Communications as a strategic asset, capacity building high on the agenda

Published on 28 January 2020

Strategic communications is at the top of the European Commission’s agenda. To achieve results such as Green Deal, public consent and stakeholder engagement are considered key topics. Member States are faced with the challenge to build and maintain commitment for the EU among their citizens, which requires communication efforts and a participative government. In turn, these challenges also require capacity building – an investment in the size (number of communications professional) and quality (professional level and scope) of communication departments.

The quick scan indicates that organisations expect communications departments to contribute on multiple levels: from delivering excellent day-to-day activities to building and maintaining trust among stakeholders. The results also show big differences in the size of communications departments in the EU. Two scenarios emerge: larger communications departments (>40 FTE) and smaller teams of communications professionals (1-10 FTE). With regard to means and channels, participants foresee social media (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram) to become most important through to 2022.

Background of the quick scan

The Club of Venice is an informal network of communications managers from EU member EU member states and public sector institutions. At their meeting on December 5 and 6 2019, participants were asked to interact on different themes. This report is a summary of that session (see PDF download on the right of this article). All data mentioned are indicative, based on a quick scan but provide interesting insights in the challenges communications managers are facing in the member states of the European Union.

Forecast for 2020

In 2020 we plan to initiate a full EU benchmark study for EU member states and institutions. Based on our experience with communications benchmarking in the Dutch public sector we have collected excellent insights in the latest strategic developments and have created an integral framework. By benchmarking participants we deliver practical insights for communications managers which enable them to further improve the position and contribution of their communications departments.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions concerning the insights or our approach to benchmarking.


Robert Wester

Robert Wester

Senior managing consultant