Comms planner

Communications Planning Report 2021

We surveyed over 350 communication leaders from around the world to understand how they approached planning looking specifically at what issues they included in their thinking and what themes were a low priority. 

The study is one of the most comprehensive ever to be taken on the subject of communications planning and is packed full of data and insight into the global state of planning across corporate communications.

Key data

organisations participated in the research
companies with more than 20,000 employees
countries from which the communicators were based
industries ranging from finance to healthcare

Who took the survey

The survey was taken by 352 respondents – around 29% of whom described themselves as either Communications Directors or as Heads of Communications.

Slightly over 72% of respondents came from Europe whilst North American’s represented 16% of the remainder of the sample. Respondents represented a broad mix of industry sectors and organisations sizes – from the very smallest to the biggest global corporations. They also worked in teams that covered a range of disciplines from corporate comms. 

Better relationships

Effective communication planners have better relationships with their leaders

No master plan

38% acknowledge they don’t have a clear enough communications plan

Stuck in the middle

Mid-sized communications teams find it most difficult to plan

Do you have a master plan?

38% of communicators admit to not having any sort of master plan that guides and sets out a strategy for communications (rather than specific plans for individual projects).

It seems that communicators are not all big picture people. Over a third of our survey respondents said they didn’t have, or were unsure if they had, an overall master plan. And our panel of experts were generally surprised at that figure – they actually thought fewer people worked to a master plan than the survey suggested.

How communicators approach planning varies – a lot

There is however a correlation between those people who feel they have a robust process and the success of their programmes, the quality of their integration across comms disciplines and the likelihood that rewards will be based on planned performance. 

A lack of confidence in the robustness of planning processes came over loud and clear; which partly explains why only a third of people were able to agree that their team followed a common planning process. Only 51% of respondents said that their planning was integrated across different communications disciplines.


Download the Report

One of the most comprehensive ever reports to be taken on the subject of communications planning. 
Packed full of data and insight into the global state of planning across corporate communications.


Download Report

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