This week in PR (1 April)

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.

My happy place 💙 @sophie_ogg on Instagram
My happy place 💙 @sophie_ogg on Instagram

It happened this week

Virtual events

Please check out our PR Calendar and send us links to your events.

  • Sarah Weston: How to make your online event a success (30 March)
    Today, there are hundreds of virtual platforms available, so finding the right platform is the first step. You need to spend time researching the right solution, exploring the features and benefits of each platform to see which is the perfect fit for your event. The platform is your venue and, whilst you might not have to worry about the travel logistics, you still need to consider your audience journey.’

Academic and education


Ethics, sustainability and professionalism 

Corporate and financial

  • Elisabeth Steyn: Disruption by Data (29 March)
    ‘ESG (for want of a better term) is nothing new.  Distilled, it’s simply hard-to-define, hard-to-capture information.  It’s everything that could affect your company but which cannot be reduced to a single metric.  What is new is the fact we finally have the technology to (begin to) track complex causality patterns at scale.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Katie Finn: Collaboration, communication and consideration: How to navigate the world of hybrid work (31 March)
    ‘It’s clear from both the media conversation and the panel discussion that there isn’t a silver bullet that can fully mitigate proximity bias. However, by communicating with team members, considering their perspectives and circumstances, and leveraging technology to collaborate, we can help ensure hybrid working is a success.’
  • Jane Wilson and Joanna Wells: The two-faced communicator (26 March)
    ‘The role of a communication or content strategist is to close that gap and find the sweet spot where brand ambition and customer needs elide.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Gemma Storey: Avoiding a culture of toxic positivity (31 March)
    ‘People in positions of power, authority or privilege often use toxic positivity as a way to discourage conversations that make them uncomfortable.’

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Andrew Adie: NetZero is a long way off and it’s still a poor result (31 March)
    ‘The broad message emerging is that not enough businesses have committed to NetZero targets, of those that have very few have a credible plan in place to move the dial by 2025 and the rest of the economy hasn’t really started to do anything meaningful yet.’
  • Sian Jones: Whether the Welsh like it or not, the independence debate is now front and centre (31 March)
    ‘Whilst backing for independence has grown significantly over the past year, it has yet to develop the head of steam that we are seeing in Scotland.’
  • Scott Harker: Government’s race report runs into the culture war (31 March)
    ‘Critics of the report include the UK’s leading independent race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust. The Trust’s CEO, Dr Halima Begum, has said that she is ‘outraged’ by the report’s findings and accused it of playing into the Government’s wider ‘culture war’ agenda by denying the existence of institutional racism.’
  • Fraser Raleigh: Scotland: What happens next? (30 March)
    ‘The roadmap for the Scottish election looked so clear just a few months ago. The SNP was cruising inevitably towards an outright majority in the Scottish Parliament that it would use to claim a mandate for a second independence referendum, ratcheting up the pressure on the UK Government and setting up (another) constitutional crisis when Boris Johnson said no.’
  • Nick Jessup: Trade Tuesday: Brexit leaves a sour taste in the mouth as confectionery exports slump (30 March)
    ‘The UK’s food and drink sector has been heavily hit by the collapse in food and drink exports to the EU, with chocolate one of the worst affected industries alongside whisky and cheese.’
  • Rebecca Coleman: From the four nations: England – Now! That’s What I Call an Election (29 March)
    ‘One of the casualties of this election is likely to be independent candidates, who do not have the resources and platform to conduct COVID secure campaigns.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Arun Sudhaman: When Poor Public Relations Is A Feature, Not A Bug (1 April)
    ‘Scroll through our Crisis Review across multiple years and you will find numerous serial offenders — including Facebook, Huawei, McKinsey, Amazon — of whom it can only be concluded that public relations policy is not a strong point, to put it mildly.’
  • Sheena Thomson: The not so gentle art of influencing (30 March)
    ‘Diplomats are, of course, the high priests of influencing and engagement – they have been doing it professionally on behalf of their governments for centuries.’
  • Katrina Marshall: Stuck in the Suez Canal (29 March)
    ‘Much like comms, when there is a crisis, suddenly everyone and their dog has an opinion on how we can “do some comms” around it and magically it will smooth over the public discussion around the topic.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: Tom Augenthaler talks B2B influencer marketing [podcast] (31 March)
    ‘The best marketing is actually brand marketing; the best brands don’t think about sales funnels. This is where the influencers play a big role. The influencers can skip steps in ways that content marketing can’t do.’

