The annual European Communications Monitor (ECM) defines the the state of communications across the continent. The ECM is organised by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) and is based on responses from 2,710 communications professionals from 43 markets. Respondents have typically practiced for more than 10 years (60%), and work in-house (63%).
This year’s report explores attitudes to, and knowledge of, big data. Fewer than 1% of respondents were able to select the correct definitions of “big data”. Despite not knowing what big data might be, 72% of respondents felt that big data will substantially change the PR profession, and 58% are paying close attention to it. It seems that communicators are simply paying lip service to the idea.
The survey shows that just 21% of respondents are using big data, and a further 17% plan to implement big data activities within the next 18 months. Those that are using big data, more than half (55%) are planning overall strategies, 46% are using data to justify activities and 37% are using data to guide day-to-day activities. Effective use of data and insights will allow communicators to complete all three tasks with ease and some certainty of success. But, there are some significant challenges are holding back communication professional’s embrace of big data, and knowledge is a big factor:
The European Communications Monitor notes “an alarming lack of skills and knowledge hinders public relations and communication professionals – who tend to define themselves as information experts – from profiting from the massive amount of structured and unstructured data available for public communication today”. PR & communication professionals need to quickly understand the astonishing benefits that data and insight can bring to their organisation and communication activities. There’s plenty of support available to make the use of data in communications easy – from internal knowledge teams to consultancies like PR Measured and The Measurement Practice – so, there are no excuses to getting started on big data.
Read the full report here.