PR pros speak out on their biggest lockdown challenges

by | May 6, 2020 | Analysis, Covid-19, Public Relations

“Lack of motivation, clients pressing pause and a changing media landscape”—how coronavirus is hitting PR pros.

We recently asked PR professionals to share how their careers were being affected by the coronavirus. Here are some of the responses we received. Thanks to everyone who got in touch.

A changing media landscape

“A lot of our local mags and papers have furloughed staff. I’ve seen one monthly mag move online only, another move to bi-monthly and a third close altogether after 25 years. These are all local business publications that we do a lot with. It’s such a shame. I understand it’s a similar position with lots of the London/national press.”

“With more journalists and editors working from home, it’s harder to get people on the phone than ever before (and it could be hard before!).”

“It’s been really tough, the media landscape has just totally shifted. However, a silver lining has been that I’m now getting global coverage for my clients which they could never have imagined getting before.”

“No one seems to want to cover anything that’s not corona-related.”

“There seems to be widespread contradiction. I’ve seen journalists claiming their audiences want non-corona-related or escapism, then publish or tell us the opposite! I think both sides are dealing with similar challenges.”

“A number of journalists that I have built great relationships with have been furloughed.”

Lack of motivation

“Controversial one from me—my biggest challenge in lockdown is motivation and getting past thoughts of ‘the world is screwed, why on earth does this stuff matter’.”

“It’s really hard to focus at the moment and my ability to write quickly and efficiently has been affected.”

“I have found it difficult getting clients motivated enough to respond quickly to opportunities. Sometimes it’s not just lack of motivation but that their hours have been cut. The usual ‘machine’ or the pace has slowed down a lot which can make getting results harder.”

Work from home

“When working from home, it’s so much easier to get distracted by children, partner, pets and things to do at home. I’m not as focused or as productive.”

“Boundaries have been an interesting one for me. It’s possibly just pressure I’m putting on myself or an imagined problem but I’m feeling like I have to respond to every query doubly quickly because I’m at home so what else am I doing!”


Clients pressing pause

“Clients nervous to say anything in case it’s seen as crass in these times means some are paralyzed with indecision and for them the easiest thing to do is just pause the PR.”

“A number of clients have sadly pressed pause on PR due to the very obvious circumstances.”

School closures

“The reality for me and many other PRs is that schools closing is the biggest ‘hit’ to my ability to work. Not only do you have to manage / look after kids—you are expected to home school them.”

A version of this post originally appeared on the CMG Communications blog; reprinted with permission.

Chanelle McGarry
Chanelle McGarry is Digital PR Consultant at CMG Communications, based in Cornwall, UK.