CharityComms publishes wellbeing guide for PR staff

Written by the digital communications specialist Kirsty Marrins, it offers tips for maintaining good mental health in an 'always-on' culture

The charity communications body CharityComms has released a wellbeing guide for PR staff and warned of the risks of adopting an "always-on" culture.

The guide, which was written by the digital communications specialist Kirsty Marrins, offers a range of tips for maintaining good mental health, improving team support, developing personal resilience and putting in place strategies for staff wellbeing.

Marrins said social media had created a culture in which people are always available and expected to respond instantly, which she said was a downside to social media’s ability to increase engagement with supporters and beneficiaries.

"Social media has been a wonderful way for organisations to market themselves and build relationships with their followers, but with it comes a lot of expectation," she said.

"People expect a response on Twitter within an hour, for example, and it's this 'always-on' culture that can really start to have an impact on wellbeing."

The guide also highlights the spate of recent charity communications crises that begin online, such as the NSPCC’s experience when it distanced itself from a relationship with the transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf.

These crises show that social media managers are often the "front line" and first point of contact for members of the public, the guide says.

"Social media also offers a degree of anonymity and people can become 'keyboard warriors'; saying things online that they would probably never say in person," said Marrins.

"As the person having to read angry, hurtful or abusive messages, this can take its toll – particularly if you don't have support in place to share how you're feeling. And it's not just social media; it's all comms roles."

A version of this story first appeared on Third Sector’s sister publication PR Week.

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