The 14th annual edition of the European Communication Monitor - an academic study on the strategic communications and PR profession - investigates six major issues for communication leaders: ethical challenges and resources for the communications profession; cyber security and communications; assessing and advancing gender equality; strategic issues and communication channels; status quo and future needs for competency development. The study also identifies drivers of excellence in each field. This allows readers to evaluate their own organisation and identify needs for improvement.
This edition of the ECM is based on responses from 2,324 communication professionals working in companies, non-profits, governmental organisations and agencies from 44 European countries. Detailed analyses are available for 22 countries. This makes the monitor the largest regular study of the field worldwide – and the only truly global research of its kind in conjunction with the North American, Latin American and Asia Pacific Communication Monitors.
The ECM 2019 shows that digital communication channels bring along new ethical challenges, but the majority of communication professionals are lacking up-to-date resources to tackle them. While three out of four communication departments employ more women than men, still only one out of two top leaders in the field are women. The main barriers identified are a lack of flexibility and intransparent promotion policies within organisations. Communication practitioners fear the hacking of websites and social media accounts – they are often involved in handling cyber security issues, but seldom help to build resilience. Last but not least, large competence gaps are identified in the fields of technology and data, although communication professionals have completed an average of 19 training days in 2019.
The strict selection of participants, a unique research framework based on established theories and statistical analyses fulfilling academic standards are key features of the ECM studies. Lead researchers Professors Ansgar Zerfass (Leipzig), Dejan Verčič (Ljubljana), Piet Verhoeven (Amsterdam), Ángeles Moreno (Madrid) and Ralph Tench (Leeds) are supported by national research collaborators who are professors at renowned universities across the continent.
The European Communication Monitor 2020 has been organised by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD), supported by premium partner Cision Insights, digital communications partner Fink & Fuchs, and media partner Communication Director magazine. National partners are The Nordic Alliance for Communication & Management (NORA) hosted by BI Norwegian Business School. Norway, and the Center for Strategic Communication (CECOMS) at IULM University in Milan, Italy.