“The Pandemic Is Exacerbating Staff Shortages”: PR Industry Calls Out For New Workers

“The Pandemic Is Exacerbating Staff Shortages”: PR Industry Calls Out For New Workers
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The PR industry is in need of experienced staff, with a decrease in incoming international workers and a rebounding economy contributing to a talent shortage.

With many businesses already searching for new ways to reach customers and stakeholders, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant talented PRs are now in high demand.

Leigh McClusky, the President of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) confirmed the shortage.

“Good talent is always hard to find and with no influx from overseas, the pandemic is exacerbating staff shortages,” she said.

Good Talent Media has experienced this demand first-hand, having grown from three to 12 staff in the past 14 months. Its client list has grown seven-fold and they have experienced 340 per cent growth since the start of the pandemic.

“For companies and organisations to remain viable, it’s imperative to keep the lines of communication open to ensure their ongoing success,” said Tony Nicholls, Founder and Director of Good Talent Media. “Things can change quickly in this COVID environment and disruptions to business can have a significant impact on operations.

“Product availability, changes to service, lockdowns and supply chain updates are just some of the aspects that businesses need to communicate to ensure they run smoothly and profitably. We’ve also seen an exponential increase in the need for crisis communications, another specialty knowledge base in short supply.”

Nicholls said ex-journalists are well placed to step into some of these communications roles, especially given widespread job cuts in recent years.

“2020 was a record year for journalism job losses with up to 1000 newsroom jobs gone and a similar figure lost in related media roles,” he says. “It’s a crying shame to lose so much talent, but journalists are a great fit for the PR Communications industry and most of Good Talent Media’s staff are ex-journos, so we ‘get it.’”

Good Talent Media operates primarily in the not-for-profit and peak body spaces which require specialised expertise in how to impact debates and articulate policy changes that can influence funding and operational outcomes.

Commtract, a digital platform that connects skilled communication, marketing, creative and digital experts with jobs across Australia and New Zealand, has also experienced a significant uptick in new roles with jobs quickly snapped up.

“We have nearly 5000 experts on our platform and there has been growing traction across the board in contract, permanent, part time and project work,” said Zachary Werakso from Commtract. “We are seeing increased demand client side, and roles are filling quickly across corporate, government, consumer, industry organisations and agencies.

“It’s testament to our rebounding economy and how our country has handled the pandemic,” said Nicholls. “With the borders closed, we don’t have access to skilled overseas workers, so it’s a great opportunity for Aussies looking for work.”

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