The PR and Communications Tracker from Carta Communications and The Pulse Business has found that mental health challenges and issues with staying motivated are bigger threats to UK PR teams than COVID-19.
Starting in late December 2020, the PR and Communications Tracker surveyed senior communications leaders in both in-house and agency MD positions and will run on a quarterly basis.
While 26% of industry leaders polled said that adapting to COVID-19 was the biggest threat being faced, this was behind the challenges of staff motivation and mental health, which was the top choice for 28% of those surveyed.
Despite this, 87% feel positive about the future of their business over the next year.
‘There are actually two pandemics running concurrently – COVID-19, and a shadow pandemic of mental health issues caused by social isolation, uncertainty and changes to working and living patterns,’ said Carta Communications’ founder and director Matt Cartmell.
‘We are fortunate in PR that we can work remotely and that there are always new opportunities, whatever the economic landscape. It’s great to see that so many leaders are feeling so positive – I look forward to seeing how sentiment changes through the coming year.’
The Pulse Business’ owner Imogen Osborne also sees potential in the results of the survey: ‘The findings from this Pulse suggest that once more, the PR and communications industry is bracing itself for re-invention. Some respondents are talking about how they are developing their company culture inside a flexible working model while others are coming up with new products and services that will appeal in a post-pandemic world.
‘Many of our comms leaders are bullish about the next 12 months, driven by an understandable focus on the numbers. Yet most acknowledge the issues around mental health are building and given the period for self-reflection the pandemic has necessitated, you wonder if this will lead to some radical changes in how people treat one another in an industry renowned for its competitiveness.’
The next Tracker is set to go live in March 2021 – those who wish to take part can email Imogen Osborne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want more on PR trends to prepare for this year? Check out ten PR and communications trends for 2021 from industry thought leaders.