European Communication Monitor 2018: first insights

Portugal is one of the 48 european countries where, in 2018, communication professionals were heard for the European Communication Monitor. Sónia Pedro Sebastião and Susana Spínola are CAPP researchers who make up the portuguese team for this project. They now bring us its first results.

One quarter of the organizations surveyed have already been affected by fake news, but only 12 percent have established advanced routines to identify threats, according to the results of the 12th edition of the European Communication Monitor, a survey carried out in 48 countries. Therefore, "fake news" are not only a keyword on political debates, but a serious daily threath for companies and other organizations all over the world, and specifically in Portugal.

This is one of the main results of the European Communication Monitor, an annual scientific research conducted on the european continent by researchers in strategic communication and public relations, supported by the European Association of Communication Directors. The first results have already been divulged on the European Communication Summit in Berlin.



The greatest impact of the dissemination of verifiable false information on traditional and social media is reported by communication professionals that work in Russia (53.2%), followed by Serbia, Slovenia and Poland (more than 40% in all of them). The United Kingdom, France, Norway and the Czech Republic are the least affected (less than 17%). The impact on portuguese organizations was a little higher, but still lower than the general european mean (25.5%).

Despite the threat to the reputation of organizations and brands, about one third of communication professionals throughout Europe has not given any attention to the debate. Even in communication departments and agencies, only one quarter of the professionals surveyed (24.4%) indicated fake content as relevant for their daily work. Even more surprising, given the context, is that only a few professionals and organizations are prepared to identify fake "news": only 12% of affected organizations have established advanced routines to identify new threats.

Protecting reputation is a fundamental task for corporate leaders and their communication consultants. “Trusted content, trusted leaders and trusted organizations are a rock in the surf of this unstable world”, says the principal investigator, Professor Ansgar Zerfass, from the University of Leipzig. Sónia Pedro Sebastião, the CAPP researcher responsible for the portuguese team, adds that "its up to communication professionals to identify and minimize the risks that might affect their organization. If fake content massively disseminated through social and traditional media, and even internal communications are a risk (as shown by the results of ECM) then we need to act, and for that, it is necessary for communication and public relations professionals to be recognized by their organizational importance. This is only one more evidence of the relevance of the role in organizations and in our societies".

The 12th European Communication Monitor (ECM) is a research project that consists of a study carried out by means of a questionnaire survey with 3,096 communication professionals from 48 European countries. The complete report is available online.

Details on Portugal are available on the project page.




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