Whitney Murray Insight Pulse reveals what’s top of Comms & IR leaders’ Christmas lists this year…

Tuesday 14th December 2021, in the latest Whitney Murray Insight Pulse, developed in partnership with The Pulse Business, 29% of UK-based Communications & IR leaders say finding the next superstars for their team is top priority with 26% singling out their sustainability strategy as demanding attention.

One Agency CEO with regional offices across the UK explained the superstar conundrum, “We are turning down work at the moment because we don’t have capacity within the team. We’re not a sweat shop so I’d rather focus on those we employ and keep them happy and hope that a few superstars join us in the New Year”

An in-house Communications Director shared their concerns around acting now in terms of climate change – “The planet could be on its last legs – something needs to change and sustainability is one topic that should be pushed more.”

One in five (21%) remain preoccupied with increasing shareholder value through effective communication. An Agency CEO running a fast track Agency based around an employee-owned share model, said – “Our business is owned by our team. Next year we need to be more profitable. We invested heavily in talent, support, training and marketing and we need to improve profit margins.”

A little over one in ten (12%) say their focus is on keeping their existing staff happy and engaged, especially in light of the pandemic with one Senior Comms leader offering – “People need more investment than ever after the past two years, especially the young who have had such a (bad) time of it.”

Rebecca Murray, Managing Director of Whitney Murray observed, “This a candidate led market for the first time in many years. We are seeing organisations working hard to retain their top talent. Companies are respecting out of office time, offering more unpaid holiday and embracing a fully flexible working week. In addition, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find and attract talent. There is a shortage of individuals who have experience of sustainability, corporate governance and broad marcomms skills.”

Two final observations sat with a couple of in-house leaders who yearn for a return to normality – “Boringly there are too many things on my Christmas list, but if anything it would be a return to normal working patterns,” coupled with an post pandemic aspiration from this Director who hopes we will see – “Increase(d) levels of respect and consideration – between individuals and between organisations.”

The Whitney Murray Insight Pulse ran from November 26th 2021 to December 10th 2021. The sample size was c750 Communications leaders based in the UK.

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