European Communication Monitor

Findings from this year’s look at the thoughts and opinions of Europe’s public relations experts

As communicators, we live in interesting and often challenging times. Evidence from the latest survey conducted by renowned universities together with Communication Director magazine and the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) only underlines the shifting sands that communicators are standing on. The most significant is the global downturn in the economy that challenges the practice of public relations in Europe in several ways. Overall, every second professional reports budget cuts, with numbers ranging from 58 per cent in Southern Europe to 42 per cent in Northern countries. Reducing staffing numbers is mentioned by almost 22 per cent of European professionals. However, the psyche of the sector is still healthy: thinking about the communication function within their organisation or of their consultancy, eight out of ten practitioners are optimistic for 2010. These figures emerge from the European Communication Monitor 2009, a yearly survey among European public relations practitioners. Besides the figures on the influence of the economic situation in Europe on the field of public relations, the monitor also sheds light on the professional roles that PR people practice in Europe and on several strategic issues for the field, for example concerning the role of internal communication in organisations.

Ralph Tench

Ralph Tench is professor of communication at Leeds Beckett University, UK, where is also serves as the director of research for Leeds Business School. He is also the current President of EUPRERA (European Public Relations Research and Education Association).

Piet Verhoeven

Piet Verhoeven is an associate professor at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research of the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Prior to becoming an academic in 2002, he worked in several positions ion public relations and communication, including for the Schiphol Group.

Ansgar Zerfass

Dr. Ansgar Zerfass is professor and chair in strategic communication at the Institute of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany. He is also professor in communication and leadership at BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, as well as editor of the International Journal of Strategic Communication, USA, and, inter alia, Plank Scholar at The Plank Center for Leadership and Communication at the University of Alabama, USA. Current projects include, amongst others, the European Communication Monitor and Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor and Value Creating Communication, the world's most extensive research program on corporate communications conducted by with several universities and global companies.