Public relations profession drives call for more social impact suppliers

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The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Council has launched a new drive to uncover suppliers with a positive social impact.
20 Aug, 2020

Charities, community business and social enterprises have been invited to apply to become part of a new social impact supplier directory for the sector.

The directory will provide social enterprises, charities and community businesses who could offer services and products to PR and communications agencies and in-house teams an easy way to market their offer.

Organisations can apply online by completing a brief form at:

Once this form has been completed, a member of the PRCA Council will contact organisations to briefly assess their credentials before the Directory is finalised by the end of 2020. The deadline for applications is Friday 18th September 2020.

Simon Francis, Chair of the PRCA Council and Founder Member of social enterprise Campaign Collective, commented: “One of the priorities for the Council this year is to improve the social impact of our profession’s supply chain.

“A really simple way of doing this is using more charities, community businesses and social enterprises to provide venues, goods and services to professionals working in PR and communications.”

According to PRCA data, more than 95,000 people are employed in the profession and the sector is worth 14.9bn to the UK economy. The supply chain to the profession ranges from merchandise and printing to venue hire, catering and office supplies and services.

The first ever analysis of the social impact of PR and communications agencies in 2019 revealed that 80% of practitioners have helped meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their work yet just 17% had used social enterprises in their supply chain.

Francis Ingham, Director General of the PRCA added: “The social impact of PR is hugely important, but hardly talked about. From the impact of campaigns on target audiences to hiring more PR apprentices and encouraging workforce diversity, the communications industry can have a hugely positive role to play in the world.”

Sarah Clarke, Head of Membership at CharityComms, said: “The charity and non-profit sector offers a wide range of services, such as venue hire or courses and training on everything from team building and mental health first aid to diversity and digital skills. By using charities to fulfil their supplier needs, companies can play a vital role in making a positive social impact.”

Charlotte Cassedanne, Head of Communications at Power to Change, the independent trust that supports community businesses, said: “There are thousands of community spaces across the country that can be used for everything from coworking, to casual meetings or inspirational away days. The food is always excellent and it’s great to know your money is being reinvested directly back into that community.

“There are also cooperatives that offer brand services, community businesses that can deliver events and design agencies that are social enterprises.”