PR’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19, FURLOUGH AND REDUNDANCY

If l you have lost your job or have been furloughed as a result of COVID-19, you might be worrying about when the market will ‘bounce back. Dan Freedman former BBC news reporter & Tech PR, thought he’d try to get to the heart of the story and interview BoldMove’s Julia Fenwick for her insight.

Julia Fenwick: Sadly, it is pretty quiet at the moment, I think there are a few little tiny green shoots, which is positive, but it’s been, I think it was about 17th of March, it literally fell off a cliff, especially in the comms world. And I think a lot of that was around panic. You know, what are we gonna do? Where are we gonna go? What’s gonna happen? And it’s been pretty much like that since. Obviously, there’s been furlough, all these different approaches, and I think everybody’s still working out what they’re doing. So sadly, not quite as buoyant as we’d all like.

Dan Freedman: And when you speak to candidates and when you speak to companies, what are they telling you in terms of how they’re managing this period?

JF: Well, companies, I think they’re not even exactly sure how they’re managing or what they’re going to do because they’ve got the one side that’s trying to be business as normal. So the staff that they haven’t got furloughed or working from home, all coming together on Zoom meetings every day, and so a lot of it is still business as normal for clients that have got ongoing comms’s work, but then there’s a huge bunch of furloughed staff as well who are sort of on the periphery, coming in occasionally for catch-ups, that kind of thing. And then sadly, already, there have been redundancies, and then you’ve got… They’re trying to manage what will happen to the furloughed staff when furloughing finishes. So there are a range of things going on. And I think that companies are trying to keep business as normal as possible. Also trying to keep their clients happy because who knows what’s gonna happen with some of them, they don’t know what the client’s plans are. Who would have thought Coca Cola would decide to stop all UK marcomms for this? So nobody knows quite what their clients are going to do. So it’s all a bit up in the air.