Global PR community rallies to help Ukraine government comms

More than 150 comms agency owners, alongside in-house teams and freelancers, have volunteered to help the Ukrainian government in its communications following Russia’s invasion of the country.

Members of the Ukranian community protest at the attack by Russia on Ukraine opposite Downing Street on 25 February in London (photo by Jenny Matthews /In Pictures via Getty Images)

The founder of a Ukraine-based PR agency, who asked to not be named, and her colleagues are volunteering for the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are helping to engage with the global comms industry.

PRCA director-general Francis Ingham has been helping to co-ordinate the volunteers.

The unnamed agency founder said: “Today we have more than 150 global agencies who are ready to help us globally.

“We realise all our responsibilities for distributing and sharing the transparent information with the world. Because one of the Russian weapon in this war is disinformation. We hope together we can tell the truth for all the world.”

Ingham, who is acting in a personal capacity, said in-house teams and agencies “across all continents” have agreed to help.

“Standing with Ukraine requires more than words. It requires action. And the world PR community is taking that action right now, combatting the lies of the Russian state and its puppets,” he stated.

A link to a media kit with the main messages about the situation in Ukraine and support sources can be accessed here.

The founder of the Ukrainian agency said in a statement: “Today we have a war, that was started against us, the Ukrainians and our land Ukraine, by Russian aggressor. This is a hybrid war: the mix of bloodily struggling fight with a huge disinformation and fake campaign lead by Russia.

“From the first hour of war, we decided to join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help them distribute the official sources to show the truth. Without any fake headlines, that sharing Russia. They call this war like a special operation to demilitarise and denationalise the Ukrainian nation. But in fact it’s a bloody war, that was started by Russia full of fury and falseness.

“All over international clients and partners are supporting us since the war started. Each of them worries are we safely.”

Separately, another group, formed on Saturday evening, is also co-ordinating with the Ukrainian government to offer pro-bono support. The PR Cavalry, which matches freelancers with employers, and the Association of Freelance PRs are among those involved.

Pablo O’Hana, founder of comms agency Apostrophe Campaigns, who is one of about 30 volunteers with the group at the time of writing, said: “We are working to disseminate official information through influential channels (using our clients and networks to expand this), fact-checking and enforcing key messages about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We are also working with the Ministry and its partners to seek media opportunities, verify sources and materials and assist in any area we are specialised in.

“There are so many people here in the UK and around the world who feel helpless, so we are in the very early stages… but people are volunteering all sorts of skills. For example, we specialise in political communications (we look after high-level UK, US and European politicians and political parties), so we have volunteered anything we can help with on that front, along with PR, media, comms, fact-checking, graphic design, videography, digital/social media etc – everyone has offered what they can. It’s just one small way for PR/comms people to put our skills, knowledge and networks to good use.”