What are the main ethical challenges for communication professionals in the 21st century? Which competencies, qualification needs and strategic issues are relevant within the next months? Are integrated communication and one voice policies obsolete in the age of social media? These and other questions have been focused in the European Communication Monitor 2012. It is based on responses from 2,185 communication professionals in 42 countries. Detailed analyses for the largest study on strategic communication and public relations (PR) worldwide are are available for 20 countries and different types of organisations (companies, non-profits, governmental, agencies).

Key insights


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  • Ethical challenges: 6 out of 10 PR professionals face moral problems
  • Barriers: 84% state that top management lacks understanding
  • Practice of communication: Operational work takes 37% of a typical week
  • Social media: Large gap between importance and real implementation
  • Qualifications: Business knowledge needed, but training is missing
  • Recruiting: Academic education in communication management preferred

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Background and credits

Research team

Ansgar Zerfass, University of Leipzig (GE) – Lead Researcher;
Dejan Vercic, University of Ljubljana (SI); Piet Verhoeven, University of Amsterdam (NL); Angeles Moreno, University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid (ES); Ralph Tench, Leeds Metropolitan University (UK)
Assistant researcher: Anne Ihle, Ronny Fechner

Advisory Board

Emanuele Invernizzi, Milan (IT), Valerie Carayol, Bordeaux (FR), Francesco Lurati, Lugano (CH), Finn Frandsen, Aarhus (DK), Øyvind Ihlen, Oslo (NO), Ryszard Lawniczak, Poznan (PL)

Organisers and partners

The ECM 2012 was organised by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD), supported by sponsor Ketchum Pleon and media partner Communication Director magazine.