A Review of the European Communication Monitor (ECM) Report 2016 Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1425 Words
Date:  2022-10-06


The European Communication Monitor report of 2016 is a compiled finding of the study conducted by the European Public Relation Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) in over forty-three countries. The report marked over ten years of comprehensive research in the state of strategic communication and public relations. The survey covered topics on the big data, algorithms, strategic communication, stakeholders' engagement, and influence of social media among other trends shaping the communication profession (Zerfass, et.al 2016). By comparing the 2016 report with the previous surveys in the past decade the condition of work among communication professionals has significantly evolved. However, only a few departments have implemented tools and strategies to cope with the aspects of the digital revolution. Therefore, this paper will focus on the analysis of the 2016 European Communication Monitor report and the key insights of the survey.

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The ECM survey team aimed at exploring the current and future developments of strategic communication in companies, non-profit and other organizations. The investigation involved approximately 2710 communication professionals in European countries (Zerfass, et.al 2016). The respondents were drawn from all organizational sectors including the political organizations, and both governmental and non-governmental institutions. The research framework was designed to explore the dynamics and development in the field of strategic communication, regional and national differences in public relations, current challenges in the field, and statistical methods used in communication departments. Likewise, the methodology used to gather information from participants was an online questionnaire, which was later analyzed using the statistical package for the social science. The following are some of the critical issues and results of the research in efforts to resolve the challenges associated with the digital economy and society.

The Big Data in Strategic Communication

The phrase, "data is the oil of the information economy," is an appealing metaphor that holds concealed meaning. Raw oil does not have any value and has to be refined to various products to make it valuable. Similarly, in contemporary society, they are a massive amount of data collected by different organizations, intermediaries, technology firms and platform providers accessible to various firms. Businesses have been focusing on making the most out of the big data to make informed decisions and deliver better services and products. Consequently, digitalization and data analysis have developed to be a significant strategic approach in attaining competitive advantage in the market.

According to the ECM survey in every four respondents, three of them believed that big data would drastically change their profession. Likewise, they were those that felt that big data had developed to be one of the most important issues for communication management. However, a considerable number of communication practitioners lack a comprehensive understanding of big data available for the public. As a result, about 45% of European organizations are yet to conduct any big data activity, 16.8% intend to start such activities and only 21% has active big data programs (Zerfass, et.al 2016). Both governmental and non-profit organizations are lagging behind in implementing digital systems as compared to profitable businesses. Nevertheless, despite major challenges in the communication professions such as lack of analytical and technical skills, ethical concerns, management risks, and data security among others based there is a consensus that big data remain a relevant area for consideration.

Automation in Public Relation and Communication Management

Big data and digital information have not only been influencing the decision-making process but it has also facilitated real-time, inexpensive, and large-scale testing of persuasion. Likewise, the evolution has enhanced the generation of user or situation specific content (Huang & Zhuxiu, 2015). For instance, search engines such as Amazon among other e-commerce platforms display adverts based on previous search behaviors. From the ECM report, about 75% of the participants agreed that communication activities should be aligned with external algorithms of the social media or search engines. Nevertheless, only 29% among the contributors affirmed that their communication agencies and departments have implemented such routines (Zerfass, et.al 2016). Both figures are considerably low because algorithms are essential tools in decision-making and content distribution.

Social Media Influencers (SMIs)

Social media has been rising to one of the important communication strategies for organizations. Social media influencers are considered a type of third-party endorsers who shape audience attitude through tweets and blogs among other online platforms. The ECM study shows that about 58% of organizations across Europe understand that social media influencers are important elements for their communication program (Zerfass, et.al 2016). However, only a few organizations approach SMIs whenever they show up but they do not proactively approach or track the agencies. In most cases, communication professionals prefer traditional indicators prevalent in the offline world. As a result, a large number of communication professionals have not fully grasped the concept of influence and opinion leaders in the social network.

Stakeholders Engagement

Engagement has become one of the much-debated concepts in society and is often used by businesses as an essential element in their communication strategies. In relation to the communication profession, engagement involves cognitive, affective, and participative involvements. In the ECM study, about 75% of the respondents supported that cognitive involvement is a form of engagement, which makes every stakeholder feel interested and involved in the affairs of the organization. Likewise, about 56% of the respondents suggested that engagement of stakeholders involves being excited, proud and having attached feelings to the organization (Zerfass, et.al 2016). There were also those that felt engagement is a form of participative involvement where stakeholders are encouraged to collaborate in improving the firm. Some of the behaviors that indicate stakeholders are engaged in the administration of a business include communicating actively and working together with other parties (Stacks, 2016). Likewise, stakeholders should take an active role in the decision-making process and offer their support to the organization.

Response to the Results

From the results prepared by ECM, big data analysis is increasingly becoming a trending practice that most organizations have been adopting with an aim of constructing valuable information and influence decision-making processes. As a result, big data has substantially changed the public relation profession. Initially, most organizations were concerned with the increasing volume of available and accessible data. As time went by, there has been a shift from volume; to a variety of data, which is then analyzed to enable managers to make quality decisions (Huang & Zhuxiu, 2015). Therefore, communication practitioners must advance their skills and knowledge to integrate the large volumes of data into decision-making. However, despite advances in technology, moving beyond traditional communication approaches to create a strategic positioning and uncover better opportunities in public relation have been a problem. Some of the issues hindering the integration of big data into communication profession include lack of analytical and technical skills, inadequate investment in terms of time and financial resources in the project, legal restrictions, and ethical issues.

Additionally, algorithms and big data are intertwined. In fact, those firms that achieve to integrate them effectively also manage to engage stakeholders and use social media influencers for their benefit. Automation is inevitable in almost every sector of the economy especially with the profound effects of advanced technology (Stacks, 2016). Therefore, although only a few organizations have fully adopted big data use in their public relation in future this would be inevitable. In fact, every stakeholder regardless of age, gender, and demographic distance appreciate getting involved in the operation process. One of the most productive ways to bring every stakeholder and members of the public to board is by having an automated communication system, which is only attainable by strategizing and making use of all forms of available data.


In conclusion, the magnitude of data generated and shared by public administrations, businesses, non-profit sectors, and scientific research has continued to increase immeasurably. However, a considerable number of firms have come up with effective strategies to make the best use of the available information, which would not only enhance their decision-making process but it would influence their productivity. Applying big data, making use of social media influencers, engaging stakeholders and automating organization systems require some creativity on the part of the practitioner. The process of having a modern and fully integrated decision-making system in the organization has been an issue of interest for years but with the digital revolution, more firms will be expected to embrace this development.


Huang, H., & Zhuxiu, H. (2015). Big Data and Public Policy Research: Concepts, Relations, and Perspectives. Chinese Public Administration, 10, 009.

Stacks, D. W. (2016). Primer of public relations research. Guilford Publications.

Zerfass, A., Verhoeven, P., Moreno, A., Tench, R., & Vercic, D. (2016). European Communication Monitor 2016. Exploring trends in big data, stakeholder engagement, and strategic communication. Brussels EACD/EUPRERA9783942263405.

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A Review of the European Communication Monitor (ECM) Report 2016 Paper Example. (2022, Oct 06). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/a-review-of-the-european-communication-monitor-ecm-report-2016-paper-example

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