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PROFILE 2000 A SURVEY OF THE PROFESSION.

PART I: OVERVIEW

IABC/PRSA joint study most comprehensive ever done

FOR THE FIRST TIME, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), in cooperation with the IABC Research Foundation, joined forces to create a study of important factors affecting professionals in communication and public relations. Their benchmark collaborative effort reflects job satisfaction, work-place trends, salary and compensation, and roles and responsibilities of their combined membership of nearly 40,000 professionals worldwide,

Previously, each of the organizations conducted its own periodic survey: IABC's covered a broad expanse of communication issues; PRSA's focused primarily on compensation matters.

The combined effort reflects a balanced perspective of the mix of internal and external roles in the profession. Respondents are identified as being from the U.S., Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada (OUSCA). Findings presented in this publication reflect a composite of both IABC and PRSA respondents. Results are not broken out to reflect the individual organizations. All figures in the report are expressed in U.S. dollars. Where comparisons are made of 1999 data to past surveys, those references are to either the 1997 IABC survey or the 1996 PRSA survey.

METHOD

Data were collected through both web and paper surveys. Independent research supplier Burke Marketing Research, Ohio, randomly sampled 8,000 members from IABC and 8,000 from PRSA for a total of 16,000 members. Respondents were asked to submit all figures confidentially, expressed in U.s. dollars.

Data Collection Process

* When possible, Burke sent an e-mail to members inviting them to participate in the survey. The e-mails included a URL for Burke's web site plus a member-specific password that was required to access the survey. This password ensured that only members could complete the survey; it also prevented them from completing more than one.

* Following the e-mail invitation, a paper survey was sent to a portion of members who did not have, an e-mail address or whose e-mail invitation bounced back as undeliverable.

* Data from the web surveys were stored directly in Burke's database. The completed paper surveys were mailed back to Burke for processing.

* Burke initially scanned the paper surveys to collect "closed-ended" data. The "open-ended" comments were edited and typed into Burke's data collection system. These comments were then coded for analysis.

Notes on Data Representations

* In tables, columns that do not add to 100 percent may be because of multiple reponses to questions, rounding off numbers or respondents who did not answer that question.

* Please note that the base sizes for OUSCA and some of the Canadian provinces are very small.

* When comparative data are employed, they are from surveys conducted by IABC in 1997 and PRSA in 1996.

OPINIONS ABOUT THE PROFESSION

Asked about factors most affecting communication and public relations, respondents cited on a 1-to-10 scale: technological advances (8.6), management's valuation of communication's contribution to the bottom line (8.6), and customer satisfaction/service (8.2) as top contributors. Canadians are more concerned with reengineering and outsourcing than those from the U.S.

* The effect of corporate mergers on professional communication has shown the largest increase among a variety of factors rated.

* Technology is viewed as offering the greatest opportunity for career advancement in the next five years.

Agreement with statements about the communication profession.

The majority agreed that:

--"If I had it to do over again, I would choose a career in public relations/corporate communication." (77%) This opinion has increased from 65% in 1996.

--"There are just as many opportunities for advancement for women working in public relations/corporate communication as there are for men." (76%) This opinion has increased from 69% in 1996.

--Public relations/corporate communication is respected by the media more now than five years ago." (64%)

--"I am satisfied with the opportunities for career advancement at my current company and organization." (52%)

The majority also agreed:

--"My salary does not compensate for the amount of hours I am compelled to work." (57%)

--"Public relations/corporate communication is a relatively low paying field." (53%)

And a near majority agreed that:

--"Men still maintain the top job positions over women in the public relations/corporate communication profession." (48%)

* Compared with 1996 results, fewer U.S. communicators responding (20% vs. 29%) now agree that "public relations/corporate communication is perceived by top management to be more prestigious than most other professions."

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Communicators like their jobs; one in six respondents works for a consulting firm.

* Communicators are generally satisfied with their current work positions, as reflected in the 7.1 average satisfaction rating on a 1-10 scale.

* Job satisfaction, access to technology, compensation and creative opportunity are the job factors respondents say are most important to them.

* On average, communicators have been with their current organizations for three years.

* The majority of communicators state that they will probably be working in their present organizations in the next one to two years (60%).

* One in six (15%) survey participants works for a consulting firm. These consultants work for a variety of client industries, the most common of which are finance/banking (10%), medical/health (9%), and association/nonprofit (9%).

Respondents interact frequently with senior management; one of two meets daily.

* Communicators interact with senior management in multiple ways. Most commonly interaction occurs through communication planning (85%), developing and reviewing copy for publication (82%), and developing key messages (78%).

* Overall, senior management in the U.S. and Canada appears to be more involved in communication now than in the past.

* One of every two communicators has direct access to senior management at least once a day (51%). Only 5% have limited access to senior management.

* Three-fourths of respondents (75%) feel the reporting relationship of the communication function is at least somewhat effective, although this endorsement is declining.

Communication program decisions are often made by teams; most measure effectiveness by performance against objectives.

* Decisions for communication programs are commonly made by a group or work team (39%) or an individual communicator (with senior management approval, 42%).

* Two-thirds of communicators' organizations have documented objectives for their communication budgets (62%). An additional one in six (16%) reports objectives being developed for the first time.

* For those with documented objectives, 68% are stated in quantifiable terms. This appears to be a trend across all geographic regions.

* The most frequently used measure of communication program effectiveness is performance against objectives (56%). Second is interviews with executives or customers (50%). Performance is evaluated against objectives at least annually (85%).

* The most common form of internal electronic communication is electronic mail, followed by a WWW home page. For external communication, the reverse is true: a WWW home page is most often used, with electronic mail second.

