TUESDAY 20 DEC 2022 10:15 AM


The PRCA director general’s comments follow a new survey on mental health, revealing that 51% of PR practitioners have opened up to colleagues about mental health struggles this year.

91% of PR practitioners have experienced poor mental health this year, compared to 90% in 2021, and 51% have opened up to colleagues about mental health concerns at work. Despite this, only one in five (22%) of those in PR struggling with mental health have taken time off work, compared with a national average of 41%. This is according to new research carried out by the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), conducted by Opinium.

PRCA director general Francis Ingham, who currently on sick leave, commented: “I am proud of the industry’s role in keeping the mental health and wellbeing conversation at the fore. However, there is much more to do to build a system of support that looks beyond a short-term fix to addressing the lifelong needs of individuals.”

Further key findings from the 'Mental Health in PR' survey show that an overwhelming workload was a key source of workplace stress for 58% of respondents, down from 67% last year. However, 30% have found their job stressful, up from 26% last year. Responses also showed low satisfaction levels regarding the workplace environment, highlighting lack of areas for eating away from desks (51%), indoor decor (50%) and storage (41%), demonstrating the impact of the working environment on employee wellbeing.

Nearly eight in ten (76%) practitioners said that working from home has created a better work-life balance. Just under three quarters (73%) said not having to commute has improved their mental health, up from 66% last year. 81% support a mixed approach of office and home working. The survey data shows that PR practitioners are adjusting to new working patterns.

"It’s easy to get pulled down into just managing the daily demands of clients and co-workers, but we have to think about how we want public relations to work in five or ten years’ time. Will working in PR still feel the same for so many people? Is a sector that places such a high mental health burden on those who work in it even sustainable for that long?” says CIPR CEO Alastair McCapra.

“Take some time to reflect on the data in this report and share them with your senior leaders. The power to improve the mental health of our employees and colleagues is in our hands. Now is the time to make a difference."

Ingham observes: “While there is ongoing uncertainty, there is also hope.”