Who should be responsible for corporate social media?

Survey finds 51 percent of execs say PR teams best suited to manage websites

Posted November 16, 2015

It's a common debate for businesses: Who should be responsible for corporate social media activities? While the jury is still out, one group is gaining favor, according to research.

The study done by the Creative Group found that when advertising and marketing executives were asked which department is best suited to oversee an organization's social media efforts, more than half (51 percent) of respondents said public relations/communications. This figure is up from 39 percent in a similar study conducted in 2013.

“Social media can affect a company's reputation, so it stands to reason that this channel is tied closely to public relations,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “But corporate social media can also be used to shape brand perceptions and facilitate customer interactions. Because it encompasses many activities — from content strategy to customer support to campaign analysis — that require different skills, it’s often beneficial for multiple departments to work closely together in order to leverage strengths and encourage ongoing collaboration.”

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “In your opinion, which of the following departments is best suited to manage a company’s social media efforts?” Their responses:

  2015 2013
Public relations/communications 51% 39%
Marketing 28% 35%
Customer service 9% 15%
CEO/owner 5% 5%
Other 2% 0%
Don't Know 5% 6%

According to research conducted for The Creative Group 2016 Salary Guide, there is strong demand for professionals with social media expertise. “Companies continue to invest financial resources and efforts into social media to engage customers and build brand awareness. Even when hiring for positions that don’t directly involve social media, employers seek candidates who have a deep understanding of how to use it effectively in a business setting,” added Domeyer.

The survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 400 U.S. advertising and marketing executives.


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