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NEWS: Largest European companies struggling to embrace 'always on' culture

'Staff capabilities', 'resources' and 'organisational culture' are the top three reasons holding back Europe’s largest companies from embracing the ‘always on’ communication landscape, according to a new report published today by MSLGROUP.

Other issues holding brands back included IT systems without necessary mobile technology to engage with the new channels and a lack of buy-in from senior management.

Eighty-five per cent of the 100 senior communications professionals agreed the reputational consequences of their mistakes have become more serious with the free flow of digital information brought about by social media.

However, despite this threat, 79 per cent of those surveyed view social media as a clear opportunity to build better relationships with key stakeholders. Only five per cent of the respondents viewed social media as a clear threat.

Meanwhile, 75 per cent of companies are hesitant to grant their employees the license to comment on social channels in an official capacity for fear of losing control. This is despite 77 per cent of the companies surveyed recognising they could overcome the barriers by empowering employees, beyond the comms team, to become external advocates on social media as long as training and guidelines are adopted.

Anders Kempe, president, EMEA, MSLGROUP, said: “The new 24/7 ‘always on’ landscape is an opportunity for communications professionals to build their brand and corporate reputations and to redefine their value in the eyes of their superiors through more data driven reporting. However, it will be a challenge to fulfil these expectations if communications capabilities are not properly resourced and managed.

“Communications managers must knit the newer skills of often much younger employees with the experience of the more senior members of their teams. In a communications environment that is moving faster than ever through more channels than ever, to more audiences than ever, devising appropriate advisory and permissions procedures will be crucial.”