Constant change is the biggest challenge for PR professionals
23rd February 2015
The dramatic change in what PR is about these days is the biggest challenge for the industry according to CIPR’s latest State of the Profession report which states: “The overwhelming majority of respondents indicate that the biggest challenge for the future is the changing nature of public relations, largely due to changes and advances in technology.”
From keeping up with social media to the “always-on” culture, PROs are finding it hard to adapt to the seismic changes the online revolution has made to their working lives.
This may be one reason why stress levels are high, with 40 per cent of PR professionals experiencing a high level of workplace stress. Women seem to be suffering more than men, with 42 per cent indicating a high level of workplace stress compared to 37 per cent of men. Perhaps their stress levels are raised by the fact that there is still a gender pay gap in PR, and as Sarah Pinch, CIPR president says: “I am deeply saddened to see gender as the third bigger influencer of pay. It is unfair, immoral and wrong. We will seek to work with employers and employees to develop the skills, information, support and training they need to be able to report fairer pay.”
However, despite inequalities, stress and having to cope with constant technological change, nearly two-thirds of PROs (63 per cent) enjoy their job. The report states: “There is very little gender difference in terms of job enjoyment, but there is a substantial regional difference. 57 per cent of those based in London enjoy their job compared to 66 per cent of those outside of London, with 72 per cent of those who work outside of the UK saying that they enjoy their job. Respondents also tended to enjoy their job more the older they got, with 77 per cent of over-60s responding that they enjoyed their job.”
In the future CIPR hopes that stress levels fall, inequalities decrease and job satisfaction increases. As Pinch concludes: “I have confidence that we will use the insight of the report to deliver a better, stronger, fairer and more confident profession.”
Over the last six years, CIPR has asked members and non-members to share their views and opinions on the state of the PR profession. On behalf of the CIPR, research agency Survation interviewed 2,028 public relations professionals online between 14 October and 12 December 2014. To see the report go to www.cipr.co.uk/stateofpr