Technology is the top factor affecting professional communication; impact of corporate mergers shows the biggest increase as an issue.

* The most commonly reported development in the past two years is the increased use of computer technology (85%). Communicators also feel they have a more significant role in the organization (61%) and have more support from top management (55%).

TYPICAL COMMUNICATOR

Average annual base salary for communicators is $69,000; average bonus $10,000; median budgets up 10% in two years to $635,000.

The typical respondent to the IABC/PRSA survey is female, 39, responsible for both internal and external communication programs; has been in the profession for 13 years; earns $69,000 annually plus a bonus of $10,000.

* On average, communicators have spent 13 years in the profession.

* More than seven in 10 communicators are female (71%).

* Two in five communicators have the title of manager/assistant manager (20%) or director (20%).

* The average annual base salary for communicators is $69,000.

* Of the 50% of communicators who gave a figure for their cash bonuses, the average was $10,000.

* Consultants' salaries are considerably higher than those with a corporate position ($110,000 vs. $63,000). Consultants' cash bonuses are higher, too ($20,000 vs. $9,000 for those in corporate.)

* Almost half the respondents received a perk in the past 12 months (47%). The most common perk is a paid vacation (32%).

* In the past two years the majority of salaries have increased (86%), especially in the U.S. (88% versus 79% in Canada and 77% OUSCA).

* Roughly one out of 10 communicators earns additional income from freelance public relations and marketing assignments (13%).

* Just under one-fourth of communicators are professionally accredited, Those who are accredited tend to be more senior, command larger budgets and have greater supervisory responsibility.

* Most communicators are responsible for both internal and external communication (69%), and this percentage has increased since 1997.

* Overall, median budgets at $635,000 are about 10% larger in 1999 compared to 1997. The median budget of OUSCA members showed a 20% increase over the two years.

* One-half of respondents supervise at least one other person.

* More than two-fifths of respondents expect their company will expand in the next 12 months (44%).

On average, communicators have spent 13 years in the communication profession.

* Canadian communicators have spent less time, on average, in this profession than their U.S. or OUSCA counterparts (10 years vs. 13 years and 14 years, respectively).

* Those who are professionally accredited have spent more amount of time in the communication profession than those who are non-accredited (19 years vs. 11 years).

* Communicators who work with both internal and external communication typically have spent more time in the profession than those with a specific focus.

* On average, males and communicators working for a consultant organization have spent more time in the profession than females and those working in corporations.
 Mean Median
Total 13 11
US 13 11
Canada 10 8
OUSCA 14 12


Current job titles reflect little change since 1997 except OUSCA, where a decrease in communicators with the title of manager (or assistant) is evident.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
Manager/Asst. Manager 20% 22% 20% 22% 22% 20% 17% 35%
 Director 20% 17% 21% 18% 18% 15% 15% 10%
 Specialist 9% 9% 9% 11% 16% 14% 2% 2%
 Coordinator 8% 8% 7% 7% 16% 14% 2% 2%
 Vice President 7% 4% 7% 5% 1% 1% 0% 2%


The average annual base salary for communicators is $69,000

* OUSCA ($66,000) communicators have a significantly higher salary than communicators from Canada ($46,000).

* Similar to higher levels of incidence for master's degrees, the average salary for communicators in New England ($96,000) is higher than those in the South Atlantic, East Central and Mountain regions.

* Consultants' salaries are significantly greater than those with a corporate position ($110,000 versus $63,000).
 Median Mean
US $53,000 $72,000
Canada $42,000 $46,000
OUSCA $52,000 $66,000
Total $52,000 $69,000


There has been an increase in the proportion of communicators focusing on both internal and external communication since 1997.

* Except in OUSCA, where there has been an increase in communicators focusing on external communication and a decrease in those with a dual focus.
 Total Total U.S. Total Canada Total OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
 Internal only 12% 18% 12% 21% 12% 11% 15% 19%
 External only 18% 15% 18% 15% 18% 17% 23% 12%
Both Internal & External 69% 60% 69% 59% 69% 66% 56% 63%


WORK ENVIRONMENT & PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Job Satisfaction

Communicators generally are satisfied with their current work position, rating it 7.1 on a scale of 1 to 10. Canadian respondents are slightly less satisfied (6.7) with their current position than their U.S. counterparts (7.2). Accredited communicators have higher satisfaction levels (7.5) than those not accredited (7.0). And communicators whose jobs encompass both internal and external functions are significantly more satisfied with their current work position, as are male communicators and communicators in the consulting industry.

Time at Current Organization

On average, communicators have been with their current organizations for six years. Communicators who handle both internal and external functions have been with their present employer longer (6 years) than those who focus only on external communication (5 years). Canadians have been with their organizations the least amount of time (5 years), compared to those from the U.S. (6 years) or OUSCA (7 years).

Time in Current Position

On average, communicators have been in their current positions for only a few years. Average starting year in current position is 1997. Communicators who handle both internal and external functions have been in their current positions (4 years) longer than those who focus on internal or external (3 years each). U.S. communicators have been in their current positions longer (4 years) than their Canadian counterparts (3 years). Length of time in current position has decreased slightly since 1997.

Future plans

The majority of communicators state they will probably be working in their present organizations for the next one to two years. Canadian communicators, however, exhibit a greater desire to switch employers (41%) than their U.S. counterparts (29%). Those from OUSCA (21%) are more likely to be working for themselves within the next two years than those from the U.S. (6%) and Canada (10%). Accredited communicators are more likely to stay put (66%) compared to non-accredited (58%).

