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PUBLIC RELATIONS

State of the African PR industry comes under the spotlight in Lusaka

By our News Team | 2023

Report highlights a shift in priorities for PR activities in the past two years, with crisis management taking over as the highest priority.

The African Public Relations Association (APRA) and Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) have jointly released their report on the state of the African PR sector. 

The study, entitled ‘The State of Ethics and the Public Relations Industry in Africa 2023’, is based on a survey conducted across 21 African countries with 274 respondents.

Public Relations

Illustration courtesy of APRA and PRCA

Its release coincides with the African Association of Public Relations Annual Conference, taking place in Lusaka, Zambia from 16-19 May. The theme of this year´s conference is ‘Creative Africa: Exploring the PR potential of Africa as an emerging economic and reputation powerhouse’.

The report highlights a shift in priorities for PR activities in the past two years, with crisis management (44%) taking over from digital and social media (40%) as the highest priority. 

Reputation management (42%) is also considered to be a high priority. Ethics management (16%), sales promotion (14%) and event planning (14%) have decreased in importance due to the impact of Covid-19 and the shift towards digitisation.

The joint research also found that training and development in communication strategy development (59%), reputation management (51%), crisis management (42%), and ethics management (41%) are highly recommended in the region. 

Respondents also expressed a strong interest in training sessions on the Metaverse, highlighting the importance of keeping up with contemporary matters such as artificial intelligence.

Summary of key findings:

  • Most respondents work within an organisation that has between two to five employees (17%), followed by 11 to 15 people (15%).
  • Communications strategy development (61%) is the most common response for the main function of PR practitioners’ roles.
  • Crisis management has taken over from digital and social media as the highest priority, with a 10% decrease compared to last year.
  • Ethics management, sales promotion, and events planning have decreased in importance.
  • Flexible working and remote working are valued only 14% and 10% of the time, respectively.
  • A total of 46% of respondents reported working in a hybrid model; 34% are in the office full time, while 17% are fully remote.

At the opening day of the conference, Global Alliance´s President and CEO, Justin Green, presented the opening remarks, while the President of the Republic of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema, extended his appreciation and acknowledgement to delegates, ministers and international association presidents.

The opening was carried live on Zambian TV by broadcaster ZNBC.