Uncertainty about the future is the most significant issue that PR professionals are finding difficult to handle since the COVID-19 pandemic began, cited by a majority of respondents (70%) to PRNEWS’ latest survey. Despite this, changes made during the pandemic appear to have contributed to a positive outlook among those in the industry.
Whether or not the future of PR is bright, it has certainly experienced some changes, according to the May survey of 200 PR executives. A significant majority (69%) report that their thinking about, or procedures for, crisis communication has changed a bit (44%) or very much (25%). Just 1 in 8 believe that it has not changed at all.
Moreover, respondents also report a range of changes to their internal communications. The most common shift is that PR pros are communicating a lot more with employees now (68%), and their communication is more personal and empathetic than before the pandemic (57%). More than 4 in 10 (45%) have also noticed that their communication is getting more engagement since the pandemic.
As many industries have suffered challenges since the pandemic, PR pros have not been immune to the myriad of problems. As well as uncertainty about the future, the inability to hold physical events has challenged respondents (44%), as have the distractions involved with working from home (37%) and a lack of face-to-face meetings with executives, media members, colleagues and clients (34%). A further one-fifth (20%) have found that competition is making it hard to break through on social media.
That being said, many respondents show an upbeat attitude. Some 37% think that the PR industry will roar back since the pandemic has made clear the importance of strategic communications. Half (51%) think that it will come back financially to roughly its pre-pandemic size, though not immediately, and just 20% think it will be a vastly smaller industry.
Read the full findings of the survey here.
About the Data: Results are based on a May 2020 survey of 200 PR executives.