VMAGROUP launched its first ever research into the external communications function, in its most comprehensive study, The View. It is a detailed report looking at communications teams and budget, the interim market, the growing influence of communications, remuneration, strategy and personal development. Here are five of the findings that I found interesting:
1. Digital is the future
Something we have been talking about for a while, so perhaps not the most surprising insight, but what is shocking is the way that we are using digital. Of our respondents, over 50% said that they thought the way that social media is being used isn’t effective. The difficulties of demonstrating the return on investment across different channels was prevalent in many responses.
2. The increasing importance of communications
The vast majority of respondents felt that the importance of the communications function will increase over the next 12 months. What was once seen as a dispensable function, is now getting internal recognition for a brand or organisation’s success. Sadly, the growing need is not reflected in increasing headcount, with only 37% of respondents feeling that their team size will grow with the demand.
3. Three must haves
If you want to get yourself ahead in communications, there are three things at the top of the must have list, experience in communications planning and crisis communications, and the ability to influence. The need to develop these skills is not being reflected in professional development and training, with 60% of respondents saying they had not been on any training courses in the last 12 months.
4. Gender inequality
There are 44% more women at mid-level roles and yet men are more likely to reach ‘head of’ or ‘director’ level. Gender inequality is apparent within the communications profession, but the pay gap does decrease as you move up through the ranks.
5. Interim importance
The majority of organisations have an interim in their communications team – their expertise is invaluable for the communications function. The majority of interims are joining to work on communications relating to a specific business change or project. Second to this, they are brought in for their specialist skills.
I have summarised five of the findings that I find interesting and it has barely scratched the surface of what the report highlights. We have produced this report to help provide insight into where communications as a function is heading and what you can expect for your team over the next 12 months.
If you are interested in hearing more about the report or having the findings presented to you and your communications team, please contact Naomi Hamilton on Nhamilton@vmagroup.com or phoning +44 (0)20 7436 4243.
Written by Naomi Hamilton, Senior Consultant at VMAGROUP
VMAGROUP is one of the world’s largest specialist corporate communications and marketing search and selection consultancies. To have a discussion with one of our dedicated consultants regarding the market, recruiting for a permanent or interim role or if you are looking for a new role, please contact us.