Internal communication

  • Mike Klein: The biggest leader in IC whom you’ve never heard of? (31 March)
    ‘In recent years, almost completely under the radar of the great and the good of the Anglosphere IC world, the formidable [Ale] Formanchuk has built a network of internal communication associations and events covering the whole of the Spanish speaking world.’
  • Helen Deverell: The return to work (31 March)
    ‘At times, it felt like I had stepped out of internal comms at the wrong time, and I was missing being part of an important conversation. And although I’ve been acutely aware that my voice has been missing, I’ve come to realise that what I have had is an opportunity to listen.’
  • Jenni Field: Influential Internal Communication – book launch (31 March)
    ‘I had no idea how to write a book so self-publishing was not an option for me. I wanted the support and guidance of professionals and that is what I got with the team at Kogan Page. Despite a global pandemic, furlough and a complete restructure of the original idea, they helped guide me to the finished book.’
  • Cal Monaghan: Mental health and internal comms go hand-in-hand (30 March)
    ‘We rarely shout about what we do, so sometimes it feels like our achievements look less important compared to the success of say, external communications colleagues.’
  • Martin Flegg: Conditional Immunity (28 March)
    ‘So far, I haven’t seen much debate in the internal communications community about conditional Covid-19 immunity for employees, but the issue is creeping up on us and we need to be considering how we should best communicate it to employees.’
  • Rachel Miller: Being Candid with Amrit Nijjar [podcast] (28 March)
    ‘Always being surrounded by white, middle aged men, I’d shied away from talking about my diversity (I’m a first generation British-born Indian immigrant). And also as a mum, I’d never shown photos of my daughters; I wanted to be seen as a professional communicator before a mother. But then it hit me. All this time I’d been helping people find their voice, yet I hadn’t really found mine.’ 

Technology, media and digital

  • Danny Whatmough: How Covid will impact Digital PR in our industry (31 March)
    ‘As with all annual studies, in the 2020 edition of the PRCA Digital Report, Covid will have skewed results significantly. It’s always hard to read between the lines of these types of reports, but I think there are some notable headlines that deserve your time and reflection.’
  • Paul Sutton with Nicole Mezzasalma and Gabrielle Laine-Peters: Clubhouse: Next big thing or much ado about nothing [podcast] (31 March)
    ‘I thought it was a brilliant way of building relationships. It’s audio-only: as humans, we love conversations. Because it’s live and immediate, there’s no editing. There is no gloss on Clubhouse; you can’t hide behind anything.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Megan Strain (Ulster): Why does a career in PR interest me? (31 March)
    ‘From learning the basics of PR in first and second year of my course, it was not until final year that I really started to dig deeper. My lecturer Conor has a massive role to play in this as his enthusiasm about the subject really inspires me and allows me to develop my own opinions on the subject.’
  • Will Wollaston (Newcastle): Hope and Promises: Will the Government’s Roadmap Out of Lockdown Come Back to Bite Them? (31 March)
    ‘If Boris Johnson’s administration can deliver on their promises, and all restrictions on the British public are lifted the day after my birthday (thanks Boris), so by the 21st June, then I can see it being a major success.’
  • Sophie Smith (Newcastle): Data’s Place in the PR World (31 March)
    ‘Data is becoming widely used across the PR industry and has been for some time now. With social media continuing to grow in importance, we can only acknowledge how useful data is in all aspects of PR.’
  • Rachael Thompson (Sunderland): How Studying Marketing and PR Has Changed My Perceptions of Communications (31 March)
    ‘I love seeing the introduction of community managers to larger organisations, whose role is to navigate that middle ground between the consumer and the brand, really listen to the mood and voice of the public opinion and inform the marketing and PR activity based on that, rather than simply gathering feedback after the fact.’
  • Daisy Hughes (Sunderland): How can PR solve a problem like fake news? (30 March)
    ‘If transparency and trust are achieved by the PR professionals, then I would argue that this would combat fake news. As people would be less likely to believe accusations if they has pre-built trust in the organisation.’
  • Eimear Delargy (Ulster): Launch Day Woes for PS5 (30 March)
    ‘With the whole gaming world anxiously awaiting the launch, what could possibly go wrong? Well, what about a worldwide supply shortage resulting in a frenzy of outraged customers??’
  • Katie Hull (Sunderland): Securing your dream role in marketing and PR: Tips and tricks (29 March)
    ‘If you’re a current student or graduate, you will be searching for your dream role about now. The job market is highly competitive right now, but there [are] plenty of positions available for graduates and entry-level applicants.’
  • Joshua Van Loggerenberg (Ulster): Unlock the Power of Productivity (26 March)
    ‘If you want to be truly productive, your to-do list needs to be concise, prioritising the most important things that need to be accomplished.’