Reporting Relationships/ Management Access

More than one-third of communicators state that president/CEO is the most senior person for whom they work (39%). Communicators outside the U.S. and Canada are more likely to work with the president/CEO (58% vs. 38% for each of the other two countries). Communicators who handle both internal and external, who are male, and who are accredited, are significantly more likely to state that the most senior person they report to is the president/CEO. Overall, senior management in the U.S. and Canada appears to be more involved in communication now than in past years. This change is represented by increased percentages in communicators' interactions with senior management in nearly all regions. In total, the largest increase occurred in senior management's involvement in determining content of WWW home pages.

One out of two communicators has direct access to senior management at least once a day (51%). Communicators outside the U.S. and Canada have less frequent access to senior management, with 25% stating they have access only once a month compared to 11% of communicators in the U.S. and 9% in Canada indicating only monthly access. Communicators handling internal and external have more frequent daily access (57%). Those who focus only on external have more daily access (45%) than communicators specializing in internal (29%).

Focus of Work Produced

Corporate communication (20%) and public relations (20%) are the leading descriptions for the focus of respondents' work. Canadians (26%) have a higher proportion of the "communication" description than those from the U.S. (15%) and OUSCA (4%). OUSCA has the greater proportion of communicators performing "corporate communication" than the U.S. And the U.S. has a greater proportion of professionals focusing on "public relations."

Department Names

Almost three-fourths describe their organizational relationship between internal and external functions as working within the same department. If internal and external are in the same department, the most common descriptions for that department are corporate communication (29%) and communication (20%). Significantly more communicators in the U.S. (16%) describe this department structure as public relations than communicators from Canada (7%). OUSCA communicators are more likely than other regions to describe the structure as corporate communication (50%).

If the internal and external functions are in different departments, the most common way to describe the department to which internal communicators report is human resources (37%), with corporate communication second (18%). If the internal and external functions are in different departments, communicators most often describe the external department as marketing or advertising (33%), with public relations second (19%). Three-fourths of respondents feel that the reporting relationship of the communication function is at least somewhat effective. Communicators who handle both internal and external functions feel the reporting relationship is more effective than those who specialize in internal or external (80% vs. 68% and 61%).

One out of every two communicators has direct access to senior management at least once a day (51%). Only 5% have limited access to senior management.

* Significantly more communicators from OUSCA (25%) have access only once a month (not weekly) than those in the U.S. (11%) and Canada (9%).

* Communicators who focus on both internal and external communication have direct access to senior management at least once a day (57%), which is significantly more than those who focus on either internal or external communication. In addition, those who focus only on external communication have access at least once a day significantly more than those who focus only on internal communication (45% versus 29%).
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 At least once a day 51% 52% 50% 40%
 Once or twice a week, 30% 29% 31% 29%
 but not daily
At least once a month, 11% 11% 9% 25%
 but not weekly
 Quarterly 2% 2% 2% 2%
 Limited access 5% 5% 6% 2%


Overall, senior managers in U.S. and Canada appear to be more involved now in communication than they were in the past.

* This is represented by increased percentages in communicators interactions with senior management in nearly all regions.

* In total, the largest increase occurred in senior managements involvement in determining content of WWW home pages.

Overall, senior managers in U.S. and Canada appear to be more involved now in communication than they were in the past.

* This is represented by increased percentages in communicators' interactions with senior management in nearly all regions.

* In total, the largest increase occurred in senior management's involvement in determining content of WWW home pages.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999
 Interact with Senior Management 98% 97% 98% 97% 98% 97% 96%
 Communication planning 85% 80% 85% 78% 84% 83% 90%
 Develop and review copy for
 print or electronic publications 82% 84% 82% 85% 82% 81% 85%
 Develop key messages 78% 71% 78% 70% 80% 74% 81%
 Develop News/Press releases 70% 61% 71% 60% 67% 66% 75%
Participate in strategic planning or
 decision making for organization 59% 48% 59% 46% 59% 55% 54%
 Determine Content for WWW
 home page 55% 40% 56% 40% 55% 39% 42%
 Counseling 54% 45% 54% 44% 56% 51% 54%
 Active role with management team 46% 40% 47% 38% 39% 43% 38%
 Write speeches 38% 36% 37% 33% 46% 43% 50%
 All others 6% 6% 5% 6% 10% 7% 15%
 1997
 Interact with Senior Management 99%
 Communication planning 90%
 Develop and review copy for
 print or electronic publications 78%
 Develop key messages 79%
 Develop News/Press releases 61%
Participate in strategic planning or
 decision making for organization 57%
 Determine Content for WWW
 home page 35%
 Counseling 46%
 Active role with management team 56%
 Write speeches 45%
 All others 7%


If the internal and external communicators are in the same department, the most common descriptions for the department are corporate communication (29%) and communication (20%).

* Significantly more communicators in the U.S. (16%) describe this department structure as public relations than communicators from Canada (7%). OUSCA communicators are more likely to describe the structure as corporate communication (50%) than other major regions.

* Within the U.S., communicators from New England feel more strongly that their organization should be described as corporate communication (51%) than any other region in the U.S.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
Corporate Communication 29% 29% 29% 50%
 Communication 20% 19% 29% 13%
 Marketing 18% 19% 15% 17%
 Public relations 15% 16% 7% 7%
 Public affairs 8% 7% 13% 7%
 Administration 3% 3% 0% 0%
 Public information 2% 2% 1% 0%
 Community relations 1% 1% 1% 0%
 Human resources 1% 1% 2% 0%
 Internal communication 0% 0% 1% 3%
 Video/audiovisual 0% 0% 0% 0%
 Other 3% 3% 6% 3%


If the internal and external functions are in different departments, the most common way to describe the department where internal communicators report is human resources (37%). Communicators describe it as corporate communication (18%) secondly.

