overall grade for PR leaders fell from B- to C+. Gaps between leaders’ and employees’ perceptions of the five areas remained wide, while gender differences deepened.
“You can’t go out and buy a bottle of secret leadership sauce, but you can upgrade your leadership software by taking these five steps.”
Report Card 2015
The first Plank Center Leadership Report Card on communication leaders highlights a Grand-Canyon-sized gap between leaders’ evaluations of their own performance and those of their employees. Leaders earned high marks for work engagement but lagged in job satisfaction, workplace trust and culture.
The grades are based on a survey* of 838 U.S. public relations executives and managers that was conducted by The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and Heyman Associates. Survey participants rated the performance of their top PR leader and the quality of their workplace culture, and then evaluated their own levels of work engagement, trust in their organization, and job satisfaction. Grades were assigned based on mean scores for professionals’ responses.
Click here for the full report card.