Earlier this month, the Middle East Public Relations Association surveyed 72 organizations, comprising of professionals from both agency as well as in-house, to better understand the impact of Covid-19 on the region’s PR industry. The findings revealed some distressing times that lie ahead for the region’s communication industry. Here are the findings :
- 53% of respondents will see a significant decrease in projects and activity in Q2, 2020.
- When asked about the economic impact of Covid-19 on the industry, 66% of respondents believe the PR industry will be highly affected, with the potential for major consequences.
- More than 60% of the total respondents have a negative outlook for the PR business for the rest of 2020.
- 57% of respondents state that organizations are considering freezing recruitment options as their top measure, to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. 48% of respondents said that organizations have already begun doing just that.
- 41% are considering staff redundancies as their second measure to mitigate the impact. Only 23% have begun to do so as of now.
- 31% of private-sector in-house respondents have already made redundancies, followed by 23% of agency respondents and 10% of government or semi-government.
“We know from speaking a great number of practitioners in the PR community across the GCC over the past few weeks that many have been undergoing torrid times. The optimism that typically categorizes our peer group has been replaced by much confusion and uncertainty. The extent of this distress is clear from this survey. However, the responses allow all of us to have more informed conversations about these issues as we move beyond the current situation. I suspect all of our community face a changed existence – not just of the way we work, but of the way we live our lives. We are fortunate in the public relations community to be surrounded by many people with many wonderful qualities which can be a source of strength and inspiration. In these times of uncertainty and disrupted working, the more informed we are, and the more we take strength from our community. the better we will be to get through these trying times,” said Jonty Summers, Chairman of MEPRA