This fortnight in PR (10 June)

About the author

Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

It happened this fortnight

  • Queen’s birthday honours list: Catherine Anne Giel, previously communications and stakeholder relations director for LLWR Ltd, has received an MBE for services to the nuclear industry and to West Cumbria; BEMs were awarded to Leanne Barnett, deputy director strategic communications and engagement in the Police Service of Northern Ireland for services to policing; and to Helen Bedford-Gray, trustee and communications and fundraising manager at FOP Friends for services to people living with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva and their families.
  • Huntsworth has rebranded its comms division – which includes Grayling, Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Red and Cirkle – as Accordience. Grayling’s global chief executive Sarah Scholefield becomes Accordience CEO (source: PR Week).
  • CIPR Excellence Awards 2022: here are the winners.

Profession

  • Emma Drake: The big myth about PR and comms pros [podcast] (9 June)
    ‘Project management and being able to plan are an essential part of being a comms pro. We need to be able to prioritise, evaluate and make decisions in order to plan our comms effectively.’
  • Dan Holden: 2022 State of the Public Relations Profession (6 June)
    ‘Mental health was identified as the biggest challenge facing practitioners for the second year running.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Competence, growing pains, and talent turmoil highlighted by CIPR report (6 June)
    ‘LinkedIn data reported by Wadds Inc. showed 87,000 practitioners working in public relations in the UK in December 2021. Today that number is 99,000. More than half of organisations are struggling to recruit, including 78% of those working to recruit in agencies and consultancies.’
  • Stuart Bruce: What does the CIPR’s State of the Profession really tell us? (6 June)
    ‘Given that 27% of respondents see labour/skills shortage as being one of the main challenges it’s shocking that training ranks so low on the list of what organisations are doing to fill vacancies. ’
  • Amanda Coleman: PR at a crossroads (5 June)
    ‘The PR and communication profession has a lot to offer as a career, as part of society, and as a support to business development. It is clear from the CIPR State of the Profession Report 2022 that we are at a crossroads which may define how things progress in the future.’
  • Jon Gerlis: Demand for PR needs to be met with more investment in talent (1 June 2022)
    ‘The [CIPR] research shows the industry is thriving and at a point of rapid expansion. Across all organisation types, teams are growing. This is true of in-house teams, in the public sector, and particularly within agencies and consultancies where 73 per cent of those with recruitment responsibilities report vacancies.’
  • Simon Neville: How the comms industry has evolved in the 70 years since the Queen took the throne (31 May)
    ‘Money was awash in the 1980s and privatised companies had the capacity to spend heavily on agencies and advisors to beat the competition – the UK PR industry had truly arrived.’

Purpose and ESG

  • Amelia Beale: Tesla veers off the S&P 500 ESG Index (9 June)
    ‘In classic Elon Musk fashion, the Tesla CEO took to Twitter to criticise S&P over its decision, tweeting “ESG is a scam”. He points to the fact that oil major, Exxon Mobil, remains firmly on the Index, being rated in the top ten best in the world for ESG by S&P 500, whilst Tesla – a company who has actively provided an alternative to gas-guzzling cars – is not.’
  • Gareth Jones: This month in Pensions: How to manage the ESG backlash (9 June)
    ‘Perhaps the other key theme of the past month has been the intensifying debate over ESG investing – as evidenced by our own media data, which shows the topic saw the greatest increase in volume of media stories over the past month. There has been a noticeable backlash against ESG in certain quarters – among both policymakers and those in the investment community.’
  • Elisabeth Cowell: Sexism and the City (27 May)
    ‘[Amanda] Blanc believes the abuse she faced will have repercussions for how [AGMs] are conducted in the future and was quoted as saying that “it is not right for somebody to be criticised for their gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.” So watch this space – change is afoot.

Consulting, teams and careers

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Rachel Roberts: Take pride in celebrating or being an ally for the LGBTQ+ community (1 June)
    ‘The right way to get involved in Pride should start with the understanding of why your organisation is getting involved. Remember that Pride is about showing your support for a community that, even now, can face prejudice and hatred – so it must be about supporting people and showing that you’re an ally, not as a marketing activity.’

