2020-2021 - Survey

2020-2021 - Media Release

The Global Communication Monitor series covering more than 80 countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America 


The Communication Monitor

The Communication Monitor is a research study conducted among PR and corporate communication professionals in more than 80 countries on five continents. It is the largest study of its kind and offers unprecedented insights into PR and communication
practice worldwide, trends, and emerging issues. The European Communication Monitor was the first regional study in the series, launched in 2007 and conducted annually over the past 13 years.

Since, an Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor, a Latin America Communication Monitor, and a North America Communication Monitor have been launched.

The Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor is produced biannually. Reports are available free online at Links to the other regional Communication Monitor reports and related materials can be found at

The findings of the Communication Monitor series are also published in academic journals and professional journals worldwide, and presented at academic and industry conferences (see ‘Publications and presentations’).

Research Team, Organiser, and Partners

The Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor is coordinated by a research team comprised of international academics led by Distinguished Professor Jim Macnamara, supported by leading professors in all major countries of the region. As with other monitor studies, the formal organiser is the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA), a non-profit association of PR scholars based in Brussels. We are pleased to announce that the partner supporting the 2020/21 Asia-Pacific
Communication Monitor is Truescope, the first smart media intelligence platform that provides real-time information to clients. See information under ‘Partner’.

Design and Methodology

The Communication Monitor study is conducted as an online survey of PR and communication professionals.

The sample is drawn from the membership of professional PR and communication associations across the Asia-Pacific region. The survey instrument includes a number of common questions repeated in each study worldwide to provide comparative and longitudinal findings, as well as with questions that explore emerging trends and issues. 

Data analysis is conducted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Cluster analyses is used to identify common characteristics and patterns. Regression analyses are applied to develop and test linear models predicting selected variables and effects. Depending on the variable type, results are tested for statistical significance and (inter)dependencies using Chi², ANOVA / Scheffe Post-hoc-Test, independent samples T-Test, Pearson correlation, and Kendall rank correlation.

Scope and Findings

The Monitor explores communication best practice across countries and cultures; use of new communications technologies including social media, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI); as well as issues such as leadership, capabilities, job satisfaction,
training, evaluation, reputation, trust, and the effects of fake news.

Global Reach and Comparison

  • The Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor (APCM) has been conducted biannually since 2015. The APCM typically gains well over 1,000 respondents from more than 20 countries in the region. The core research team is led by Jim Macnamara (Australia),

  • who is supported by an team of professors from leading universities in the field in AsiaPacific (see ‘Asia-Pacific research team’ and ‘Asia-Pacific national research collaborators’ below).

  • The European Communication Monitor (ECM) is conducted annually. In 2018, the ECM received 3,096 responses from PR and communication professionals in 48 European countries. The ECM is coordinated by five eminent communication professors at research universities in Europe, led by Ansgar Zerfass from Leipzig University, with Ralph Tench, Dejan Verčič, Ángeles Moreno and Piet Verhoeven. It is supported by CISION Insights (formerly PRIME Research) as premium sponsor.

  • The Latin-American Communication Monitor (LCM) has been conducted biannually since 2014. The LCM research team consists of Angeles Moreno from Spain and seven renowned professors from the Americas. It is organised by EUPRERA in partnership

  • with Fundacoma, an umbrella organisation of professional communication organisations from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries.

  • The North-American Communication Monitor (NACM) covering the United States and Canada is conducted bi-annually. The 2018/19 edition has been published in June 2019. The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations (USA) hosts this study, which is coordinated by a team of eminent professors of public relations and communication in the United States led by Bryan Reber (University of Georgia) and Bruce K. Berger (University of Alabama). 

The Asia-Pacific Research Team

Distinguished Professor Dr Jim Macnamara is Head of the Public Communication Discipline at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He is also a Visiting Professor at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science, Media and
Communications Department, and the London College of Communication. He is the author of 16 books and more than 70 academic journal articles and book chapters and is the recipient of a number of international awards including the Pathfinder Award from
the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) in the USA and the Don Bartholomew Award from the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) in London. Previously, he had a 30-year career in communication practice.

Professor Dr May O. Lwin is a professor in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU) and Associate Dean (Special Projects) of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at NTU. Her research is focussed on strategic communication and health communication, with a particular interest in digital communication. She is the author of a number of marketing books and book chapters and also the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Fulbright ASEAN Scholar Award in 2015 and the Ogilvy Foundation International Award for Academic Leadership in 2014.

Dr. Flora Hung-Baesecke was a senior lecturer at Massey University, New Zealand and previously at Hong Kong Baptist University before joining the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in the second half of 2020. She is Chair of the Public Relations  Division of the International Communication Association (ICA) representing more than 3,000 communication scholars worldwide; a board member of the Public Relations Society of China; and a member of the Academic Committee of the China International Public Relations Association (CIPRA).

Professor Dr. Ansgar Zerfass is Professor and Chair of Strategic Communication at the University of Leipzig, Germany, and Professor of Communication and Leadership at BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway. He worked as a communication and
management executive for 10 years before re-entering academia and has since published 34 books and more than 300 articles, book chapters and reports about corporate communication. He is editor of the International Journal of Strategic Communication and a recipient of prestigious international awards including the Pathfinder Award from the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) in the USA and the Jackson Jackson Wagner Award by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

The Partner

Truescope is a new media intelligence company founded right here in the Asia-Pacific region by John Croll and Michael Bade in 2020. John is well known as the former CEO of Isentia (previously Media Monitors). Truescope brings a new approach to media
intelligence by providing real-time information and insights for clients using cuttingedge AI technology.  

