London,
23
March
2020
|
09:01
Europe/London

CIPR & PRCA issue joint statement on COVID-19 outbreak

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) have issued a joint statement praising the efforts of communications professionals during the coronavirus outbreak. The two bodies have also published an open letter to the Chancellor calling for more support for freelance practitioners. 

  • The letter to the Chancellor can be read here.

Joint statement:

The coronavirus outbreak and the extraordinary measures brought in to protect public health have had an unprecedented impact on the public relations industry.

PR organisations across the UK have already lost staff, while up to 8,500 freelancers face the prospect of losing clients and being unable to support themselves or their families. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with communications professionals in all sectors and will do all in our power to protect the indsutry.

Many of our members have a frontline role in ensuring that the public have access to timely, reliable and transparent news. To those in frontline roles - your work will play a key role in our national effort to educate the public and encourage behaviour change to promote public health in the coming weeks and months. Your commitment to ethical communication in the public interest is appreciated and we encourage you to work together where possible to continue those efforts.

We will continue to push for the Government to commit the resources PR professionals need. We are reassured by the Prime Minster's assessment that we hope to defeat the virus in a matter of weeks. The Government has committed to protecting businesses, jobs and salaries - we now urgently need them to do more to protect our freelance community and home-based businesses.

Our profession plays a significant role in the economy and touches every sector in the country. The importance of trustworthy and ethical communication at this time could not be clearer. Managing a crisis requires strategic communication to provide certainty to the public, influence public opinion and inspire changes in behaviour. Our members will have a crucial role to play in rebuilding the eceonomy in the coming months.

We have been heartended to witness the support the community has provided to each other and to those who need it the most. You are a credit to the profession.

Alastair McCapra - CEO, Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Francis Ingham MPRCA - Director General, Public Relations and Communications Association

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).