Support for members of the Public Relations Industry

Support for public relations practitioners during the current pandemic can be found both among our professional bodies – the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the PRCA, as well as on Government websites. We have a provided a number of links below. Also, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists has provided some excellent fact sheets for those working alone from home as well as offering advice to small businesses. Both these fact sheets can be found by clicking here Mental Health For Members of the CIPR the iprovision Mental Health Hotline provides members with instant access to accredited counsellors as well as support for those with personal, legal and financial difficulties. The 24/7, 365 days a year hotline is run by Health Assured, the UK and Ireland’s largest independent employee assistance programme (EAP) provider, and provides CIPR members with access to a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) trained and accredited counsellor. Legal Support The COVID-19 outbreak is likely to provide operational and legal challenges for PR businesses, particularly freelancers. The PRCA is offering its legal helpline - operated by Lewis Silkin - to all PR professionals free of charge.  Please call 0207 074 8000 for support.    PR Freelancers The PR Cavalry, partners in the PRCA Freelancer Matchmaker Portal have agreed to make their services free of charge for three months for any freelancer who is shortlisted for work using The PR Cavalry platform before 30th April. The PR Cavalry is already free to clients to hire freelancers using their service which matches employers to flexible talent based on the relevance of their sector knowledge and experience. Freelancers normally pay a 10% commission for work finding them that is right in their sweet spot but to help freelancers and to stimulate the market, for three months from the date of being hired, The PR Cavalry will waive their commission. To access this service, email Volunteering during the virus pandemic Deputy and Past Master Gavin Ellwood’s company Ellwood Atfield have created a PR “dating site: to allow PR professionals to volunteer for  health and social care organisations in desperate need of communications support. United Nations The UN has put out a call to creatives to help get the message out: Global COVID-19 Communications Taskforce The PRCA is assembling a team of senior professionals from across the world to help PR professionals deal with the impact of Covid-19. The PRCA wants to hear from experienced practitioners interested in working on:

  • Global advocacy of the need for the PR function to play a leading role in all planning, preparedness and response efforts

  • Fast-shifting work-from-home and virtual models that PR professionals must embrace for themselves and assist other stakeholders in embracing as well

  • Communicating for the mental health and well-being of the public in unprecedented, uncertain times

  • Key crisis-response and best-practice guidance for all communications disciplines  

  • Collecting and reporting industry data pertaining to Covid-19 and its impact on role of PR professionals.  

UK Government advice and assistance For advice on employment and financial support:

For business support government guidelines and advice is available here For general advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) click here Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. As you will probably know, those suffering from particularly serious health conditions are being asked to shield themselves from outside contact for 12 weeks. Details of those who are being asked to do so are here.

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