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International Corporate Communication
Compass for Europe (ICCC)

(page latest update: September 2015)

The significance of international corporate communications is growing rapidly, and the complexity associated with it is increasing almost exponentially. But systematic understanding of International Corporate Communications (ICC) is still underdeveloped. Especially, there is no comprehensive interlinking of PR knowledge with relevant expertise derived from other disciplines.

This project is built on an already proposed heuristic analytical grid, along with its interdisciplinary application using at the beginning the example of Media Relations, but later enlarging the perspective towards a more general view of global stakeholder management. It aims to continue to develop that grid, but even more to offer a kind of “ICC Compass for Europe” that can be used by academics and professionals to tear their attention to important differences within PR in Europe – and beyond between specific European issues and other continents.

It is really important for a globally-engaged corporate communicator to be knowledgeable about the levels of target countries, target institutions, target contents and target actors (or why he or she should ensure that employees or service providers have the necessary knowledge). How many and which particular compass axes should be selected for an individual strategic communications goal depends upon the situation. In any case, however, by combining the points on the individual axes, a kind of rough map emerges. When the cultural expressions of the individual contexts for all axes are compared to the map, the biggest cultural differences between the systems in which a communications project originates and those of the target system become apparent.

This project intends to make evident the potential usefulness of interdisciplinary approaches in international comparative PR research and show examples of European countries where it will applied. This only possible in an international team – just using the existing knowledge as a proposal for going much further.

Additionally, to the research aim, an educational aim has been added to the goals of the projects since the last official update. Due to high demand from the sides of universities, also a teaching concept for international corporate communication with the ICCC as an important, but not the only example has already been partially developed and tested. So far, two schools have been involved, but based on the evaluations so far at least one more testing seminar is planned. At the end of the project, beside the academic documentation as a book also a set of educational material for teaching purpose is planned.

Project leader

  • Prof. Dr. Holger Sievert, Department Head for Public Relations and Communication Management; Macromedia University, Cologne, Germany (

For more information and former research papers, please go for the moment to the project leader's page on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSNR) at

Project team members

  • Diana-Maria Cismaru, National School of Political Science and Public Administration, Romania
  • Toni Muzi Falconi, Ferpi and Methodos, Italy
  • Serra Gorpe, Istanbul University, Turkey
  • Sónia Pedro Sebastião, Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, Portugal
  • Iekje Smit, Hanze University, Netherlands
  • Gyorgy Szondi, Leeds Met University, UK

Milestones for the next six months

The following steps have already been undertaken for the foundation and first results of the project:

  • March 2009: First Presentation at EUPRERA spring symposium in Berlin
  • July 2009: Presentation of the theoretical framework at Bledcom (awarded with IPR price)
  • September 2009: Presentation of methodological context at EUPRERA in Bucharest
  • November 2009: Presentation of the whole framework adopted to Mediterranean in Catania
  • February 2010: New Presentation at EUPRERA in Ghent with focus of team members
  • March 2010: First European Results presented at and published after IPRRC in Miami
  • April 2010: Official acceptance as an EUPRERA project by the BoD
  • April to July 2010: BA teaching testing with ICCC at University of Münster
  • May to August 2010: MA teaching testing with ICCC at FHM University in Bielefeld
  • September 2010: Short report within methodological session at EUPRERA in Jyväskylä
  • December 2010: Update of methodological context for book by Carayol/Frame (abstract)
  • January 2011: Discussion of framework within German PR association DPRG in Berlin
  • May to July 2011: BA teaching testing with ICCC at University of Düsseldorf
  • September 2011: Short status report during EUPRERA annual congress in Leeds
  • February 2012: Short status report on EUPRERA spring symposium in Berlin
  • March 2012: First paper out of the project presented within the normal program of IPRRC in Miami; awarded with the Koichi Yamamura International Strategic Communication Award
  • September 2012: Short status report on EUPRERA congress in Istanbul
  • March 2013: First article published on methodology of the project in special issues of Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations
  • September 2013: Second paper out of the project presented within the normal program of EUPRERA congress in Barcelona
  • September 2014: Second paper out of the project presented within the normal program of EUPRERA congress in Brussels
  • September 2014: Short status report on EUPRERA congress in Brussels

The following milestones are currently planned to continue and finish the project:

  • Winter 2014/15: Final work on methodology
  • September 2015: Short status report and last invitation of to new members on EUPRERA congress in Oslo
  • Winter 2015/16: Work on first five European country reports based on ICCC framework
  • Summer 2016: Unofficial workshop on final country reports in time
  • September 2016: Short status report at EUPRERA annual congress
  • Winter 2016/17: Work on book about ICCC in Europe (or worldwide ICCC book with large European chapter branded EUPRERA); prestigious publisher is already highly interested
  • September 2017: Presentation of book with framework and country reports at EUPRERA annual congress
  • Winter 2017/18: Additional work on teaching material for BA and MA on the subject
  • March 2018: Distribution of the teaching material
  • Forthcoming 2018/19: Publication of results on framework/countries in academic journals

Resource planning

Mainly necessary is the knowledge and the research will of the members. No special resources are needed so far – perhaps later some for travel expenses and/or publication. We are very hopefully to get this ones either by sponsoring or by joint cooperation with other activities.

How can Euprera members join the project?

EUPRERA members can still join the project whenever they are interested. The benefits are lots of publication also in the future after the official end of the project, a good international and even global network on PR issues as well as speaker invitation by major multinational corporations on the subject.

The idea is a centrally managed project, but with individual and equal contribution of everyone interested. All work done so far is only to be understand as possible input that can, but needn’t to be followed. However, a lot of modification on this base on empirical data results are anyway possible.

Therefore, these are the possibilities of co-operation for EUPRERA members:

  • in discussion the key indicators used so far in the "compass" and the common development of an own common and further one;
  • the collection of empirical data for all countries concerned and all key indicators;
  • the re-discussion of compass indicators and its final definition; including the formulation of general consequences for PR practice, research and education in Europe.

To read some of the research paper already developed within the subject of the ICC Compass, please visit where the most downloaded papers deal nearly all with this issue in different languages. For additional questions, please send an email to

IMPORTANT: New active members, especially for the methodological part, but also for country reports are still highly welcome until September 2016 (last chance to get onboard of the project).

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