Liz Truss has faced widespread criticism over her communication failures as markets have crashed in the wake of her “mini-budget”.
However, the PR industry’s trade body has said FTSE 100 companies are also falling short on communications, in warning the UK’s top firms lack comms expertise at senior levels.
Research by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) shows only half (52 per cent) of FTSE 100 companies have a dedicated communications or corporate affairs expert in their executive management teams.
The lobby group warned a lack of communications expertise in boardrooms leaves the UK’s top 100 companies at risk of reputational damage in an age of rolling, twenty-four-hour news.
CIPR chief executive Alastair McCapra said: “Companies without a senior, dedicated communications figure risk playing reputational roulette and leaving themselves exposed at a time of unparalleled challenge.”
The trade body noted that by contrast, 80 per cent of FTSE 100 firms have a dedicated HR professional on their boards.
The CIPR’s research comes as trust in the media and the PR industry has plummeted to all-time lows.
The PR industry in particular has faced scrutiny over allegations of greenwashing surrounding the alleged part it has played in obfuscating the public’s understanding of climate change.
The sector also faced scrutiny over the work they have carried out for Russian oligarchs, in a shift that saw the UK government ban PR firms from working with Russian clients following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
McCapra warned the UK’s top companies could find themselves on the front pages of newspapers “in the space of an incredibly short period” as the CIPR argued firms are likely to face mounting scrutiny as the country heads into an economic downturn.
“The companies in our survey are some of the most scrutinised on earth given their size and, undoubtedly, reputation will be on their boardroom agenda,” McCapra said.