The 10th anniversary edition covers the usage of big data and algorithms for strategic communication, new ways to enable top management and other staff. Other topics include stakeholder engagement, the role of social media influencer, social media skills and management competencies. 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 2016 is based on responses from 2,710 communication professionals in 43 countries. Detailed analyses are available for 20 countries and different types of organisations (companies, non-profits, governmental, agencies).

Key insights


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  • Big data: 72% of communicators believe this will change their profession, but only 21% of all organisations have implemented activities by now
  • Automation: few use the power of algorithms for adapting content
  • Strategic issues: longitudinal data over a decade (2007-2016) indicate dramatic changes for communication management
  • Communication channels: face-to-face is more important than social media
  • Social media influencers: 43% use specific strategies to approach them
  • Competencies: gap between training offered and development needs

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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 2016 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.