The 2021 survey explores CommTech and digital infrastructure, video-conferencing for stakeholder communications, future roles for communication professionals, strategic issues, and characteristics of excellent communication departments. The European Communication Monitor 2021 is based on responses from 2,664 communication professionals in 46 countries. Detailed analyses are available for 22 countries and different types of organisations (companies, non-profits, governmental, agencies).

  • Digital transformation is in progress, but few communication departments or agencies have reached maturity – 39% of practitioners across Europe describe their unit as immature in both digitalising stakeholder communications and building digital infrastructure
  • Video-conferencing is here to stay – it is more frequently used for communication with employees and clients than with journalists and less valued by stakeholders in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe
  • Practitioners take on different roles simultaneously in their daily work – a trend to watch is the Advisor role who helps top management make better business decisions
  • Professionals working in excellent communication departments are more engaged in coaching or advising executives and colleagues at all levels of the hierarchy

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Background and credits

Research team

Ansgar Zerfass, Prof. Dr., Leipzig University (GE) – Lead Researcher; Ralph Tench, Prof. Dr., Leeds Beckett University (UK); Dejan Verčič, Prof. Dr., University of Ljubljana (SI); Ángeles Moreno, Prof. Dr., University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid (ES); Alexander Buhmann, Assoc. Prof. Dr., BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo (NO)
Assistant researchers: Jens Hagelstein, Ronny Fechner

National research collaborators

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, 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 (HR); Danijela Lalic, Novi Sad (RS); Clio Kenterelidou, Thessaloniki (GR); Ayla Okay, Istanbul (TR); Marina Shilina, Moscow (RU); Christian Burgers, Amsterdam (NL); Mariana Sueldo, Vilnius (LT); Nino Coric, Mostar (BA)

Organisers and partners

The ECM 2021 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, and national partners NORA in Norway and CECOMS in Italy.