Profile 2002: A Survey of IABC Membership; the Latest Research on Job Satisfaction, Salaries and Opinions about the Profession

Article excerpt

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

THE GOOD NEWS?

* Communicators' overall job satisfaction has remained positive since the last survey was conducted in 2000.

* Most communicators surveyed have consistent and frequent access to senior management.

* The advent of technology continues to change the profession in two important ways. 1) It is relied on more and more as a way of disseminating information and communicating with important audiences. 2) At the same time, it is driving an increased desire for more personal, face-to-face interaction.

* The profession affords women strong career opportunities and the possibility of advancement into senior positions.

* More and more, organizations realize the need to formally measure the effectiveness of their communication efforts.

THE NOT SO GOOD NEWS?

* The average salary for IABC communicators increased only 3 percent annually during the past two years, which is less than half the 7 percent annual increase that took place from 1996 to 1999.

* Compared to 2000, it is twice as likely that the communication department's revenue or budget has decreased in the past year.

* Relatively few in the profession feel that their jobs afford them greater job security compared to other lines of work.

YOUR WORK AND FUTURE

In general, communicators are satisfied with their positions and with many of the specific elements of their jobs.

Overall satisfaction with current position is 7.0 (mean average; 10 extremely satisfied, 1 = not at all satisfied). This is consistent with the rating given in the prior survey (7.1).

High satisfaction with specific elements of the work place or job (mean average; 10 extremely satisfied, 1 = not at all satisfied):

* Access to technology (7.6)

* Types of benefits received (7.5)

* Flexible work hours (7.3)

Low satisfaction with specific elements of the work place or jobs (mean average; 10 = extremely satisfied, 1 = not at all satisfied):

* Potential for promotion (5.5)

* Mentoring received from colleagues (5.5)

* Ability to work from home (6.2)

Where they will be working in one or two years:

* In their present organization (59 percent)

* Working somewhere else (28 percent)

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS AND MANAGEMENT ACCESS

Senior management tends to have influence over the communication function and is involved in the communication process.

The most senior person communicators report to:

* President or CEO (35 percent)

* Vice president (18 percent)

* Director (18 percent)

Access to senior management is:

* Unlimited or at least once a week (88 percent)

Interaction with senior management most often involves:

* Communication planning (81 percent)

* Developing key messages (78 percent)

* Developing copy for print (75 percent)

In most cases, the same department manages internal and external communication.

Manage internal and external communication out of:

* The same department (72 percent)

* Different departments (28 percent)

When managed out of different departments, the reporting relationship between them is described as very or somewhat effective by nearly three out of four (70 percent).

THE COMMUNICATION PROGRAM STRUCTURE

Essentially, no major changes have occurred in staff levels within the departments surveyed, with nearly equal proportions seeing an increase and a decrease in staff. However, compared to previous years, the expenditures they represent have gone down.

In the previous year, the staff size in the communication department has:

* Increased (37 percent)

* Remained the same (32 percent)

* Decreased (31 percent)

In the previous year, the revenue or budget for the communication function:

* Increased (41 percent)

* Remained the same (24 percent)

* Decreased (35 percent)--this is twice as many as in 2000 (18 percent)

Communication programs tend to work with a set of objectives in mind, and, typically, these are closely related to the organization's business objectives. …