* Communicators who focus on either external and internal communication specifically describe the internal communication department as one that reports to human resources more than those who focus on both internal and external communication.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 Human resources 37% 35% 47% 33%
 Corporate Communication 18% 18% 15% 11%
 Administration 13% 14% 9% 17%
 Internal employee commun. 7% 7% 6% 17%
Marketing comm./advertising 6% 6% 4% 6%
 Communication 5% 5% 4% 6%
 Public relations 3% 4% 2% 6%
 Public affairs 3% 3% 7% 0%
 Public information 1% 2% 0% 0%
 Dispersed/varies/all 1% 1% 2% 0%
 Video/audiovisual 0% 0% 0% 0%
 Other 5% 5% 4% 6%


COMMUNICATION PROGRAM STRUCTURE

Staff, Budgets and Developments

Communication departments generally have been adding employees over the past two years. Only 17% of communicators report that their department, practice or firm has decreased in size in the last two years. More than half state their department or firm has increased in size (53%).

The budget of communicators' departments or firms has followed the same trend as the department, firm or practice size. More than half say the budget has increased in the last two years (52%). Communicators from the U.S. are more likely to report an increase than those from Canada (53% vs. 41%). Accredited communicators report a budget increase significantly more often (58%) than those not accredited (50%). Communicators who focus solely on internal communication are less likely to report a budget increase in the last two years than those focused solely on external or both (42% vs. 52% and 53%).

The most commonly reported development in the last two years is the increased use of computer technology (85%). Communicators also feel they have a more significant role in the organization (61%) and have more support from top management (55%). Canadian communicators are significantly more likely to report an increase in measurement of communication effectiveness (59% vs. 51% in the U.S.). OUSCA communicators are the least likely to have experienced increased use of computer technology (63% vs. 85% in the U.S. and 84% in Canada).

Objectives

Two-thirds of communicators' organizations have documented objectives for the communication budget (62%). An additional one in six (16%) reports that objectives are now being developed for the first time. Accredited communicators' organizations are more likely to have documented objectives than those not accredited (71% vs. 60%). Organizations with more than 1,000 employees are significantly more likely to have documented objectives than smaller organizations. Among those having documented objectives, 60% are stated in quantifiable terms, and quantification appears to be a trend across all geographic areas. Documented objectives are revised annually by most communicators' organizations. Accredited communicators and communicators in firms with fewer than 100 employees are significantly mote likely to revise objectives monthly than others.

The majority of documented objectives are tied to overall business objectives (89%). Performance is also measured against objectives at least annually (85%). The proportion of communicators indicating that their objectives are tied to overall business objectives has increased since 1997 (89% vs. 82%), as have those who evaluate objectives at least annually (85% vs. 70%).

Decision Making

Decisions for communication programs are commonly made by a group or work team (39%) or an individual communicator with senior management approval (42%). Communicators from OUSCA report that senior management makes decisions about the communication program significantly more (29%) than communicators from the U.S. (17%). Making decisions as a group or work team is more common in the U.S. (40%) than in Canada (32%). Communicators in a consulting organization report that a group or work team makes decisions for communication programs more than those in a corporate setting (46% vs. 37%). Team decision making shows a slight increase in the U.S. and a slight decline in Canada and OUSCA.

Measurement

Overall, there appears to be a trend toward use of "performance against objectives" and "content analysis" to measure communication program effectiveness. The most common form of communication effectiveness measurement is to measure performance against objectives (56%). Second most common is through interviews with executives or customers (50%). OUSCA communicators (44%) are significantly more likely to measure the effectiveness of their program through content analysis than those from the U.S. (27%) and Canada (24%). Canadians use surveys and focus groups more than the other two geographical regions. Accredited communicators measure the effectiveness of their programs by measuring performance against objectives (62% vs. 54%) and interview meaningfully more (58% vs. 48%) than those not accredited. Internally focused communicators are the least likely to measure effectiveness by comparing performance against objectives (50% internal, 58% external, 57% both).

The most common form of internal electronic communication is e-mail, followed by a WWW home page. For external communication, the reverse is true: a WWW home page is most available with e-mail second. Respondents state that e-mail has the highest effectiveness for both internal and external communication. Ownership of most of these elements resides in corporate communication, except for e-mail, which is controlled by information technology.

Technology

Technology offers the greatest opportunity for career advancement in the public relations profession in the next five years, say one-third of communicators. Communicators in the U.S. (34%)--more than their Canada (22%) and OUSCA (17%) counterparts--view technology as the greatest opportunity for advancement. Those communicators OUSCA (17%) and in Canada (11%) see opportunity in being a generalist significantly more than those in the U.s. (6%).

Communicators who are not accredited feel that technology offers the greatest opportunity for advancement significantly more than those who are accredited (34% vs. 27%). Similarly, communicators with an external focus see technology as a greater opportunity for advancement than those who focus internally or both (39% vs. 30% and 31%).

The perception that technology offers the greatest opportunity for advancement in the next five years has increased since 1996, while the perception that marketing offers the greatest advancement opportunity has slipped since last measured in 1997.

Overall, the majority of communicators report that the number of employees in their department, practice, or firm has increased in the past two years in 1999 than in 1997.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
 Increased 53% 40% 53% 40% 51% 38% 54% 52%
Remained the Same 28% 34% 28% 35% 27% 33% 33% 29%
 Decreased 17% 23% 17% 22% 20% 27% 10% 17%
 Don't Know 3% 3% 3% 2% 2% 3% 2% 3%


The majority of documented objectives are tied to overall business objectives (89%). In addition to being tied to overall business objectives, performance is evaluated against objectives at least annually (85%).

* Firms with more than 1,000 employees tie their communication objectives to their overall business objectives considerably more than smaller firms (92%, versus 87% -small and 87% - mid-size).

