As we stand at the cusp of a new era in strategic communication and public relations, the Latin American Communication Monitor (LCM) 2022-2023 demonstrates the need for research and insights about the profession to help identify opportunities for growth. This report furnishes us with an X-ray of the profession in Latin America, unveiling the prevailing currents and undercurrents that shape our industry. At the Institute for Public Relations, our entire mission as a research-based nonprofit is to conduct, share, and sponsor research that matters to the profession. The 2022-2023 LCM is a gold standard example of this, a critical study that creates aspirations and growth goals for our field in Latin America.

This research found that only one-fifth of participants envision diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as one of the main strategic issues over the next three years. This prompt a reflection on our industry’s commitment to these imperatives as DEI helps retention and generates positive outcomes (including financials) for consultancies and companies. This underscores the necessity for our industry to pivot from discussion to decisive action in DEI.

In leadership, empathy stands out as a transformative force, with a profound impact on organizational commitment and mental health, reducing job turnover. Additionally, this includes strong listening skills and attuning to the needs of others, or an ethic of care philosophy. The study reveals an encouraging trend toward empathetic leadership, a clarion call for leaders to foster a culture of understanding and support, integral to the sustainability of our workforce.

While communication technology emerges as a potent trend, organizations are still grappling with structural barriers and resources to optimize its use. This is also a call for our industry to train professionals and share best practices. The LCM illuminates the path for a collaborative and creative pursuit of digital excellence.

Strategic alignment with organizational objectives remains a bedrock issue, with advisory roles in communication gaining prominence. This shift calls for an enhanced focus on the integration of communication strategies with organizational goals, underscoring the strategic nature of our function. To be successful, organizations MUST be strategic. In fact, strengthening the role of the communication function to support decision-making was found to be a top strategic issue. This offers fuel for our industry to help demonstrate the undeniable benefits through the actions and outcomes of the communication function.

Regrettably, the gender pay gap persists as an unyielding challenge within the profession, a sobering reminder of the gap toward parity. We also must work on social responsibility, climate change, and ensuring professionals operate in an ethical manner to help build our profession’s credibility.

In conclusion, while only a fraction of communication departments achieve a benchmark of excellence, this illuminating study serves as a catalyst for introspection and growth. But we have a great opportunity for success and growth, striving for excellence in communication to not be the exception but the norm. Therefore, I invite all to know the insights of the LCM, and to deliberate and to act decisively for the betterment of our profession and society at large.

Read a summary of the report findings here.

Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., APR, is President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations. She taught as a full-time professor for 10 years and teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Florida and Cal Poly Pomona. McCorkindale also worked in corporate communication and analytics for 10 years. She is a member of the Page Society, The Seminar, the Commission for Public Relations Education Steering Committee, the Diversity Action Alliance Steering Committee, the AMEC Academic Advisory Board, the University of Florida School of Journalism and Communications Public Relations Advisory Board, and the University of Oregon Strategic Communication Leadership Network. 

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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