EURACTIV Survey 2007: Relations key to trade associations

Specialised media and lawmakers are preceived as the most important factors for European federations, EURACTIV’s 2007 survey found.

The survey was presented at the 2007 EuroConference in Brussels on 28 February 2007, to more than 100 top executives from European associations, who met to discuss how to “take their association to the next level”. The conference drew on the views of association audiences and discussions on factors that influence associations’ effectiveness. Its main findings included:

  • Federations’ media relations rely mainly on co-operation between Brussels and the capitals. Federations also understand that online communication of policy positions is key to increasing media attention;
  • only a minority of respondents have changed their membership and other priorities following EU enlargement;
  • the success of the organisations is measured mainly in terms of growth of membership and access to decision-makers, and;
  • the most important factors to become a global association are relations with the relevant
    national/European/global institutions and the membership base.

40% of respondents saw relations with relevant institutions at national, European and global levels as the most important factor, with around one in four aspiring to go global. 

Toward this aim, relations with specialised media scored highest, with 75% of respondents indicating that they saw them as the most relevant tools for external communication. The results also showed that a large percentage of federations and journalists understand that online communication of policy positions is key to increasing media attention. 

In addition, fully one half of respondents had changed their communication or lobbying strategy during the past year. 

EURACTIV's survey of European federations takes place on a yearly basis. The results of the 2007 edition, 'Interest groups in a global context', which was organised in partnership with professional Association Management company Kellen Europe  are based on responses from European business federations, NGOs and consumer groups who replied online. The number of responses, 98, renders it not  a scientific, but rather a qualitative and indicative, survey.

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