* Accredited communicators indicate that their objectives are tied to business objectives meaningfully more than those who are not accredited (92% versus 88%).
 Percent Tied to Overall Percent Evaluated
 Objectives Annually
Total 89% 85%
US Total 89% 85%
Canada Total 90% 80%
OUSCA 93% 83%


Though the trend is slight, it appears that within the U.S. decisions for communication programs are increasingly likely to be made by a group or work team.

* Those from Canada and OUSCA, however, are exhibiting a decline in teamwork since 1997.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
 A group or work team 39% 34% 40% 33% 32% 36% 27% 36%
Individual communicator with
supervisor/senior management 42% 43% 41% 45% 46% 41% 40% 39%
 Individual communicator 3% 5% 3% 5% 6% 4% 4% 4%
 Senior management 17% 20% 17% 19% 17% 22% 29% 26%
 No Answer 1% 3% 1% 3% 0% 2% 0% 1%


Overall, there appears to be an increasing trend toward the use of "performance against objectives" and "content analysis" in order to measure the effectiveness of a communication program.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999
 Performance against your objectives 56% 43% 55% 43% 59% 45% 56%
 Interviews (with executives
 or customers) 50% 51% 50% 49% 5O% 53% 63%
 Readership or viewer survey 00% 00% 00% 00% 00% 00% 00%
Surveys for special programs/projects 55% 40% 56% 40% 55% 39% 42%
 Focus groups 33% 37% 32% 36% 42% 41% 38%
 Content analysis 27% 18% 28% 17% 24% 19% 44%
 Communication audit 22% 19% 23% 17% 19% 21% 29%
 Distribution analysis 11% 9% 11% 9% 12% 10% 8%
 Readability evaluation of print 11% 10% 11% 10% 12% 12% 17%
 Increased business/sales/
 sales results 1% NA% 1% NA% 1% NA% 1%
 Employee survey 1% NA% 1% NA% 1% NA% 1%
 No answers 7% 13% 7% 14% 5% 9% 4%
 1997
 Performance against your objectives 45%
 Interviews (with executives
 or customers) 64%
 Readership or viewer survey 00%
Surveys for special programs/projects 35%
 Focus groups 36%
 Content analysis 26%
 Communication audit 36%
 Distribution analysis 13%
 Readability evaluation of print 13%
 Increased business/sales/
 sales results NA%
 Employee survey NA%
 No answers 8%


The most commonly reported development in the last two years is the increased use of computer technology (85%). Communicators also feel that they have a more significant role in their organization (61 %) and have more support from top management (55%).

* Communicators OUSCA are the least likely to have experienced an increase in the use of computer technology (63% versus 85% in the U.S. and 84% in Canada).

* Canadian communicators are significantly more likely to report an increase in measurement of communication effectiveness (59% versus 51% in the U.S.).
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 Increased use of computer technology 85% 85% 84% 63%
More significant role in organization 61% 61% 64% 60%
 More support from top management 55% 54% 61% 58%
 Increased measurement of
 communication effectiveness 51% 51% 59% 54%
 Increased support for face-to-face
 communication 49% 49% 54% 52%
 Increased use of print media 40% 40% 39% 40%
 Greater centralization 35% 34% 41% 33%
 Increased use of video 30% 32% 19% 25%
 Increased use of 35 MM
 slides/overhead transparencies 11% 11% 11% 8%


Technology is viewed as offering the greatest opportunity for career advancement in the next five years. This perception has increased since last measured in 1996.

* Conversely, perceptions that marketing offers the greatest opportunity for career advancement in the next five years has decreased since last measured in 1997.

EMPLOYMENT PROFILE

Years in Profession, Gender, Age

Canadian communicators have spent less time, on average, in the communication field than their U.S. or OUSCA counterparts (10 years vs. 13 years and 14 years respectively). Those who are accredited have spent more time in the profession than non-accredited (19 years vs. 11 years). Communicators who handle both internal and external functions typically have spent more time in the profession than those who specialize. On average, males and communicators working for consulting firms have spent more time in the profession than females and those working in corporations.

More than seven in 10 communicators are female (71%). The proportion of female communicators is greater in Canada (77%) than in the U.S. (70%). Females compose a larger proportion of non-accredited communicators (74%) than of accredited communicators (65%). Consultant organizations have a greater proportion of males than corporations (33% vs. 26%).

The average age of communicators is 39 years. The average age of communicators in Canada (37 years) is less than that of those employed in the U.S. (39 years) and OUSCA (39 years). New England communicators are the oldest among the U.S. regions at 43 years. On average, accredited communicators are seven years older than non-accredited (44 years vs. 37 years). The average age of communicators tends to be higher among those dealing with both internal and external functions, those in consultant organizations, and those in large organizations (1,000 or more employees).

Job Titles, Accreditation, Areas of Responsibility

Two in five communicators have the title of manager/assistant manager (20%) or director (20%). Other common job titles include specialist (9%), coordinator (3%) and vice president (7%). Communicators from outside the U.S. and Canada (10%) are significantly more likely to have the title of president or CEO than communicators from within the U.S. (4%) or Canada (2%). Communicators with accreditation are more likely than their non-accredited colleagues to be a director (26% and 19% respectively) and less likely to be a manager or assistant manager (15% and 22% respectively). Just 4% of communicators have the title president/executive director/CEO. This proportion is highest among those in consultant organizations (20%) and organizations with fewer than 20 employees.

Just under one-fourth (24%) of communicators are accredited. Those OUSCA are most likely to be accredited (48%), followed by U.S. communicators (24%) and those in Canada (14%). Communicators working in consulting organizations are more likely than those working for a corporation to be accredited (43% vs. 20%). Internal communicators are least likely to be accredited.

