88% of PR professionals say consumer and brand campaigns have been hit by coronavirus, according to a survey.

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26th March 2020 11:33 - Media and PR

88% of PR professionals say consumer and brand campaigns have been hit by coronavirus: A survey of PR professionals has revealed insight into how the outbreak is affecting the industry - with consumer and brand campaigns appearing to be the hardest hit. 

The PR Week survey of 121 PR professionals was conducted between Friday 20th March - Wednesday 24 March - just as the COVID-19 lockdown measures were announced by the Government.

When asked which areas of PR and communication are most affected, 83% said consumer and brand campaigns have been cut, followed by corporate assignments (44.2%) and crisis comms (37.5%). Just over a quarter said that public affairs had been affected (27.5%), wth 23.3% saying public information campaigns had. 

Asked about the lasting impact the coronavirus crisis will have on the PR industry, 37.6% believed that it will have a positive overall impact, with 39.3% believing it will have no effect at all. Almost a quarter, however, believe the current situation will impact the industry negatively. 

Employment changes

More than six in ten respondents said that there has been no change to their employment policies due to COVID-19, while more than a quarter (26.3%) said they have put a hold on new hires. Some respondents reported reduced staff (15.8%) as well as adjusted pay (14%). 

Budget changes were also reported with 40% of in-house participants revealing cuts to PR and communications this year. However almost a quarter said their budgets have increased. When asked how significant coronavirus was to their agency's budget cuts, more than a third (36%) said it was not at all. A quarter (24%) said it was 'significant', while 28% said it was 'very significant'.

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