The European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) have released the results of their ninth annual study on the state-of-the-art of communication management and trends within the profession across Europe. The European Communication Monitor 2015 is based on replies from 2,253 communication professionals in 41 European countries and is the largest annual empirical survey in the field worldwide; it provides country-specific analyses for 20 key markets across the continent.
The study shows that there is a vast discrepancy between the ambition of communication professionals to build immaterial assets, which they also claim as being valuable to top executives, and their practices of evaluating such impacts. 79.8% of the respondents claim that reputation, organisational culture and brands have positive effects for their organisation. 55.4% try to demonstrate economic effects when explaining the value of commnication. But only 35.6% of all communication departments measure the impact on intangible or tangible resources. On another note, measurement and evaluation activities are mostly used in a traditional way without leveraging the power of data for managing communications. Most organisations focus on output measures, i.e. media clippings, but neglect both costs (input) and impact on organisational targets or resources (outflow). Only 43.3% use measurement insights to lead teams and agencies. The premature use of measurement is alarming as linking business strategy and communication continues to be the most important issue for communication management in Europe. It is mentioned by 42.9% of the communicators, leading the list of top issues for the third year in a row.
The monitor also shows that organisational listening is a premier, but often neglected, goal for strategic communication. While 78.3% of all organisations in the sample have established messaging strategies for reaching out to stakeholders, only 55.7% use a listing strategy to monitor the public sphere or integrate feedback from stakeholders. The picture changes when looking at excellent excellent communication departments, which were identified by statistical methods within the sample. Three out of four excellent functions have listening strategies, and most of them have explicit listening goals as a department and as part of the personal job descriptions for communicators. Excellent department are also stronger aligned to the top management, much better in measuring the business impact of communication, and they use arguments related to economic success more often when explaining the relevance of communication.
A free PDF report with full results as well as a YouTube video with the most important highlights is available at www.communicationmonitor.eu.