BRUSSELS—The overwhelming majority (87 percent) of European communicators believe that communication has become more important for the overall success of organizations, but fewer than 15 percent report that budgets for communication have increased relative to those of other functions, according to the 2013 European Communication Monitor, unveiled at the European Association of Communication Directors annual meeting in Brussels this morning.

The survey found widespread optimism about the role of the senior communications officer—more than 61 percent of the 2,700 respondents felt that the influence and status of their current role had increased—that seems to conflict with news about communications spending: 41 percent said their budgets had been reduced more than average, 44 percent said their budgets had been reduced at about the same level as other functions.

The survey’s salary data also suggested that organizations are not investing in communications as heavily as its increased importance would suggest. Just 4.1 percent of respondents reported earning more than €200,000 and just 22.7 percent reported earning more than €100,000 (compared to 5 percent and 25.2 percent respectively in 2011).

While those numbers could be a result of the EACD broadening the survey sample to include smaller organizations, almost 72 percent of respondents are either heads of communication, agency CEOs or play a leadership role in communications, and more than 58 percent have more than 10 years’ experience. The survey does not provide any evidence that organizations see the need to invest more heavily in the communications function.

Finally, the survey found that just 24.2 percent of FT500 companies include their top communications executive as a member of the executive committee. That compares to 33.8 percent of top communicators in North America, according to research conducted by the EACD, the University of Amsterdam’s school of communication research, and executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.