When Cheryl Conner reported in her October 2016 article, The New Era of Media: Visual Public Relations, published in that 84% of communication will be visual by 2018, PR professionals took it as a joke.

Supported by data from Serena Ehrlick, Director of Social and Evolving Media for BusinessWire, she told us that 63% of the world’s consumers are kinesthetic and prefer visual and audio information to data presented in writing; that visuals are processed sixty thousand times faster than text; and that one minute of video was more powerful than 1.8million words. We still didn’t take her serious.

Now, here is the catch. The 2017 European Communication Monitor (ECM) survey, which is adjudged the most detailed and robust longitudinal benchmark study available reveals that 94.4% of PR and strategic communication professionals across Europe are waking up to that reality. They believe that visual communication will gain more importance in no distant future.

Rising Demand For Visual Communication

The 2017 study, which is based on a record number of 3,387 communication professionals from 50 participating countries, reveals that seven out of ten organizations reported a rising demand for visual communication by their stakeholders. Take a look at the statistics below:


Areas Of Growth

According to the survey, the areas of growth in visual communication when compared to three years ago are as follows:


Lagging Capacity

The report reveals that only one out of ten communicators rated themselves highly skilled in visual communication at a time when recognition of operational and strategic contributions of PR and communication to organizational success is growing.

The study reveals that only 12.1% are highly skilled in visual communication, 34.5% have medium level skills while 53.3% have low level of skill in the area.

What PR Professionals Must Do

The 2017 ECM Survey report, which was organized by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) in conjunction with the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) with support from PRIME Research, tells PR professionals across the world just one thing: step up your game in visual communication skills in order to remain relevant in the new Visual Public Relations firmament.