The CIPR’s latest report #PRinAPandemic shows that the good reputation of the PR and comms industry cemented over the last 18 months is likely to stay.
The report on how the PR industry has fared throughout the COVID-19 pandemic gathered around 1,400 responses from those working across a variety of ages, roles and seniority. Positives include strong performance and an increase in influence, but they have come with the negatives of overwork and strains on mental health.
• Nearly three-in-five PRs in a client-facing role expect their client base to grow.
• Industry professionals are five times more likely to say that their mental health has deteriorated, rather than improved, over the past 12 months.
• More junior practitioners expect their working hours to increase compared to those with more seniority.
• Almost half of independent practitioners experienced a decrease in income.
• While female-identifying practitioners were more likely than male-identifying colleagues to have worked increased hours throughout the pandemic, male-identifying PRs were twice as likely to have experienced a decline in income.
• While many publicly-funded organisations were unable to make use of furlough schemes, fewer than one-in-five public sector practitioners were furloughed. Other organisation types furloughed over half of all their PR workforce.
‘This research provides a wealth of data and through it, tells us the many stories and experiences of the last few months,’ said CIPR President Mandy Pearse. ‘If there is a common theme it is the feeling of optimism and stature amongst practitioners, perhaps not something many would have predicted earlier in the pandemic. That is entirely down to your hard work in the most challenging of circumstances and has earned us that influence.
‘A bright future does not mean we ignore the trauma of our past and success can be celebrated only if we recognise the hardships many of our colleagues faced. I’m delighted to see predictions of teams and client bases growing and hope efforts to improve business performance are matched with efforts to improve the experience of working in public relations.
‘We’re starting from a great position of being able to build on our achievements rather than having to build back up from the bottom. Let us take this opportunity to improve and grow with purpose, success, and compassion.’
For more on how PR and comms has flourished during the pandemic, catch up on our look at 2021 trends so far in PR and communications featuring insight from thought leaders including Sarah Waddington, Stuart Thomson, Shayoni Lynn and more.