Asia-Pacific National Research Collaborators 

Timeline for the Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor 2020/21

  • Until Mar 2020 Questionnaire development (identical instrument will be used for the Asia-Pacific. North American, Latin American and European monitor in 2020 for global comparative analysis)

  • Jun–Jul 2020 Pre-test and online survey preparation (survey will be conducted in English and Chinese)

  • Aug–Sep 2020 Survey will be online (personal invitations send to communication professionals in the region via associations and partners)

  • Oct–Nov 2020 Data evaluation, interpretation, production of report (PDF report)

  • Nov–Dec 2020 Launch of APCM 2019/20 online and at major events in key cities (Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, possibly mainland China) 

Publications and Presentations – Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor


Macnamara, J., Lwin, M.O., Adi, A., & Zerfass, A. (2017, November): Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor 2017/18. Strategic challenges, social media and professional competencies – Results of a survey in 22 countries. Hong Kong: APACD.
Macnamara, J., Lwin, M. O., Adi, A., & Zerfass, A. (2015). Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor 2015/16. The state of strategic communication and public relations in a region of rapid growth. Survey results from 23 countries. Hong Kong: APACD.

Journal articles and book chapters

Macnamara, J., Zerfass, A., Adi, A., & Lwin, M. (2018). Capabilities of PR professionals for key activities lag: Asia-Pacific study shows theory and practice gaps. Public Relations Review, 44(5), 704–716.
Macnamara, J., Zerfass, A., Lwin, M. O., & Adi, A. (2018). PR and communication management in Asia-Pacific: Trends, growth and gaps. Communication and Media in Asia-Pacific, 1(1), 1-16.
Macnamara J., & Zerfass, A. (2017). Evaluation stasis continues in PR and corporate communication: Asia Pacific insights into causes. Communication Research and Practice, 3, 319–334.
Macnamara, J., Lwin, M. O., Adi, A., & Zerfass, A. (2016). ‘PESO’ media strategy shifts to ‘SOEP’: Opportunities and ethical dilemmas. Public Relations Review, 42(3), 377– 385.

Articles in professional publications

Adi, A., & Macnamara, J. (2017). The priority is digital and social - but practitioners lack skills in new techniques. Insights from the second Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor. Communication Director, 13(4), 44–48.
Lwin, M. O., & Zerfass, A. (2016). Satisfied on the job? How communication professionals in Asia-Pacific assess their work situation. Communication Director – Asia-Pacific Edition, 11(2), 14–17.
Adi, A., & Macnamara, J. (2016). The present and future of strategic communication in Asia Pacific. Communication Director – Asia-Pacific Edition, 11(1), 12–17.

Academic presentations

Zerfass, A. & Chen, X. (2017). Strategic communication trends in China and AsiaPacific. Keynote presentation at the 2nd Conference of the Public Relations Society of China (PRSC) & the 10th International Forum on Public Relations and Advertising (PRAD). Wuhan, China, October 2017.
Zerfass, A., Volk, S. C., & Macnamara, J. (2017) Comparing communication departments in Asia-Pacific and Europe: How leaders prioritize the department’s responsibilities. Presentation at the 2nd Conference of the Public Relations Society of China (PRSC) & the 10th International Forum on Public Relations and Advertising (PRAD). Wuhan, China, October 2017.
Zerfass, A. (2017). Strategic communication research across multiple countries. Challenges and opportunities of comparative surveys. Presentation at the College of Communication & Information Sciences, University of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, AL, USA, February 2017.
Zerfass, A. (2016). Strategic communication research across multiple countries – Challenges and opportunities of comparative studies. Presentation at the 3rd Strategic Communication and Public Relations Workshop. Hong Kong, China, December 2016.
Zerfass, A. (2016). International and comparative research in strategic communication. Insights from the European, Asia-Pacific and Latin American Communication Monitor. Keynote presented at the Annual Research Conference 2016 of the Japan Society for Corporate Communication Studies. Sapporo, Japan, October 2016.
Moreno, A. (2016). European Communication Monitor, Latin American Communication Monitor & Asian Communication Monitors: global comparative research in communication profession. Paper presented at the EUPRERA Annual Congress. Groningen, The Netherlands, September 2016.
Zerfass, A. (2015). Global trends in strategic communication management. Results and insights based on empirical research across 80 countries. Presentation at the Triangle Research Colloquium Asia – Europe – USA, Hong Kong Baptist University. Hong Kong China, November 2015.
Zerfass, A. (2016). Value-contribution and measurement in strategic communication: An international comparison. Paper presented at the International Forum on Public Relations and Advertising (PRAD). Wellington, New Zealand, January 2016.
Hung-Baesecke, F., Chen, R., Macnamara, J., Zerfass, A, & Boyd, B., & Zhang, N. (2016). China Social Media Competence and Public Trust in the Chinese Speaking Region and Oceania: A Comparison Study. Paper presented at the 8th Public Relations and Advertising Forum (PRAD). Wellington, New Zealand, January 2016.

Professional presentations

Lwin, M. O., Adi, A., Zerfass, A., & Macnamara, J. (2017). Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor 2017: Key results and conclusions. Keynote presentation at the Asia-Pacific Communication Summit 2017. Hong Kong, November 2017.
Macnamara, J., Zerfass, A., Adi, A., & Lwin, M. O. (2017). Social media influencers and communication skills: What the Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor tells us. Workshop presentation at the Asia-Pacific Communication Summit 2017. Hong Kong, November 2017.
Macnamara, J., & Zerfass, A. (2015). Mapping the communications profession across Asia-Pacific. Key results from the Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor 2015/16. Keynote presentation at the Asia-Pacific Communication Summit 2015. Hong Kong,
November 2015.
Macnamara, J., & Zerfass, A. (2015). The communicator as dialogue manager. Defining your future role: Creating organizational value through measurement and listening. Workshop presentation at the Asia-Pacific Communication Summit 2015. Hong Kong, November 2015.