The focus of the 2015 monitor are blurring boundaries between public relations and marketing, strategies for listening and identifying stakeholder needs, measurement and reporting, collaboration between clients and agencies, and the future relevance of partnering with mass media and journalists in a changing world by using new content strategies (PESO). Longitudinal development of communication channels, strategic issues in the field, and characteristics of excellence complete the range of the largest study on strategic communication and public relations (PR) worldwide. The European Communication Monitor 2015 is based on responses from 2,253 communication professionals in 41 countries. Detailed analyses are available for 20 countries and different types of organisations (companies, non-profits, governmental, agencies).

Key insights


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  • Strategic partnerships with mass media: 61% of communicators see rising importance, but only 36% have established collaborations today
  • Content strategies (PESO): large gap between relevance and real use across Europe
  • Value contribution: only 55% try to demonstrate economic effects with strategic communication
  • Organisational listening: strategies are often missing
  • Client/agency relationships: diverging views on rationales and conflicts
  • Excellence: Outperforming communication departments are better in listening to stakeholders and using measurement insights

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Background and credits

Research team

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

National research collaborators

Emanuele Invernizzi, Milan (IT), Valerie Carayol, Bordeaux (FR), Jesper Falkheimer, Lund (SE), Finn Frandsen, Aarhus (DK), Øyvind Ihlen, Oslo (NO), Vilma Luoma-aho, Jyväskylä (FI), Waldemar Rydzak, Poznan (PL), Denisa Heilova, Prague (CZ), Alexandra Craciun, Bucharest (RO), Milko Petrov, Sofia (BG), Evandro Oliveira, Braga (PT), John Gallagher, Dublin (IE), Andrea Catellani, Louvain (BE), Liudmila Minaeva, Moscow (RU), Eleni Apospori, Athens (GR), Ayla Okay, Istanbul (TR)

Organisers and partners

The ECM 2015 was organised by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD), supported by partner PRIME Research and media partner Communication Director magazine.