Telum Media finds APAC comms leaders share optimistic outlook for 2021

Telum Media has revealed the results of its APAC Communications Leaders Survey 2021, which took a closer look into how agencies and in-house teams are feeling in the wake of a year that changed everything. In a survey of 450 senior APAC comms leaders (PR directors, heads of comms, chief communications officers, and so on) throughout November and December 2020, Telum Media sought to understand how roles have changed, which new obstacles have emerged, and ultimately, their outlook for the future. 

Overall? The results are positive. telumapaccommssurveyoverview

87% of those surveyed express an optimistic outlook for the year ahead, pointing to brand building, thought leadership and reputation management as key areas that the profession can thrive. 77% said their roles or teams became more important in the previous year, with the role of both internal and external communications becoming vital to brands' success in navigating the economic, social, and political challenges that remain. 

COVID-19 and the global economy remain the chief concerns across APAC, and with the long road ahead indicated by both, a quarter of the industry is highly concerned about burnout, reduced budgets, team downsizing, and general mental health issues.

As far as their brands are concerned, operational issues or crises are widely regarded as the biggest threat to company reputation, followed by the threat of negative media coverage. In an era of fake news and conspiracy theories, traditional news remains by far the most trusted source of information among senior comms professionals, while influencers, social media, and podcasts come in last.

In Hong Kong specifically, 84% of respondents indicated that traditional media will be a key component of their 2021 comms strategies, while 87% agreed that a personalised email or call remain the best way to achieve coverage.

For the full survey, visit


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