New GCS Comms industry report tells the story of a profession that has "risen to the challenge" of Covid-19

A new report on the impact of Covid-19 and the opportunities it presents for the communications profession finds the pandemic has accelerated changes already underway within practice and concludes it has demonstrated the strategic role of communications.

The Government Communications Service (GCS) Covid-19 Advisory Panel report - authored by Stephen Waddington Chart.PR, Hon FCIPR - finds eight areas of innovation and opportunity for professionals:

  1. The shift to virtual communication teams
  2. Communications being recognised as a strategic management and leadership function
  3. The emergence of cross-functional communication hubs within organisations
  4. The increased value of internal communication
  5. The accelerated shift to digital media
  6. Multi-agency working and the power of networks
  7. Achieving best practice and accessible communication equality
  8. A focus on dealing with disinformation and misinformation
Stephen Waddington Chart.PR, Hon FCIPR, Managing Partner, Wadds Inc. and Visiting Professor, Newcastle University
This report showcases communication excellence and reinforces the importance of strategic public relations to UK plc and public sector organisations. If the internal and external communication function inside an organisation didn’t report directly to management before the crisis - it almost certainly will now.
Stephen Waddington Chart.PR, Hon FCIPR, Managing Partner, Wadds Inc. and Visiting Professor, Newcastle University
CIPR President, Jenni Field Chart.PR, FCIPR
This pandemic has impacted every profession and sector and while PR and communication is no exception, the critical and significant nature of our work has been thrust to the fore. This report shows how public relations professionals have risen to the challenge with resilience, creativity and skill through engaging with their internal and external audiences. It also highlights that their advice with clients and organisations has played a pivotal role and it has all been done with compassion and positivity. 

I want to thank the GCS for including the CIPR in the Advisory Panel, for their work in supporting the profession through the pandemic, and for this positive and practical report.
CIPR President, Jenni Field Chart.PR, FCIPR

The GCS Covid-19 Advisory Panel was convened at the start of the pandemic and comprised of leaders from across the UK communications industry including the CIPR. The report followed a literature review of articles, case studies, opinion articles and research submitted to the project together with interviews with professionals in senior communication roles.


Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners with nearly 10,000 members.

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).