The future is hybrid: New PRCA MENA Census uncovers trends in region’s PR professions
Less than a fifth of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) PR and communication professionals (16%) expect to return to the traditional five-day office week post-Covid, according to the new MENA PR and Communications Census 2021.
Nearly three in five (59%) of the region’s PR practitioners plan to split their time between home-based and office-based working, the study finds, while 12% plan to work remotely permanently, leaving 13% undecided.
The Census is published by PRCA MENA, the regional arm of the world’s largest professional PR body. Other editions are published by the PRCA in the UK, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.
Commenting in the report on the issue of hybrid working arrangements, PRCA member Mandip Dulay, MPRCA MCIM, Co-Founder, COO Network and CEO, Impact.me Group, said: “Hybrid working has been in place for several years, with the rise of the gig economy. Lots of us have now adapted to this new way of working and living, which provides balance and agility and can enable improved wellbeing and productivity. Hybrid is the way forward.”
On the same topic, Alex Malouf MPRCA, Corporate Communications Director MEA, Schneider Electric, wrote: “There’s a question mark around whether people will get to retain flexible working arrangements going forward. My hope is that many employers will see the benefits of retaining these working arrangements, especially in government where we need good comms people.”
Other findings of the study include:
- A narrow majority (52%) of practitioners said they thought their company’s performance in promoting women to leadership positions was ‘good’ or ‘very good’
- When asked specifically about promoting women in their own organisation, the number rose to 64%
- Only around a third (36%) of MENA PR professionals said they got a pay rise in the last year, while just a quarter (24%) got a bonus
- There have been redundancies across the region during the pandemic – 49% of respondents said their firm had made people redundant since March 2020, with another 16% saying they were unsure whether this had happened
- However, the proportion of staff affected was less than 10% in the majority of companies in which redundancies were made (68%)
- The vast majority (91%) of respondents have been to university, and a large majority (72%) said that one of their parents had also been through higher education
PRCA MENA General Manager Hayley Clements says: “It has been quite an extraordinary couple of years, both in this region and globally, thanks to COVID-19 and the political, social and economic challenges it has posed. The pandemic has affected us all in different ways, whether personal or professional, and I certainly hope that we have now seen the worst of those impacts. I hope that this report’s findings and the comments gathered from leading practitioners across the region, prove useful as you look ahead to 2022.”
PRCA Director-General Francis Ingham MPRCA says: “The PRCA’s various Census reports are an important part of our mission to both understand and tackle the issues facing our members and the wider profession in every region in which we operate. Professional and ethical communication has never been more important to business and society, and I am proud of the work the PRCA does to support that.”
Report available in both English & Arabic.
The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body.
We represent more than 35,000 PR professionals in 82 countries worldwide. With offices in London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, and Buenos Aires, we are a global advocate for excellence in public relations.
Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous PR industry. We champion – and enforce – professional standards around the world through our Professional Charter and Code of Conduct. The Code compels members to adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice.
We deliver exceptional training, authoritative industry data, and global networking, and development opportunities.
We also manage the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) – the umbrella body for 41 PR associations and 3,000 agencies across the world, and LG Comms – the UK’s national body for local government communicators. Additionally, we support the delivery of the Motor Industry Communicators Association (MICA).