The latest internal survey from the EACD provided us with an understanding of our members and participants, including their expectations: where they stand, how they see the association and how they’d like to see it evolve in the near future.

Key findings

According to the results of the survey, which was carried out between 19 October and 15 November 2017, females have a narrow lead in terms of gender demographics (53% versus 45% male.) 2% of respondents preferred not to answer. The typical member belongs to senior management, is between the ages of 46 and 55, works for an organisation with more than 5,000 employees, and believes in the growing importance of their function. Digitalisation and leadership are key concerns but we do rely on a balance of digital and print for news.

Who are EACD members?

The survey results depict a multi-level association, representing young communicators right through to the c-suite, who represent 22% of members. As 68% of members belong to senior management or C-Suite/Executive level, it’s no wonder that “Senior network” is the most popularly cited characteristics of the EACD. The ‘millennial’ generation of 26-35 year olds has a solid 11% stake in the association (we’ll explore insights from millennials – both members and non-members – in a follow-up blog post). This is reflected in that the most popular characteristics of the EACD are its inclusiveness and diversity.

A total of 46% of EACD members belong to senior management level at their respective organisations, followed by 28% who belong to middle management. The majority of members are aged between 46 and 55 years old, followed by 31% aged between 36 and 45 and 15% aged 56 or over.

Where do EACD members work?

Popular sectors of employment for members are research/health, finance/banking and consumer products, while the majority (40%) work for large organisations of 5,000 or more employees.

There is a 50-50 split between members who are and aren’t members of other associations, and 86% report that they aren’t active members of one of EACD’s working groups, indicating that the majority of members do not feel affiliated to one certain topic in the broad communications spectrum.

How do members benefit from the EACD?

The cross-sector reach and international span are also very popular qualities among members, while its standing as a European association is also widely cited as important. EACD members cited their favoured EACD activities to be the annual European Communication Summit, regional events, and website content.

Moving forward, members want the EACD to position itself as a thought-leader in the field of communications (48%), be a voice of the profession (31%) and to develop its content production on the communications function and its people (29%) as well as research (28%).

Currently, the EACD accepts full time in-house communication professionals as full members and agency professionals as supporting members. While the majority of members want this to remain the rule, many would be happy to see it extended to “communications-related professions”, such as marketing and employee engagement.

Often agency representatives do not realise that they can also become a supporting member of the EACD. This membership package offers agency representatives the chance to organise coaching events for full members who can develop expertise in areas such as brand management and stakeholder analysis.

What did the survey tell us about the communications function?

Results show that 15% of surveyed members believe the function is being sliced up into different areas, and 18% believe communications is becoming integrated with marketing. However, 61% of surveyed members believe the communications function continues to grow in importance.

The five most important topics that EACD members felt were most relevant in the daily work and should be addressed by a professional network are Latest Trends (56%), Digitalisation (47%), Leadership (30%), Internal and Crisis communication (both 27%). We see this mirrored through the EACD Working Groups – regular gatherings of EACD members focusing on specific topics with the goal of establishing cross-institutional and developing topic-related standards. Digital Communication is the most popular working group, followed by Corporate Citizenship, Brand Leadership and Future of Media also boasting strong showings.

How do members engage with us?

The most popular channels for getting news and information are mobile phones, laptops, tablets and (reassuringly) newspapers; digital is overwhelmingly the most popular media format for news (93%), with print (44%) and video (40%) not too far behind. Emails and e-newsletters, LinkedIn and the EACD website are the most popular channels to receive information.

Conferences (68%), association membership (49%) and online training/webinars (45%) make the three most cited means of keeping up to speed on the job. Workshops, panels/debates with specific topics, practical trainings such as media training, and webinars are the four most popular type of events members like to attend, with favourites including the European Communication Summit, regional events and EACD Forum. Several respondents highlighted the value of regular regional events in order to stay up to date on industry developments all year around. Only 26% say they have yet to attend a EACD event, preferring to stay up to date via content channels when committing to an event in person is difficult.

How can you become a member?

Applying for membership takes just 5 minutes via the online application form. Our Membership Committee personally assesses each application and you can expect to hear back within 4-6 weeks. If you would like to talk to a member of our team about the results of the survey or the benefits of membership, do not hesitate to get in touch: [email protected]