What on Earth Do Communication Professionals Do? The Anatomy of Communication Management

16 Pages Posted: 19 May 2023 Last revised: 10 Jun 2023

See all articles by dr mr Piet Hein Coebergh MBA

dr mr Piet Hein Coebergh MBA

Foundation for communication research; University of Amsterdam

Martien Schriemer

Foundation for Communication Research; Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam

Anne-Marie Cotton Phd

Artevelde University of Applied Sciences; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL)

Monica Blaga Phd

Hanze University of Applied Sciences

Marc Compte-Pujol Phd

Unversitat Oberta de Catalunya

Anca Anton Phd

University of Bucharest

Mariana Sueldo Phd

Vilnius University - Faculty of Communications

Gisela Gonçalves Phd

University of Beira Interior

Joan Cuenca-Fontbona Phd

FPCEE Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain.

Date Written: July 27, 2022

Abstract

As the importance of communication management rises, the need grows to understand its mechanisms. Remarkably, there is still little agreement on what communication is, let alone how to manage it. This paper aims to fill this gap in understanding communication management and improve clarity on how communication professionals contribute to organisational success.

Within organisational communication, it is commonly presumed that communication is intentional, serving organisational goals. Following this intentional paradigm, this article proposes Berlo’s S-M-C-R model to define and analyse in an anatomical way what communication professionals do. This model is translated in 2018 into a survey that has been adopted and distributed by 12 universities in 9 countries in 3 continents and in 7 languages as of 2022.

Analysis shows that the survey around Berlo’s model helps to identify how many communication professionals work in participating regions and industries. Furthermore, it can be assessed to what extent communication professionals make choices in communication management with organisational stakeholders. The “Berlo-score” is proposed to measure the decision making power of communication professionals.

This approach substantiates theory and knowledge on how to manage organisational communication, offering guidance to teachers, researchers, managers, journalists and other stakeholders who want to understand how communication professionals contribute to organisational success.

Berlo's seminal theoretical model is made applicable for the work of communication professionals. Thereby, a framework for anatomical analysis of communication management is created. This new standard enables substantial international comparisons on what communication professionals do.

Keywords: organisational communication, public relations, corporate communication, integrated communications, strategic communication, communication management, Berlo’s SMCR-model

JEL Classification: D83

Suggested Citation

Coebergh, Piet Hein and Schriemer, Martien and Cotton, Anne-Marie and Blaga, Monica and Compte-Pujol, Marc and Anton, Anca and Sueldo, Mariana and Gonçalves, Gisela and Cuenca-Fontbona, Joan, What on Earth Do Communication Professionals Do? The Anatomy of Communication Management (July 27, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4439663 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4439663

Piet Hein Coebergh (Contact Author)

Foundation for communication research ( email )

Leidsegracht 38-40
Amsterdam, 1016CM
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://foundation-communicationresearch.org

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Martien Schriemer

Foundation for Communication Research ( email )

Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam ( email )

Anne-Marie Cotton

Artevelde University of Applied Sciences ( email )

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Monica Blaga

Hanze University of Applied Sciences ( email )

Marc Compte-Pujol

Unversitat Oberta de Catalunya ( email )

Anca Anton

University of Bucharest ( email )

36-46 Mihail Kogalniceanu Blvd
Bucharest, 501071
Romania

Mariana Sueldo

Vilnius University - Faculty of Communications ( email )

Gisela Gonçalves

University of Beira Interior ( email )

Joan Cuenca-Fontbona

FPCEE Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain. ( email )

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