In October, I went to Milan, Italy, to participate in the EUPRERA conference, which was focused on the institutionalization of public relations. With this theme in mind, scholars and practitioners discussed how public relations can be integrated into organizations’ strategic decision-making processes.
Below are some highlights from a study known as the European Communication Monitor, the most comprehensive transnational survey on communication trends and public relations in Europe.
The study is based on a survey of 1,524 public relations practitioners from 37 countries:
Researchers: Ansgar Zerfass, University of Leipzig; Ralph Tench, Leeds Metropolitan University; Piet Verhoeven, University of Amsterday; Dejan Vercic, University of Ljubljana; Angeles Moreno, University Rey Juan Carlos
Advisory Board: Emanuele Invernizzi, IULM University; Valerie Carayol, University of Bordeaux; Betteke van Ruler, University of Amsterdam, Sven Hamrefors, Malardalen University; Oyvind Ihlen, University of Oslo; Ryszard Lawniczak, Poznan University of Economics
Of the surveyed public relations practitioners:
- 75 percent believe they are taken seriously
- Only 64 percent are actually involved in decision making and planning
The research team also studied perceptions between agencies and clients. Here is part of the findings:
- 83 percent of agencies think they are engaged because of strategic experience, market insight, or both
- 41.6 percent of clients agree
So why did the organizations in this study work with agencies?
- 62 percent worked with them to have additional “arms and legs” to get things done
In addition, respondents expect internal communication and corporate social responsibility/sustainability to be the fastest-growing areas in European communication management. Three out of four respondents were involved in corporate social responsibility.
Also, online videos and social networks are popular; however, wikis, podcasts, and especially virtual worlds are losing traction with the European public relations community.
To download the study, visit here.