The 2019 edition of the European Communication Monitor report was presented at the European Communication Summit in Berlin, outlining the recent and most important trends and challenges for communications professionals at all levels.
Researchers were focused on measuring and understanding trust in the PR profession, public trust in different organizational advocates, the current challenges of building trust and transparency in an era of misleading information and fake news, artificial intelligence and its application in communications, content creation and distribution – the most important strategic issues for the PR industry and profession.
#ECS2019: The European Communications Monitor 2019 is focusing on trust and transparency, the latter being the top challenge for communication professionals to achieve in their organisations @eacdonline @euprerahttps://t.co/2LzKvJC32m pic.twitter.com/9bv5H2wzsP
— Nahuel Mercedes M. (@nahunicolai) May 23, 2019
Trust and credibility are critical for successful communications. The survey revealed that communicators experience a low level of trust in their profession – 67% by top executives, 47% by influencers and bloggers, 39% by journalists. Yet, they feel confident and trusted on a personal level with their colleagues, management, clients, external stakeholders, and audiences. Furthermore, hierarchy matters: communications leaders feel more trusted than professionals in other roles and ranks. Women reported more trusted relationships with external stakeholders and men report better relationships with top management in organisations.
Interesting statement by @DejanVercic explaining the Communication Monitor: the west was able to develop because there is more room for trust. Trust makes relationships easier! #ECS2019 pic.twitter.com/PcTEMO41Ed
— Marc Lamers (@marc_lamers) May 23, 2019
Another highlight related to trust is that communicators believe external experts and top management are rated as the most trusted organizational advocates, leaving marketing and sales behind. According to the results, external experts, such as consultants, are the most trusted – 70.3%, followed by organizational leaders (CEO, top management) – 66.7%, external supporters (customers, fans) – 63.9%, employees – 61%, marketing and sales – 43.2%.
Getting firsthand insights from the just-issued European Communication Monitor 2019. Building trust and transparency is in ever clearer focus in an age of mistrust. #ECS2019 #CommsLearning pic.twitter.com/f4rNbHnPb8
— Clément (@ClementRobijns) May 23, 2019
Transparency and building trust are becoming challenging for professional communicators. The survey revealed that 41% of them find it difficult to communicate transparently about the political stance of their leadership team and for 35% the challenge is related to internal processes and workflows. The respondents stated it is easier to communicate about organizational purpose, mission and vision, as well as the company’s products and/or services. The location also matters when it comes to transparency - organisations and professionals in Northern Europe find it easier to be transparent than their colleagues in other parts of the continent.
— Shushan Harutyunyan (@shushanblansh) May 23, 2019
The speed of distribution and the quantity of content are another important issue for communications professionals. Communicators are exploring new forms of content creation in order to stay relevant to their audience’s needs. The rising importance of shared media during the last three years was confirmed by 77% of the practitioners, who also revealed that sponsored social media content is used by every second company in Europe.
Professionals working in non-profit organisations indicated that enhancing trust, content creation and distribution, the need to manage larger audiences and communications channels is a priority issue. Their colleagues working in companies report a different perspective - they are focused on coping with the rising information flow, digital trends and social responsibility.
Artificial Intelligence is expected to bring changes to the profession according to 77% of the respondents. Yet, 56% stated that they lack and find it hard to secure the competencies needed for introducing AI. Nearly half of the professionals - 54% believe that the IT budgets or organizational structure are important hurdles. Practitioners in Norway, Finland and Bulgaria expect strong AI impact on a departmental level, while those in Turkey, Portugal and Serbia fear or hope for changes in their personal work routines.
The report is annually organised by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD). The partners of the report are Cision Insights, Fink & Fuchs and the Communication Director magazine. The communication monitor series is renowned as the most comprehensive research in the field worldwide.
Within the agenda of the summit, the report was presented by one of the researchers, Prof. Dr. Dejan Vercic. The survey gathered data from 2883 respondents - communications profession from across 46 countries in Europe.
To see the full details and data, please visit and download for free the report at http://www.communicationmonitor.eu/