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Results of European Communication Monitor 2016 - 07.07.2016
While communication is becoming an increasingly datafied profession, many communicators still lack the analytical skills to make sense of big data

Big data and automation in strategic communication

More than 70 per cent of European communication professionals believe that big data will change their profession but only a minority has a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Three out of four respondents agree that communication activities should be aligned with the external algorithms of search engines or social media platforms. Yet only 21 per cent state that their communication departments or agencies have implemented such routines. Even fewer use the power of algorithms proactively for automatically adapting or creating content.

Largest study in the field collected data over 10 years

Moreover, the 2016 European Communication Monitor (ECM) provides for the first time longitudinal data collected over a decade (2007-2016). Responses from more than 21,000 practitioners across Europe show that the strategic alignment of communication and organisational goals is the most constant issue, mentioned as a challenge by more than 42 per cent every single year. Face-to-face communication is regarded as the most relevant instrument today, taking the top position for the first time in 10 years of data collection. From 2007 to 2011, social media was rated important by a minority of participants; however today 76 per cent favour these instruments, and 89 per cent believe they will be important for addressing stakeholders in 2019.

Report and video are available online

Beside the above mentioned results, the study presents insights in the phenomenon of social media influencers and stakeholder engagement. Finally, it demonstrates the skills, knowledge and competencies of European communication professionals and how they spend their productive time at work. These are some of the key results found in the 10th annual European Communication Monitor (ECM), a survey based on interviews with 2,710 communicators in 43 countries. The monitor, which contains specific results for each country, was launched today in Brussels. A short video summarising the key findings as well as a full report is available online at

Professor Ansgar Zerfass form the University of Leipzig and lead researcher of the survey, explained, “For the first time ever, it is possible to track and prove the changing relevance of strategic issues and communication channels over a decade. Longitudinal data from more than 21,000 respondents across Europe based on sound academic standards reveal a rise and decline of digital and social responsibility, as well as the unsolved challenge of linking business strategy and communication.”

About the ECM

The European Communication Monitor survey on the status quo and trends of communication management across Europe is jointly organised by EUPRERA and EACD (European Association of Communication Directors). Supported by PRIME Research, a global leader in strategic communication research, the international survey is based on replies from 2,710 communication professionals in 43 countries. A research group of professors from leading universities across the continent, led by Professor Ansgar Zerfass, has conducted the research for the tenth year running. It is recognised as the largest study in the field of strategic communication worldwide. More than 4,500 communication professionals from over 80 countries are surveyed in each wave of the European, Latin American and Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor, making this the largest and only truly global study of the profession based on sound empirical standards.

More info

For more details, please visit or contact Professor Dr. Ansgar Zerfass, Lead Researcher, EUPRERA (

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