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Mapping communication management competencies for European practitioners: ECOPSI an EU study

Ralph Tench (Faculty of Business and Law, Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK.)
Angeles Moreno (Group of Advances Studies in Communication, University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain.)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 2 February 2015




The principle focus of the European Communication Professional Skills and Innovation (ECOPSI) Research project reported in this paper is to develop understanding of the competences held by senior communication practitioners and the contributing knowledge, skills and personal attributes that are relevant to their role. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


This paper is based on 24 months of desk and empirical work by the research team in three core phases: the benchmarking report based on literature reviews in each country region; quantitative data collection from communication practitioners in 42 countries across Europe; qualitative data from 53 interviews across four senior practitioner roles in the six regions of the study’s focus.


The findings highlight the competencies needed by senior practitioners through the creation of the Communication Role Matrix with critical evaluation of the current contemporary issues faced by the sector.

Research limitations/implications

The authors acknowledge a limitation of the study regarding the selection of the four studied professional roles. ECOPSI has proven a common understanding of theses four studied roles in Europe, but further research on the competencies of diverse roles performed in the profession would need to be explored for a more comprehensive appreciation of the full spectrum of public relations and strategic communication practice.

Practical implications

The paper draws together findings from across Europe and presents a practical interpretation of the project in the form of an online self-diagnostic tool based on an online portal for practitioners to self-complete.

Social implications

The programme improves the professionalism of practitioners across Europe and their ability to work across borders in a European and wider international community of communication practitioners.


This study benchmarks the educational and practice landscape in six key regions of Europe to demonstrate that the elements focusing on skills, knowledge and personal attributes of European communication professionals can be synthesised using competences as the foundational element. The originality is also reflected in the self-diagnostic tool for the project based on an online portal.



The authors would like to acknowledge the funding support provided from the European Commission to actualise the ECOPSI project which originated the research for this paper. The authors would also like to acknowledge their partners in the overall ECOPSI project, Professor Ansgar Zerfass, Professor Dejan Vercic, Professor Ayla Okay, Dr Piet Verhoeven and the EACD. Also thanks to Leeds Metropolitan University research assistants Hasina Juma and Ben Mitchell.


Tench, R. and Moreno, A. (2015), "Mapping communication management competencies for European practitioners: ECOPSI an EU study", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 39-61.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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