The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) have teamed up to address mental health challenges within the public relations and communications industry.
Working in partnership with Opinium, the industry bodies have launched a survey to gauge the wellbeing of those currently working in PR. Results will be used to form a cross-industry joint summer programme with the aim of tackling the mental challenges PR practitioners face as part of their jobs. Opinium’s Workplace Mental Wellbeing Framework will provide support.
‘The impact of the stress attached to working in public relations needs no introduction,’ says CIPR chief executive Alastair McCapra. ‘The fast-paced, public-facing nature of our work means it can be incredibly rewarding but also hugely taxing. It is the single biggest threat to the profession as a whole – whatever sector, whatever discipline, and whatever level you work in – it shouldn’t have to be this way and collectively this is something we can only change by working together. The pandemic has only served to heighten existing pressures which is why now is the right time for our respective bodies to work together in playing our part to support our members and the wider profession.’
PRCA director general and ICCO chief executive Francis Ingham agrees that the pandemic has magnified existing issues:
‘There is no doubt that the industry’s mental health challenges have been compounded by the pandemic. Our people have worked under extraordinary pressure and we must now do everything in our power to establish policies and foster cultures that prioritise mental health. Every employer has a responsibility and a duty of care towards their staff in this regard. I’m pleased that the industry bodies will be working together to create positive change. This is our opportunity to create the change our industry needs.’
Opinium CEO James Endersby sees the joint initiative as a real opportunity to make meaningful change for the industry at large:
‘This has been a challenging year for everyone, with the pandemic impacting so many areas of our lives including our mental health and work lives. Given the challenges we have all faced this year, businesses now have an even bigger role to play in supporting their employees with their mental health. We are delighted to once again be partnering with the PRCA, ICCO and the CIPR to conduct our workplace mental wellbeing audit amongst their members, both agency and client side. If you don’t listen to employees, you can’t effectively help support them with their mental wellbeing – we hope our insights will help accelerate change across the sector at a global level.’
Everyone working within PR and comms are invited to complete the survey to aid the initiative – take part here.
For more on mental health stresses in the public relations industry, here are 7 ways to protect your mental health in PR and communications and these tips for staying motivated at work.
Worried about burnout? Watch our accessmatters session with KDP Consulting’s Katie Phillips on her experiences and what you can do to look out for yourself and your coworkers.