DPRG Position Paper on Controlling Communication

The position paper which was first published in July 2011 and is now available also in English sums up the outcome of several years of work by the German Public Relations Association (DPRG), International Controller Accounting Association (ICV), Communication Association and Public Relations Association Austria (PRVA). It focuses on the rising significance of communication controlling in connection with the creation of corporate value through communication.


Starting with the challenges of stakeholder management and value creation, the term communication controlling is defined as a support function which provides methods and instruments for planning, steering and evaluating communication activities. In order to assess the contribution of communication to organizational success the tracking of the communication process is as essential as its alignment with strategy. For this purpose DPRG and ICV developed the Levels of Impact and Evaluation of Communication which lay the structural foundation for communication controlling. Value links between the four levels input, output, outcome and outflow establish a corridor of plausible cause-effect relations. The DPRG/ICV model provides a practical framework for the planning and evaluation of communication activities. By presenting examples the paper shows that the value link approach can be applied in practice for key disciplines of corporate communication like internal, external, market and financial communication.


The authors of the paper also illustrate the implementation of communication controlling by describing prerequisites and process steps. The paper finishes with an outlook on the future development of communication controlling naming three key challenges: gathering further empirical proof for communication value links throughout the four levels of impact, collecting a sufficient number of international best practice examples and achieving standardization on a global level.


The paper demonstrates that professional associations and researchers succeeded in developing feasible approaches to manage the performance of organizational communication strategically beyond the mere evaluation of media relations impact. After a ten years process the DPRG/ICV framework today is widely accepted among PR professionals, controllers and scientists throughout German-speaking countries.



Download the Position Paper.