Between 2010 and 2012, respondents said that "coping with digital evolution and the social web" was their most important issue.
That has now dropped to third place behind linking business strategy with communication and building trust; however, it was still mentioned as an issue by 32 per cent of respondents.
The survey was commissioned by the European Public Relations Education & Research Association and the European Association of Communication Directors and is sponsored by Ketchum. It questioned 2,777 communications professionals in 42 countries.
Communicators are particularly interested in mobile communications as a major growth area, with 91 per cent predicting it would be an area for development over the next three years and 51 per cent saying their organisations were developing mobile channels now.
Although 61 per cent of respondents worked in organisations with mobile websites, only 37 per cent have implemented apps for smartphones and only 34 per cent have created apps for tablets.
While mobile communication is growing, respondents predicted that press and print media would decline. Seventy-six per cent said their organisations were developing print media plans now, but only 42 per cent predicted that print media channels would be an area for development over the next three years.
Ketchum Europe CEO David Gallagher said that mobile was still in its infancy as a communications channel.
"The next phase is to move from occupying this channel to really harnessing its potential for new applications, real-time customer interaction and visual content. Countries such as Sweden are leading in Europe and can help show us the way forward," he said.