Published: 30 May 2012

Challenging times for comms: Communications Benchmark 2012

Charity communicators are being increasingly effective in demonstrating the value of what they do, according to the CharityComms Communications Benchmark 2012. But many are struggling to see this reflected in the resources allocated to them by organisations facing ever tougher economic conditions.

The results of the 2012 Benchmark show a picture of a sector rising positively to the challenges thrown up by the recession, while facing the downward pressure of staff and budgetary reductions.

Room for improvement

On the plus side, the position of communications within charities is improving, with greater recognition of the importance of comms to the broader work of charities compared to 2008, when the Benchmark was last conducted. Over two thirds of respondents say their organisation sees comms as central to achieving its mission, with nine in 10 saying their CEO values communications.

Less positively, nearly half of charity communicators do not feel they have an organisational culture which respects comms. So while senior management might be on side, this isn’t necessarily filtering through the ranks. And with only 26% believing their trustees know and understand about communications, there’s still plenty of room for improvement at board level.

The rise of the brand

Meanwhile, branding sees the greatest increase in importance compared with 2008, with 82% of charities considering it important or essential compared with 67% four years ago. Keeping our brands fresh, relevant and exciting is key for us all. The fact that the value of brand is being more fully appreciated is testament to comms professionals' work to convince senior management of the place of a strong brand in delivering organisational goals.

To download the full report click here


Jamie Matthews, researcher, CharityComms

Jamie was campaigns researcher at CharityComms joining us in June 2011. He conducted research projects on communications issues effecting the sector, most recently he worked on the Communications Benchmark 2012.