The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) released results from their recent survey, which revealed distressing times for the region’s communications profession. The survey polled 72 organisations in early April to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the Middle East PR industry and the issues affecting MEPRA members.
The survey, which will be run every six weeks to monitor the state of the industry revealed:
- 53% of respondents will see a significant decrease in projects and activity in Q2, 2020
- 66% of respondents believe the PR industry will be “Hit hard with potential big business consequences”
- More than 60% of total respondents have a negative outlook for their business, for the rest of 2020
- 63% of agency respondents and around 40% of in-house respondents say they will see a significant decrease in projects and activity for Q2, 2020
- 41% of respondents are considering redundancies to mitigate the business impact of COVID-19
- 31% of private sector in-house comms respondents have already made redundancies, followed by 23% of agency respondents and 10% of government or semi-government
MEPRA Chair Jonty Summers said:
“We know from speaking a great number of practitioners in the PR community across the GCC over the past few weeks that many have been undergoing torrid times. The optimism that typically categorises our peer group has been replaced by much confusion and uncertainty. The extent of this distress is clear from this survey. However, the responses allow all of us to have more informed conversations about these issues as we move beyond the current situation. I suspect all of our community face a changed existence – not just of the way we work, but of the way we live our lives. We are fortunate in the public relations community to be surrounded by many people with many wonderful qualities which can be a source of strength and inspiration. In these times of uncertainty and disrupted working, the more informed we are, and the more we take strength from our community. the better we will be to get through these trying times.”
MEPRA has been hosting free online training, webinars and also providing free resources and support materials to assist member organisations through this time. Free webinars and training have included; Inspirational Communication Through COVID-19 and Tourism’s Perth to Recovery with Hill+Knowlton Strategies, How to Start a Brand Podcast with markettiers MENA and Navigating the law with COVID-19, with Support Legal UAE and Acorn Strategies. Upcoming free webinars include Crisis Communications Best Practice with Hanover Middle East and Mental Wellbeing with Mindful ME.
To view the findings from the MEPRA COVID-19 Business Impact Survey and to find out more about MEPRA’s free webinars, training and support, visit www.mepra.org/covid-19