Insights from WCM’s Communications Survey: Teams Edition

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words read "Communications Survey 2023"

In January 2023, Washingtonian Custom Media launched our newest survey series. We invited industry leaders to participate in the first part of the series, gaining insights into how respondents interface with their audiences and the effectiveness of their communications plans.

With 90% of respondents working in nonprofits, associations, trade groups, and educational institutions, a majority of responses reflected the communications efforts in these industries. The range in organization size was quite broad among respondents, so our survey data provides a comprehensive overview of small to medium to large groups.

a pie chart reads- What type of organization do you work in? NON-PROFIT/ ASSOCIATION/ TRADE GROUP- 67% EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION- 23% FOR PROFIT- 5% GOVERNMENT- 5%

Communications Teams

Organization size does not necessarily indicate the number of people on a communications team, which our response data supports. Across small and large organizations, communications teams of 10 or fewer were most common, indicating that more tight-knit groups are preferred for creating and implementing communications strategies. This trend makes sense as, in 2023, years of economic stress brought on by a pandemic and recessions have intensified the pressure for teams to multitask as efficiently as possible. However, it is still in every organization’s best interest to invest in communications talent to fulfill specific roles.

When businesses build, expand, redefine, or rehire for roles on their communications staff, it is important to have clear goals for how team members will uphold brand identity and standards. For instance, social media teams are often built with the youngest members of a communications staff, but this approach gives public-facing tasks to someone with potentially little organizational experience. Someone who understands their organization’s branding and goals would be better suited for such a public role. With generally small communications teams, it is imperative for any organization to recognize the strengths, and limitations, of their staff to ensure the best fit for each communications role.

overlapping circles display results for two questions. How many people work in your organization? 50 or less	38% 51-100		11% 101-500	27% 501+		22%  How many people are on your communications team? 1-2 PEOPLE	27% 3-5 PEOPLE	33% 6-10 PEOPLE	33% 11+ PEOPLE	7%

Tune in next week for part two of our Communications Survey results series on Communications Plans.