Most communicators are responsible for both internal and external communication (69%). Accredited communicators are more likely to handle both areas (73% vs. 68%). Those at small organizations are also more likely to handle both areas, as are communicators working in consulting organizations rather than corporations (76% vs. 68%). There has been an increase in the proportion of communicators handling both areas since 1997 (from 60% to 69%), except OUSCA, where there has been an increase in communicators focusing on external with a decrease in dual responsibility.

Professional Development

Approximately one-fourth of communicators estimate that their organizations spent $1,000 to $2,499 on their professional development over the past two years (27%).

One-third of respondents report that their organizations spent less than $1,000. Communicators in organizations with fewer than 100 employees were more likely to report that their organization spent less than $500 on their professional development over the past two years than those in mid-size or large organizations (25% vs. 18% and 13% respectively). While about one-third of communicators say their organization increased the level of its support for professional development over the past two years, some 55% say the level has remained unchanged. One in 10 says the level of support has decreased over the period. Those with one to four years in the profession are most likely to report that their organizations increased professional development support (40% vs. 29% for those with 4-9 years, and 29% for those with 10+ years).

Most communicators keep abreast of changes in the field via trade publications (81%), networking (73%), or seminars given by their professional organizations (65%). Accredited communicators are more likely than non-accredited to partake of all professional development activities to stay abreast of changes in the field. Communicators in Canada are more likely than those in the U.S. to attend seminars given by their professional organizations (76% vs. 64%). Half of communicators OUSCA stay abreast of changes by reading current textbooks--significantly more than those in the U.S. (25%) and Canada (33%). Networking is used more frequently to stay abreast of changes by communicators working for a consulting firm (80%), those in small organizations (79%), those with 10 or more years in the profession (77%), and those responsible for both internal and external communication (76%).

More than one-half of the responding communicators belong to IABC (55%) or PRSA (54%). Fewer than 10% belong to more than one professional organization. The majority of communicators (85%) indicate that their company pays for their membership to their professional organization. Communicators OUSCA are less likely than those in the U.S. to report that their company pays for their membership (71% vs. 86%). Non-accredited members are more likely than those accredited to indicate that their companies pay their membership (87% vs. 81%). Communicators working for small organizations are mote likely than their counterparts at larger organizations to report paying for membership themselves (20% vs. 13% at mid-sized and 8% at large).

For the vast majority of communicators (98%), English is the primary language in which their organization does business. This is particularly true in the U.S. (99% vs. 93% in Canada and 81% OUSCA).

Education

Two-thirds of communicators responding have a college or university (bachelor's) degree (66%). Another fourth have a master's degree (28%). Communicators from Canada (74%) are more likely to have a college degree than those from the U.S. (65%) and OUSCA (54%). In turn, communicators from the U.S. (30%) are more likely to have master's degrees than those from Canada (12%). Accredited communicators are more likely to have master's degrees (37%) than non-accredited (25%), as are those with more than 10 years' experience (34%), those working in a consulting firm (32%), and those working for a company employing more than 1,000 people (31%).

Salaries, bonuses and perks

The average base salary for communicators is $69,000. Salaries for communicators in the U.S. ($72,000) and OUSCA ($66,000) are significantly higher than those in Canada ($46,000). The average salary for communicators in New England ($96,000) is higher than those in the South Atlantic ($62,000), East and West Central ($62,000 each) and Mountain ($56,000) U.S. regions. In Canada, Atlantic and Quebec regions ($48,000 each) and Ontario and Prairies ($47,000 each) are higher than British Columbia ($41,000). Consultants' salaries are significantly greater than those in corporate positions ($110,000 vs. $63,000). In the past two years, the majority of the salaries in all geographic regions has increased (86%).

Of the 50% of communicators who gave a figure for their cash bonuses, the average bonus is $10,000. The South Atlantic, East Central, West Central and Mountain regions of the U.S. receive the lowest bonuses. In Canada, Atlantic and Quebec ($8,000) and Ontario and Prairies ($6,000) received higher bonuses than communicators in British Columbia ($2,000). As with annual salaries, communicators in the consulting industry receive larger cash bonuses on average ($20,000 vs. $9,000).

Almost half of respondents received a perk in the past 12 months (47%). The most common perk is a paid vacation (32%). Perks are more common in the U.S. than in Canada (49% vs. 36%). Company stock as a perk is more prevalent in the U.S. (14%) and OUSCA (17%) than in Canada (5%). Paid vacations are more common in the U.S. than in any other region. Communicators working in the consulting industry are more likely than others to have received perks in the past 12 months (53% vs. 46%). Males are also more likely than females to have received perks in the past year (51% vs. 46%).

Sole Proprietors

The average cash compensation for communicators who own their own businesses is $49,000. For accredited communicators operating their own business, the average income is considerably higher, $68,000 vs. $37,000 for those not accredited.
 Over time, there appear to be more
 women in the profession across all
 geographic locations.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
 Male 27% 35% 28% 36% 23% 32% 29% 45%
Female 71% 57% 70% 58% 77% 61% 69% 47%
 Salary Breakdown by job title
 Salaries indicated do not include
 bonuses or benefit allocation
President/Executive Director/CEO 4%
Manager/Asst. Manager 20%
Director 20%
Specialist 9%
Coordinator 8%
Consultant 5%
Vice President 7%
Writer 3%
Editor 3%
Managing Director 2%
Independent/Self-Employed 2%
Group Manger 2%
Supervisor 2%
Account Executive 3%
Senior Account Executive 2%
Senior/Executive VP 2%
 Education levels are similar
 in 1999 to those in 1997.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
 High School or Equivalent 1% 1% 1% 1% 3% 2% 4% 2%
A or O Level Matriculation
 (UK) 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 4%
 Diploma Courses 1% 3% 1% 1% 38% 36% 58% 47%
 College/University Degree 66% 64% 65% 66% 74% 68% 54% 54%
 Master's Degree 28% 24% 30% 27% 12% 15% 23% 27%
 Doctoral Degree 2% 2% 2% 2% 0% 1% 8% 2%
 Other 2% 2% 2% 2% 4% 2% 2% 3%


The importance of specific job factors has increased slightly or remained constant in the past two years.

