What Communication Professionals Do
The project started in 2018 in the Netherlands and has since then grown internationally, largely thanks to the EUPRERA community. It started at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden and Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen and is since 2023 run by the independent Dutch Foundation for communication research. We aim for a better understanding of what a communication professional is and what she or he does. Indeed, the main focus of this project is to develop understanding of the competencies and roles of communication management practitioners across countries and across business sectors.
Our research is based on a classic and solid theory on what communication is: the Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver Model of Communication by David Berlo (1960). We are aware that communication science had grown since then but we also observe that there is yet, unfortunately, little or no academic nor professional agreement on what communication management actually is, so we are happy to apply a theory that still enjoys widespread familiarity and acceptance.
We have formulated our theoretical and empirical analysis in the paper, presented at the EUPRERA congress in Vienna, September 2022: What On Earth Do Communication Professionals Do? The anatomy of communication management. The paper is published on SSRN and can be downloaded here.
We strive to continue to build a database, using a thoroughly developed questionnaire that is now available in seven languages. One of our goals is, of course, to be able to draw a range of conclusions on what differences and similarities are between communication professionals in various industries and countries, over time. We plan to make the database open source, available, for anyone who wants to work with our data. We are not there yet, as we are still building our infrastructure and need our time now for building our network.
dr mr Piet Hein Coebergh MBA
Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and co-founder of the Foundation for communication research. Email:
Can EUPRERA members still join the project?
In essence, all EUPRERA members are more than welcome to join our project! Any member who thinks that her/his institute or community or country can benefit from, or strengthen, what we started, is most welcome!