Levelling up public relations

How do we ‘level up’ public relations? This is the subject of an exciting new CIPR sponsored project and your chance to have your say.

The profession employs nearly 100,000 people across the UK and contributes £16.7bn to the economy. Despite its consistent growth, the issue of diversity has been a concern for decades. The CIPR State of the Profession report, 2022, revealed the major concern around sustainability with a significant lack of skills and recruitment becoming the primary concern of employers. We are drawing from a limited pool of people.

 The vast majority of those working in PR are white, middle class and educated to a high level. At the top of organisations this is even more stark with white middle class men dominating the board rooms. 66% of senior leaders in the industry are men, up from 64% last year, in an industry that is two-thirds female.

 London and the south-east represents 35% of the workforce, in the East Midlands and North East, it’s 3% and while the average salary is £64,000 in London, it’s just £40,000 in Northern Ireland.

 This study examines the role of place in our identity, our social mobility and examines ways to engage a broader workforce. Your views are vital to understand the problems – as well as helping co-design the solutions.

 You can take part in completing this survey (and sharing on your socials) here – https://bit.ly/3X7IZpf

Liz Bridgen, Principal Lecturer in Public Relations at Sheffield Hallam joins Stuart Baird, CIPR Fellow in undertaking the research.

Stuart said: “PR has taken me to the four corners of the world, into No10 Downing Street and working for the King.  I was brought up in a Yorkshire mining village and fell into public relations by accident. How much stronger could our profession become by increasing the number of recruits from our rural towns and villages, our deprived urban centres?

 “What better time for us to look to different places – our nations and English regions –  to build a more resilient and progressive industry? This is how we become a genuine global leader and I urge everyone to take part.”