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The Communications Activities of Top Companies in Central and Eastern Europe

Recent survey Organization of communications in leading CEE countries, implemented by the Public Relations Transfer Center (at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass communications of University of Vienna) in cooperation with agencies from the regional network Hauska & Partners was carried out in ten CEE countries. It is the third in a row of surveys of the PR market in the region and reveals the latest trends of development of public relations. In Bulgaria the survey was implemented by Weekpress.

According to processed results media relations remain the most important communications instrument applied by companies.

303 prominent companies from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovenia took part in the international survey. The study was sent out to 2633 companies in March 2002. The feedback response rate was 11,5 %. Results were processed by PRTC in Vienna.

Media relations (91 %), advertising (86 %) and events (77 %) are the most important communications instruments used by companies. Closely behind are other communications tools such as special industry-oriented events (75 %), sponsoring (74 %), Web communications (74 %) and publications (72 %). The fields of new media (43 %), multimedia (38 %) and the newer SMS technology (8%) complete the rankings.

The typical communications department in a Central and Eastern European company consists of two to five employees (47 %). For Bulgaria this percent is 59 and in 35% this is only one person.

In Bulgaria 35 % of the firms taking part in the study say their annual communications budget is under 36,000 Euro annually, 6% say its between 36,000 and 108,000 Euro, while 18% state their budget is over 360,000 Euro. In 75% of the cases, the decision determining the funds allocated to the PR budget is made by the top management of the company. For Bulgaria it is 59%, reflecting the wider designations of the marketing and PR departments, and of the specialists. The survey concludes that there are significant differences in how the overall responsibility for implementing corporate communications activities is assigned. 36% of the companies say that the decisions are made by the PR Manager. This is followed by the Marketing Manager (31 %), General Manager (23 %), Communications Manager (22 %), press spokesperson (14 %) and Product Manager at 4 %.

Two are the main methods of training in Bulgaria on the job and PR courses (each by 47%), 35% of respondents have university education and 29% rely on PR training and seminars.

The biggest obstacles to effective communications work are the insufficient budgets available (44 %), the low level of understanding of public understanding (28 %), too few employees (24 %) as well as the low level of acceptance on the part of top company management at 21%.For comparison: in Bulgaria 53% of respondents determine the low level of public understanding as an obstacle, then come the low budgets (35%), insufficiency of qualified employees (18%) and the difficult media (12%).

2002 Weekpress
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