According to this year’s edition of the European Communication Monitor, the practice of professional communication is currently marked by contradictions and impositions. Shaping the same and consistent image for all stakeholders, a core idea of integrated communications, is nowadays less popular than the concept of polyphony, meaning a simultaneous and sequential stimulation of several perceptions to address different stakeholders. Mobile applications on the social web are seen as important tools, but there are large gaps between their perceived importance and real implementation in most European organisations. Ethical challenges are more prevalent than ever in the field, but current codes of ethics are seldom used and rated as outdated by many professionals. And there is still a large gap between the skills and knowledge which need to be developed and the training offered by employers. What does this mean for communication executives? Based on a deep analysis of the data, we have identified five key insights that might stimulate the ongoing debate about strategies to advance communication’s influence and power in organisations.
Time for a rethink?
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.
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).