This fortnight in PR (16 September)

About the author

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

National mourning

  • Adam Fisher: Did you really need to tweet that? How brands reacted to the death of Queen Elizabeth II (13 September)
    ‘Food brands have seemed particularly keen to post tributes. Pizza Express, Heinz, Greggs and Domino’s were just a few of those that shared their condolences. Less than an hour after the official announcement, Domino’s said: “Everyone at Domino’s joins the nation and the world in mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Royal Family.”

Public relations and misinformation

  • Ella Minty: If Pigs Could Fly… (4 September)
    ‘Tier One media coverage requires news that is absolutely extraordinary, such as a NASA launch, aliens landing, a new vaccine against all Covid strains, Ukraine regaining its territory back from Russia, Her Majesty’s demise and so on.’
  • Grace Carruthers: The role of PR in an age of misinformation (2 September)
    ‘Historically, it was journalists who were relied upon to ask the difficult questions and provide a balanced viewpoint – but increasingly, they’re no longer regarded as a neutral source.’

Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Amie Pascoe: How and why comms people need to shout about sustainability right now (14 September)
    ‘Although some believe that the PR industry should ghost or cancel any organisation that still provides fossil fuels, for others – those that ‘know’ – it’s clear that this is impractical, short-sighted and shows a lack of understanding of the realities of the energy transition.’
  • Lucy Walton: Systems Thinking (no date)
    ‘The past two years we have been exposed to rapidly changing circumstances.  The pandemic, record inflation, and now the energy crisis.  Our ability to see the bigger picture will prepare us for the next big challenge – whatever that may be.’

Consulting, skills and careers

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere 

  • Simon Jones: My survivor’s guide for a new Secretary of State (6 September)
    ‘Find the right, trustworthy team of advisers specialising in the three key skillsets you need – a policy expert in your new brief, an established MP handler and a seasoned media operator. These people have the potential to be your only true friends as they truly share in the responsibility to make your time in office a blazing success.’
  • Matthew Elliott and Andrew McQuillan: “We will deliver, we will deliver, we will deliver”: Liz Truss wins Conservative leadership race (no date)
    ‘It was testament to the savvy of the advisers around Truss that they were able to turn their candidate – from a comparative straggler and poor performer in the first debate and parliamentary voting – into a plausible leadership contender. Her resonance with the membership’s core instincts and her lack of involvement in the defenestration of Boris Johnson were decisive factors.’

Organisations and internal communication

  • Jenni Field: How can we get people to step up, take responsibility and get shit done? (15 September)
    ‘If people aren’t getting stuff done or aren’t taking responsibility, there must be consequences. Whatever comfort level there is in the organisation, there has to be something. This is key really. If people aren’t doing what you need them to do and you aren’t managing that effectively, nothing will change.
  • Martin Flegg: What’s that got to do with internal communication? (6 September)
    ‘It dismays me when I come across internal communicators grappling with thorny issues such as wellbeing, ESG, organisational development and DEI when their organisations have given them absolutely nothing tangible to work with, because there is no real or deep commitment from the organisation to address these issues properly.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Amber Lovell Dykes: Twitter Tweaks Typos (5 September)
    ‘Twitter recently announced the new Edit Tweet feature. However, there’s a catch. It will only be available to Twitter Blue subscribers later in the month. Sorry, United Kingdom. The subscription service is currently only available in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.’
  • Saiansha Panangipalli: How to successfully pitch stories to broadcast media (Radio & TV) (2 September)
    ‘Coverage in broadcast media is the Holy Grail for any PR expert. But pitching to producers and reporters can be a mammoth task, given the frantic deadlines and ever-changing news agenda.’