The 2019 survey explores trust in the PR profession, public trust in different organisational advocates, challenges of building trust and transparency, the most important strategic issues for the profession, Artificial Intelligence in communications, as well as content creation and distribution. The European Communication Monitor 2019 is based on responses from 2,689 communication professionals in 46 countries. Detailed analyses are available for 22 countries and different types of organisations (companies, non-profits, governmental, agencies).

  • Trust: Communicators feel that their profession is only trusted by two third of top executives (67%), and by a minority of influencers and bloggers (47%), journalists (39%) and ordinary people (27%) – but a vast majority feel trusted by their own colleagues, bosses and internal clients, as well as by their external stakeholders and audiences.
  • Transparency: Respondents find it most difficult to communicate transparently about the political stance of their leadership team (41% think this is difficult) and about internal processes and workflows (35%).
  • Artificial Intelligence: Three quarters of the respondents (77%) think that AI will change the communications profession as a whole – but 56% state that it is difficult to secure competencies of communication practitioners needed for introducing AI, followed by 54% who believe that information technology, budgets or organisational structure are important hurdles.
  • Content creation and distribution: 77% of the practitioners confirm the rising importance of shared media during the last three years, while sponsored social media content is used by every second communication department and agency (53%).

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Background and credits

Research team

Ansgar Zerfass, Leipzig University (GE) – Lead Researcher;
Ralph Tench, Prof. Dr., Leeds Beckett University (UK); Piet Verhoeven, Assoc. Prof. Dr., University of Amsterdam (NL); Dejan Verčič, Prof. Dr., University of Ljubljana (SI); Ángeles Moreno, Prof. Dr., University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid (ES)
Assistant researchers: Jens Hagelstein, Ronny Fechner

National research collaborators

Emanuele Invernizzi, Milan (IT), Sonia Sebastiao, Lisbon (PT), Valerie Carayol, Bordeaux (FR), Sandrine Roginsky, Anne-Marie Cotton, Louvain / Ghent (BE), John Gallagher, Dublin (IE), Jesper Falkheimer, Lund (SE), Finn Frandsen, Aarhus (DK), Oyvind Ihlen, Alexander Buhmann, Oslo (NO), Vilma Luoma-aho, Jyväskylä (FI), Waldemar Rydzak, Poznan (PL), Denisa Hejlova, Prague (CZ), Sabine Einwiller, Vienna (AT), Alexandra Craciun, Bucharest (RO), Milko Petrov, Sofia (BG), Ana Tkalac Verčič, Zagreb (CR), Danijela Lalic, Novi Sad (RS), Clio Kenterelidou, Thessaloniki (GR), Ayla Okay, Istanbul (TR), Marina Shilina, Moscow (RU)

Organisers and partners

The ECM 2019 was 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, media partner Communication Director magazine and national partners BI CCC in Norway and CECOMS in Italy.