During a recent meeting with Forbes they shared with me a summary of their recent survey of Chief Marketing Officers (embedded below). There are two notable trends here - which Forbes isn't connecting, but I am.First, social media is seen as the single most promising marketing vehicle amongst all respondents and those who oversee more than $5M in annual spend. Note how social media surpasses other tactics that get a lot of attention - notably mobile applications and search engine marketing.
Second, some 73% of CMOs surveyed oversee PR. I don't have the data, but I imagine this is a new trend. In the past, PR would sit in all kinds of other departments. Now it seems to be more closely aligned with marketing.
Now the Forbes study doesn't say this, but I fundamentally believe that other than placing ads, PR is in the best position to manage a business' social media endeavors. The reason is that engaging in social circles requires an understanding of psychology and also it is an uncontrolled discipline. Both of these play well to the skills of PR practitioners. If I were a CMO controlling $5M in spend with an interest in social media and I oversaw PR, I would connect these dots. I suspect that's what many are doing.