Spanish firms turn to corporate comms according to BM study

Spanish companies are becoming increasingly reliant on corporate communications as a management tool according to a new study by Burson-Marsteller and Barcelona-based business school IESE.

The project, 'Enterprise Management in 2003,' surveyed 1,000 large Spanish companies and showed that 74% of respondents (up from 67% in 2002) believed that corporate communications will play a greater role in the future of Spanish business.

Within the category 62% of participants listed internal communications as most important, followed by product (52%) and financial (39%). 'This has been a tendency for the last three years but especially since last year when internal communications was not so important,' said Carmen Varela, chief executive of B-M Spain. 'If you are making an effort to communicate your core values you first have to convince your own employees,' he added.

The study revealed that 16% of respondents invest 2% or more of sales in corporate comms, while 24% said they earmark 1% of turnover to product publicity.

Despite buoyant interest in communications, the survey showed that corporate social responsibility is still not commonly addressed in Spain. More than 50% of those interviewed avoided questions regarding transparency and corporate governance, while 7% said they had embraced CSR laws.

Separately, Varela forecast 15% growth for the Spanish PR industry this year compared to zero growth in 2003, as Europe bounces out of recession and Spain's economy continues its growth spree.

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