European Communication Monitor: What communicators need to know?

10/30/2023   •   Profession news
European Communication Monitor: What communicators need to know?
The European Communication Monitor 2023 offers us a look back at the most important strategic issues combined with a look ahead, identifying five areas of future action for communication leaders based on summarising empirical insights and research. 

Making a difference with advanced tech and data use 

• Digital technologies, AI, and big data change everything. Key to communicators’ success is using technology beyond automated messaging for internal advising and improved workflows. 
• Vigorously implemented digitalization strategies increase the digital maturity of communication units – they should focus on redesigning tasks and processes as well as breaking down structural barriers. 
• Cyber security is essential: protecting organizational communication infrastructure, implementing analogue backup routines, and preparing for crises triggered by cyberattacks are indispensable. 

Addressing future competency needs for communicators 

• Communication practitioners lack many of the competencies required to face the challenges and unleash the full potential of digital opportunities. More effective training for use needs to be developed. 
• New opportunities for communicators emerge from serving as consultants in their organizations – the role that is expected to grow in importance in the coming years. 
• Increased investment in training, even for seasoned communications professionals and new virtual formats are needed to keep communications departments and agencies at the cutting edge. 

Reaching and impacting audiences 

• There is a clear convergence of the importance of all communication channels. Today, effective and efficient stakeholder communication must be conducted omnichannel via all suitable platforms and media. 
• The hybridization of media content exemplified by brand journalism, content marketing, and native advertising requires a deeper integration of communication disciplines in organizations. 
• The visual turn in strategic communication through advancements in digital media, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and parallel worlds (e.g., the Metaverse) calls for new approaches and solutions. 

Leading and motivating communication teams 

• Communication leaders should reinforce inclusive leadership based on shared power and collaborative decision-making to nurture a supportive team culture. 
• Job satisfaction resulting from interesting tasks, career opportunities, and appreciation by superiors is the key driver for commitment among communicators – leveraging this must be a priority. 
• Combining the experiences and skills of diverse colleagues will enable communication departments and agencies to support organizations’ diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives with solid expertise. 

Building relationships in times of misinformation and distrust 

• Social media platforms have created an environment in which misinformation thrives – communicators should use contemporary digital tools to monitor and challenge information disorder. 
• Authenticity, emotional engagement, and storytelling are key to effective communication in a post-truth society, especially when stakeholders are highly involved, such as in crises. 
• More investment in concrete and applicable ethics guidelines is needed as the shift to autonomous forms of communication assisted by AI brings new challenges for building and maintaining trust. 

The European Communication Monitor report provides an overview of the field’s changing status and emerging or disappearing trends over more than 15 years. It presents and interprets data from almost 40,000 respondents in 50 countries collected in the European Communication Monitor surveys between 2007 (when Twitter took off) and 2022 (when ChatGPT entered the scene).