Public relations, once viewed among marketers as a discipline relegated to little more than media relations, executive speechwriting, and publicity stunts, is emerging as a key part of the overall integrated marketing mix for many advertisers.

A recent ANA study of 100 members showed that a majority of marketers (62 percent) plan to increase internal staffing and overall spending on public relations over the next five years, and 75 percent said they plan to increase overall spending on PR. That's an increase from 16 percent and 25 percent of respondents, respectively, who said they had planned to make similar increases for 2017.

The study, titled The Evolution of Public Relations," was conducted by the ANA in partnership with the USC Center for Public Relations at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. It was intended to gauge client-side marketer perceptions of PR and to identify the trends most important to the future of the discipline, how it demonstrates its value, and how it will evolve over the next five years.