* The importance of benefits also appears to be increasing. A slight upward trend is noticeable among Total and within each of the three geographical regions examined (U.S., Canada, and OUSCA).
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
 Job satisfaction 9.2% 9.1% 9.2% 9.1% 9.3% 9.2% 9.5% 9.2%
 Access to technology 8.9% 8.5% 8.9% 8.4% 8.9% 8.5% 8.7% 8.4%
 Compensation 8.9% 8.5% 8.9% 8.7% 8.7% 8.2% 8.6% 7.7%
 Creative opportunity 8.8% 8.7% 8.8% 8.7% 8.9% 8.6% 8.9% 8.7%
 Benefits 8.5% 8% 8.6% 8.3% 8% 7.4% 7.7% 7.3%
 Professional develop-
 ment opportunities 8.4% 8.4% 8.4% 8.3% 8.8% 8.5% 8.8% 8.7%
 Flexible work hours 7.9% 7.7% 7.8% 7.8% 8% 7.7% 7.7% 7.3%
 Potential for promotion 7.9% 7.6% 7.9% 7.6% 7.9% 7.4% 7.5% 7.6%
 Job security 7.8% 7.7% 7.9% 7.9% 7.4% 7.2% 6.8% 7.1%
Recognition by colleagues 7.5% 7.4% 7.5% 7.3% 7.9% 7.6% 8.2% 7.8%
Managerial responsibility 7.3% 7.3% 7.3% 7.2% 7.4% 7.5% 7.9% 8.1%
 Mentoring by colleagues 6.9% 6.9% 6.9% 6.9% 7.5% 7.2% 6.5% 6.8%
 Ability to work at/from 5.9% 5.8% 5.9% 5.9% 5.8% 5.8% 5.9% 5.3%
 home


CONSULTANTS' ENVIRONMENT

Communication consultants work for a variety of client industries, the most common of which are finance/banking (10%), medical/health care (9%) and association/nonprofit (9%).

* Consultants' salaries are considerably higher than those with a corporate position ($110,000 vs. $63,000). Consultants' cash bonuses are higher, too ($20,000 vs. $9,000 for those in corporate).

* Client budgets range from $100,000 to $499,000 (40%), although more than half of respondents did not furnish budget figures for their clients (54%). For the most part, client budgets seem to be on the decline.

* The median size among client organizations is 1,000 employees; one-fourth of consultants' clients have fewer than 100 employees. Client organization size appears to be decreasing in the U.S. and Canada but increasing outside the U.S. and Canada.

Overall, the distribution of client industries has not changed greatly from 1997 to 1999.

* The only apparent trend among respondents (and consequently U.S., Canada, and OUSCA) is a large decrease in the number of respondents reporting clients in the manufacturing industry.

* A considerable decrease in education industry clients is also noticeable among OUSCA respondents.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
 Finance/Banking 10% 9% 10% 8% 8% 7% 20% 19%
 Medical/Health Care 9% 13% 11% 14% 4% 12% 0% 5%
 Association/Nonprofit 9% NA 10% NA 8% NA 0% NA
 Computers 6% 6% 7% 5% 6% 6% 5% 9%
 Telecommunication 6% 7% 6% 6% 4% 9% 15% 8%
 Public Relations 6% 5% 6% 5% 2% 4% 5% 6%
 Prof. Services
 (Non-Communication) 5% 3% 6% 3% 4% 4% 0% 3%
 Government 5% NA 3% NA 15% NA 0% NA
 Manufacturing 5% 11% 5% 11% 6% 11% 0% 6%
 Education 4% 5% 5% 4% 6% 6% 0% 13%
Cultural/Travel/Tourism 4% NA 5% NA 4% NA 0% NA
 Utility (Water/Power/
 Gas/Energy) 3% 4% 3% 4% 2% 4% 5% 5%


Eight of 10 communicators' clients are in the United States. Another quarter are in Canada.

* Canadian and American communicators' clients are typically found in their own countries, whereas those OUSCA have a geographically dispersed group of clients, with a concentration in the Asia/Pacific Rim region.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 United States 81% 100% 6% 10%
 Canada 24% 11% 96% 20%
 Asia/Pacific Rim 13% 12% 0% 70%
 Europe/Africa 12% 14% 0% 15%
Latin America/Caribbean 8% 8% 2% 20%
 South America 6% 7% 0% 15%


WORK PLACE DEMOGRAPHICS

Organization Profile

One in 10 communicators works in the nonprofit/association industry--more than any other single industry category. Other frequently mentioned industries are medical/health care (9%), public relations (8%), education (8%), and banking/finance (7%). Communicators in the U.S. are more likely than those in Canada or OUSCA to work in the nonprofit/association field (11% vs. 6% and 0% respectively). Communicators in consulting firms are more likely than those in corporations to report being in the public relations industry (29% vs. 4%).

Departmental Budgets

Communicators' median department budget is $635,000. Approximately two-thirds (65%) of communicators, however, did not answer the question. Of those who could report it, nearly three in five (59%) state the budget is $500,000 or more, Overall, median budgets are about 10% larger in 1999 than in 1997. The median budget of OUSCA members showed a 20% increase in two years.