Public and third sectors

  • Paul Cullen: World Asthma Day, Mental Health Awareness Week & RHS Chelsea (1 June)
    ‘I returned to where my charity career began – and one of my favourite jobs ever with my favourite people – when I was asked back to the #RNLI to work with them on this year’s #RHSChelseaFlowerShow.’
  • Ross Wigham: Chair’s blog: 5 thoughts from the NHS comms leads network (29 May)
    ‘The NHS has been the main story on nightly news bulletins and on the front pages for more than two years. People clapped in the streets for the NHS but now the agenda has moved on. The problems around accessing care and the headlines around NHS performance are starting to erode confidence and damage public perception.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere 

  • Chris White: PM focuses on housing and cost of living for his relaunch (9 June)
    ‘The main focus of the speech was the flagship announcement that lower-paid workers will newly be allowed to use housing benefits to make mortgage payments, as well as extending right to buy for housing association tenants.’
  • Robert Quartly-Janeiro and Stuart Thomson: Is Public Affairs set to boom in an uncertain world? (9 June)
    ‘The ability to connect with politicians of all colours and persuasions is paramount to help good ideas to flourish in uncertain times. If the fears of attendees to the World Economic Forum do materialise then the role for public affairs increases.’
  • Robyn Evans: Wounded and weakened PM faces uncertain political future (7 June)
    ‘The biggest threat to Johnson’s premiership would be a series of resignations by ministers. Whilst there is no sign of this happening yet, loyalties could soon change in the days ahead amid rumours that some Cabinet ministers voted against him in the ballot.’
  • Laura Sears: The political history of Pride (7 June)
    ‘This year is particularly important as it marks the 50th anniversary of the first UK Pride march, celebrated in honour of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, often recognised as a major catalyst for LGBTQ+ liberation movements globally.’
  • Max Sugarman: 10 reasons to sign up for the UK Lobbying Register (6 June)
    ‘Unlike the Government’s statutory register, which is only for consultant lobbyists, the UKLR is open to all. Whether you’re inhouse, freelance or agency-based, you can register. And you don’t have to be a CIPR member to sign up.’
  • Harry Brown and Tom Haynes: The Queen: 70 years of diplomacy, trade and global Britain (31 May)
    ‘Perhaps Her Majesty’s biggest international achievement, and her most crucial legacy, has been helping to establish the Commonwealth and making it fit for purpose in the modern world.’

Research, measurement and evaluation

  • Kat Harrison-Dibbits: 6 free tools for PR monitoring and evaluation (31 May)
    ‘We’re really blessed in the arts to have good insight into our audiences – so use it! I highly recommend both the Audience Agency’s Audience Finder and Morris Hargreaves Macintyre’s Culture Segments. Once you’ve identified your audience segment you can tally campaign activity to what we know that audience particularly likes.’

Reputation and risk

Behaviour and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: US proposes crackdown on influencers (31 May)
    ‘In the U.S. the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering changes to tighten its guidelines around influencers who fail to effectively identify their sponsored content.’

Internal communication

  • Katie Macaulay with Martin Flegg: Releasing your inner sceptic [podcast] (8 June)
    ‘How did I get into internal comms from being a tax inspector? And that was probably because I wasn’t a very good tax inspector, I suppose. But what I was good at doing was writing.’
  • Jenni Field: A model for internal communication strategy and planning (8 June)
    ‘I outline my model in the first chapter of my book, Influential Internal Communication. I’ve used this in every organisation I’ve worked in, where I’ve set up a communications function. Essentially, it’s all about ensuring output is aligned to data.’
  • Calm Edged Rebels: Why stakeholders make or break business change [podcast] (27 May)
    ‘Because change is a constant, it needs to be looked at differently. It used to be a change programme, but now it’s change-normal.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Dan Slee: APP STATS: UK social media statistics for 2022 (9 June)
    ‘Leading the pack is Facebook & Messenger. The ever-resilient platform is the most popular in the UK with 46.8 million users which is the equivalent of 68 per cent of the population. Periodically, there are campaigns against Facebook and often with good reason. Data would say they’ve not had much impact.’
  • Paul Sutton with Antonia Taylor: How to be yourself on social media [podcast] (8 June)
    ‘I went onto Instagram to see if it would work for B2B brands. It showed me what was possible for personal branding. I use a different tone of voice from LinkedIn.’
  • Michael White: The deception of bots and social status (7 June)
    ‘To understand why Twitter has a bot problem, we need to look back to the earlier days of social media.’