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‘Break Free, Be The Change’ — AB and #WeLeadComms Release Communication Leaders Survey

Communication professionals have a massive opportunity to grow as leaders — to help define agendas and shape trends, as opposed to being defined and shaped by them. That was the main conclusion of the 2022 Communication Leaders Survey, conducted by #WeLeadComms and sponsored by AB and Sparrow Connected. IABC supported research efforts as well.

More than 155 communication leaders across 30 countries shared their thoughts in a global, open-ended survey, looking at how they saw the main opportunities facing the communication profession, where they could make the biggest difference in the coming 12 months, what the hottest topics of discussion are in their enterprises, and what items and irritants they would make go away if given a magic wand.

“The overall findings indicate that communication leaders are still looking inward in terms of the difference they can make — prioritizing issues like technology, workforce and workplace, and driving up perceptions of their own influence and value — while seeing climate, DEI and social impact more as topics of discussion than real opportunities,” Mike Klein, #WeLeadComms founder and author of the research, says. “There’s also relatively limited interest in the integration of internal and external comms.”

AB Managing Director Katie Macaulay notes the results as a potential launch pad from which communication leaders can embrace a more ambitious agenda. “With the start of a new year, comms leaders now have an opportunity to reset. They have demonstrated the significant role they play in steadying enterprises during crises, and can now take the steps toward leading, demonstrating their mastery around audiences, and lead new and crucial conversations through insight. Valuing the voice they already have is absolutely critical.”

Of the 155 participants, a slight majority focus on internal communication, with others working in public relations, digital marketing, public affairs, sustainability and executive communication. “The skew toward IC is intentional,” Klein adds, “because increasingly as the voice of employees becomes the most critical external channel of any organization, internal communication emerges as the engine room of the comms profession.”

To download a copy of the report, visit

#WeLeadComms is an initiative of Changing The Terms, and is sponsored by Sparrow Connected.

This blog first appeared at and is republished here with permission.