The 2020 survey explores ethical challenges and resources, cyber security and communications, gender equality in the profession, strategic issues and communication channels, as well as the status quo and future requirements for competency development. The European Communication Monitor 2020 is based on responses from 2,324 communication professionals in 44 countries. Detailed analyses are available for 22 countries and different types of organisations (companies, non-profits, governmental, agencies).

  • Ethical challenges: Digital communication channels bring along new ethical challenges, but the majority of communication professionals are lacking up-to-date resources to tackle them
  • Gender issues: Three out of four communication departments employ more women than men, but still only one out of two top leaders in the field are women – the main barriers identified are a lack of flexibility and intransparent promotion policies within organisations
  • Cyber security: Communication practitioners fear the hacking of websites and social media accounts – they are often involved in handling cyber security issues, but seldom help to build resilience
  • Competence gaps: Large competence gaps are identified in the fields of technology and data, although communication professionals have completed an average of 19 training days in 2019

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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, Stefania Romenti, Milan (IT), Sonia Sebastiao, Lisbon (PT), Valerie Carayol, Bordeaux (FR), Sandrine Roginsky, Anne-Marie Cotton, Louvain / Ghent (BE), Kevin Hora, 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 2020 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 NORA in Norway and CECOMS in Italy.