The amount of budget controlled by communicators is $350,000, although nearly three-fifths (59%) of respondents did not answer the question. Among those who did, more than two-fifths (44%) said their budget is $500,000 or more.

Supervision

One-half of communicators responding indicate that they supervise at least one other person. Canadian communicators are less likely than those in the U.S. or OUSCA to supervise others (60% vs. 48% and 27% respectively). Accredited communicators are more likely to supervise another person (63% vs. 47%). Communicators responsible for both internal and external are more likely to supervise others than those who specialize (53% vs. 46% for internal-only and 46% for external-only).

Department Size

The majority of respondents (55%) indicate that there are between one and five communicators in their department, practice or firm. Canadian communicators are more likely than those in the U.S. to have only one or two communicators in their department. Accredited communicators typically have more communicators in their departments than non-accredited communicators. Of those communicators reporting large-size departments, firms or practices--21 or more people--those specializing in internal reported a large staff most often: 28% vs. 21% for those handling just external and 13% for those handling both internal and external.

Organizational Size--Trends

Nearly one-half of communicators report that their organization has expanded its number of employees in the past year (47%). While one fifth say their organization has downsized in the past year, one-third report theirs has remained the same. Corporate communicators are significantly more likely than those who work as consultants to report that employee downsizing has occurred in their organizations during the past year (22% corporate vs. 9% consultant). Communicators working at large organizations report part-year downsizing more frequently than those at small or mid-sized organizations (29% vs. 10% and 16% respectively).

A near majority (48%) of U.S. communicators report that their organization has expanded. This is a significant increase compared to 1996 (48% vs. 22%). And almost half of respondents from all geographic regions expect that their company will expand in the next 12 months (44%). Another one-third expect their company to remain the same size (38%), while 16% expect downsizing in the next year. Canadian and OUSCA communicators are more likely than their U.S. counterparts to anticipate downsizing over the next 12 months (22% and 29% vs. 16%).

Where Communicators Work

Responding communicators say they most commonly work in organizations of fewer than 100 employees (29%).

Overall, median budgets are about 10% larger in 1999 than they were in 1997. The median budget of OUSCA members showed a 20% increase in the last two years.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
 [less than]$100,000 11% 10% 10% 9% 16% 12% 25% 11%
 $100,000-$499,000 30% 34% 30% 33% 35% 40% 8% 22%
 $500,000-$999,999 16% 18% 17% 17% 13% 20% 0% 18%
 $1 Million+ 43% 40% 43% 42% 37% 29% 67% 48%
 Mean (in Thousands) 5,444 2,130 3,918 2,353 20,991 1,347 3,275 2,155
Median (in Thousands) 635 550 700 600 400 400 1,000 800
 The industries communicators work in have not charged
 significantly since 1997.
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997 1999 1997
Association/Nonprofit 10% N/A 11% N/A 6% N/A 0% N/A
 Medical/Heatlth Care 9% 10% 9% 11% 9% 10% 0% 1%
 Public Relations 8% 6% 8% 5% 3% 6% 21% 12%
 Education 8% 5% 5% 5% 8% 7% 6% 6%
 Finance/Banking 7% 7% 7% 7% 9% 7% 6% 14%
 Government 5% N/A 4% N/A 10% N/A 4% N/A


Communicator's median department budget is $635,000.

* Approximately two-thirds (65%) of communicators did not state the size of their department's budget.

* Among those who did report the size of the department's budget, nearly three in five (59%) report that the budget is $500,000 dollars or more.

* Departmental budgets do not differ significantly between the United States, Canada, and OUSCA.
 Median Mean
US 3918 700
Canada 20991 400
OUSCA 3275 1000
Total 5444 635


One-half of communicators supervise at least one other person.

* Canadian communicators are less likely than those in the U.S. or OUSCA to supervise others (60% vs. 48% and 27%, respectively).

* Professionally accredited communicators are more likely than their counterparts to supervise other full-time communicators (63% vs. 47%).

* Communicators who are responsible for both internal and external communication are more likely than those with a single focus to supervise others (53% vs. 46% - internal only, and 46% - external only).
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 None 48% 48% 60% 27%
 1-4 36% 36% 31% 44%
 5-9 9% 9% 7% 6%
10-14 3% 3% 1% 8%
15-19 1% 1% 0% 4%
 20+ 2% 2% 21% 8%


Most respondents (55%) indicate that there are between one and five communicators in their department, practice or firm.

* Canadian communicators are more likely than those in the U.S. to have only one or two communicators in their department.

* Professionally accredited communicators typically have more communicators in their department, practice or firm than non-accredited communicators.

* Those who are responsible for internal communication only are more likely than others to report having 21 or more communicators in their department, practice or firm (28% vs. 21% external only and 13% both internal and external).
 Total U.S. Canada OUSCA
 1-2 28% 27% 38% 27%
 3-5 27% 27% 26% 21%
 6-10 16% 16% 14% 15%
11-20 11% 11% 11% 13%
 21+ 16% 17% 11% 23%


29% of communicators work in organizations of fewer than 100 employees.

* Just over half (53%) of communicators report that their organization has fewer than 1,000 employees.

* The South Atlantic region in the U.S. is the most likely to report they have fewer than 1,000 employees than any other region.

* Communicators working for consulting organizations are more likely than those employed by corporations to indicate that there are fewer than 1,000 employees in their organization (81% vs. 48%). In addition, consultants have the lowest average number of employees (4,000 versus 11,000).
Total 10,000
US 11,000
Canada 6,000
OUSCA 4,000
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Publication:Communication World
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Date:Apr 1, 2000
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