The European Communication Monitor (ECM) is the longest running trend survey of communication practice worldwide. The annual study, supported by the European Associaiton of Communication Directors, will be in its 14th year in 2020 and it will continue to explore experiences and trends in the communications profession in Europe. Every year practitioners from up to 52 countries have participated in the survey, with 2019 marking participation from 46 countries.

The first ECM, conducted in 2007, correctly identified a trend for corporate communication to become the most important sub-discipline and stronger than marketing communications by 2010 with media relations losing ground in favour of online relations. Over the years, as trends in the industry changed the ECM has evolved to capture trends and reflect the working experiences of practitioners. The latest edition of ECM from 2019 explored trust in the public relations and communication profession; public trust in different organisational advocates; challenges of building trust and transparency; the most important strategic issues for the profession; Artifical Intelligence(AI) in communication, and content creation and distribution.

In 2019, the ECM survey thus identified that communicators feel that their profession is only trusted by two-thirds of top executives (67%), and by a minority of influencers and bloggers (47%), journalists (39%) and ordinary people (27%). But a vast majority feel trusted by their own colleagues, bosses and internal clients, as well as by their external stakeholders and audiences, whilst transparency is seen as difficult by most practitioners because the political stance of the leadership team is not always clearly communicated. The ECM also predicts that AI will change the communications profession as a whole and 77% of practitioners confirmed the rising importance of shared media during the last three years, thus confirming findings from the first ECM, in 2007.

We are now inviting practitioners to participate in our survey to tell us how have they used the ECM results in their personal and organisational professional practice over the years. How have the findings influenced your work, client engagement, training and personal development and, importantly, whether there is any room for improvement? The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, and all data is confidential and anonymous.

A joint project by academia and practice, the ECM is 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, Fink & Fuchs as digital communications partner, and Communication Director magazine as media partner. The Centre for Corporate Communication at BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, and the Center for Strategic Communication at IULM University, Milan, support the project as national partners. Lead researchers Professors Ansgar Zerfass (Leipzig), Ralph Tench (Leeds), Dejan Verčič (Ljubljana), Piet Verhoeven (Amsterdam) and Ángeles Moreno (Madrid) are supported by national research collaborators at renowned universities across the continent.

Full results are available from www.communicationmonitor.eu

The survey link is:



Professor Ralph Tench


Dr. Ralph Tench is Professor and Director of Research for Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom and President of the European Public Relations Research and Education Association (EUPRERA), Brussels.