This week in PR (1 July)

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.

It happened this week


  • Samantha Losey: PR needs a serious rebrand – and we deserve one (27 June)
    ‘Who among us hasn’t met a prospective client that has been badly burned by a PR agency promising the world and delivering nothing? I would say it’s the rule, not the exception.’
  • Katie Gandon: The value of school governing for comms professionals (28 June)
    ‘For comms professionals, governing offers volunteers a role that provides experience of working at board level. It’s an opportunity to sit on the ‘other side of the table’ and has certainly helped me to broaden my understanding of the priorities and information required by boards.’
  • Katie Marlow: Helping you step up with mentoring (26 June)
    ‘When people ask: ‘what advice would you give your younger self’ my answer is get a mentor.’
  • Ben Smith: The history of public relations with Tom Watson, professor emeritus at Bournemouth University [podcast] (24 June)
    ‘In the nineteenth century we see people being recruited to roles to promote, to publicise and to influence. It happened on both sides of the Atlantic, quite separately. The term public relations was first used in the UK about 100 years ago.’

Purpose and ESG

  • Alli Hayman: Property Must Hold Its Nerve on Net Zero (30 June)
    ‘As an industry, property can’t really afford to waver in its net zero commitments in the face of economic headwinds and geopolitical instability. As other sectors row back on ESG, and the government sends out mixed messages on its own commitments, property must forge ahead.’
  • Gihan Hyde: Cultural differences is a solution for saving our people and planet not a hurdle (29 June)
    ‘The United Nations, for example, has six official languages: English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. While a majority of world governments feature one of these as official language, more than half of the world’s population does not speak these six languages. Of the ten countries most vulnerable to climate change according to the Germanwatch Institute, only one (Canada) is fully linguistically represented in the United Nations.’
  • Sophie Morello: Purpose on Payday: SEC Newgate’s View (24 June)
    ‘In times of hardship it is easy to focus on immediate and short-term priorities. But one thing the energy crisis should teach us is that governments, businesses and individuals must resolutely plan for the future if they are to protect themselves from the challenges it may bring.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Farzana Baduel: How to land a non-executive director role and what to do when you get there
    (30 June)
    ‘It took me a while to figure out that I had to market myself to the board; to identify a skills gap in their existing board composition and offer myself as a solution. It takes emotional intelligence to do this successfully and, in my earlier years, I no doubt came off as rather bolshie.’
  • Sarah Waddington: Goodbye Astute.Work, hello new possibilities (28 June)
    After fourteen wonderful years running a business that has enabled me to work with some of the best people I will ever meet, I’m closing Astute.Work… In a short while I’ll be taking six months out while I set my sights on some new qualifications and a new direction of travel.’
  • PRovoke Media: Three Things I’ve Learned…Charles Lewington (27 June)
    ‘The first lockdown was a reminder of the importance of the relationship between physical health and mental health.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Megan Hogg: Step forward with year-round inclusive PR campaigns this Pride Month (28 June)
    When done right, Pride Month can be a special time to uplift the actions your organisation is doing for the LGBTQ+ community all year round, contributing to an overall inclusive reputation. But when done poorly, Pride campaigns can at best look cheap, and at worst, reflect tokenism.’
  • Natasha Calder: Reflecting on a northern rebellion (28 June)
    ‘A week ago, comms pros from across the country gathered in Manchester to unleash their inner rebel thanks to Advita Patel’s drive to create a community of strong practitioners unafraid to challenge the status quo.’

Public and third sectors

Paul MacKenzie-Cummins: Are charities losing the public’s interest? (29 June)
‘The media is awash with doom and gloom right now, yet charities can better appeal to their audiences by becoming the antithesis of what is expected of them.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere 

  • Emily Wallace: Trouble and Strikes… (29 June)
    ‘So as we head towards the likelihood of more industrial action, we would all do well to remember that strikes aren’t just inconvenient, they don’t just impact one days work, you can’t just rearrange things that are months or even years in the planning. It’s not some sort of popularity game to be played out in the media, or a test of loyalty to whichever political faction you belong to.’
  • Monica Davison: Primary care is changing. What will this look like, and what is standing in the way?
    ‘The Health and Social Care Committee on Workforce has confirmed that the NHS will implement recommendations from the [Fuller Stocktake] report, including creating Integrated Neighbourhood Care Teams (INCTs).’
  • Harry Brown: Nine days in paradise: PM looks to project power on the international stage (28 June)
    ‘Despite the apparent political turmoil at home, the PM was nowhere to be seen. Instead Boris Johnson had just set off an overseas trip totalling nine days which will see the PM fly from Rwanda and the bi-annual Commonwealth meeting to the G7 summit in the Bavarian Countryside before concluding his journey with the NATO summit that is being held in Madrid.’
  • Stuart Thomson: What MBAs don’t tell you: Focus on government (28 June)
    ‘Courses such as MBAs are designed to equip participants with key business skills… But PR and communications, especially public affairs, feature little, if at all.’
  • James Boyd-Wallis: Fixing the House of Commons (28 June)
    ‘MPs must acknowledge that declining public trust in the House of Commons is an issue they can fix. It is not a fait accompli. Second, they must accept responsibility to do something about it.’
  • Steve Richards: The By-Elections and Boris Johnson’s Future (24 June)
    The resignation of the Conservative chairman, Oliver Dowden, breaks the spell that Johnson is in full command of his government even if many of his backbenchers had no confidence in him. It was when the cabinet turned against Margaret Thatcher in 1990 that she fell.’
  • Chris Hopkins: Tories lose by-elections to Labour and Lib Dems (24 June)
    Yes, this is a by-election, and usual by-election rules apply, but 290-odd Conservative MPs have a seat less secure than Tiverton and Honiton, and the sheer scale of this defeat is bound to restart murmurings of coups to oust the Prime Minister.’

Research, measurement and evaluation

Crisis, risk and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: Crisis communication under review (29 June)
    ‘Two elements that I feel absolutely must be covered in more detail now I have the opportunity are diversity and inclusivity in crisis communication and ways to evaluate your crisis communication during the lifespan of the situation. The question I am asking is what do you feel needs to be included in the new edition?’

Internal communication

Media, digital and technology

  • Nabila Mahmood: The metaverse: what place does it hold for business? (no date)
    ‘Metaverse. While every leading expert has their own definition of this alternate universe, we can simply define it as a simulated digital environment accessible by augmented and virtual reality technology.’
  • Claire Walker: A changing landscape: Building reputations amid shrinking media pools (28 June)
    ‘On the PR agency side, the shrinking media pool has an obvious effect – it’s harder to secure the coverage our clients want. It’s harder to get in front of the right people, harder to build relationships, and harder to have our pitches seen and phone calls answered.’
  • Ian Silvera: Why you should embrace crypto winter (28 June)
    ‘Bitcoin had gone from a high of more [than] $66,000 in November to around $21,000 in June. Now the real-world consequences are becoming clear as cryptocurrency companies either stop hiring or cut substantial parts of their existing workforces. The crypto winter is biting hard.’
  • Jonny Evans: 6 new social features for brands to try in 2022 (28 June)
    ‘YouTube Shorts, the video-sharing platform’s short-form feature, has surged in popularity in the first half of this year. In April, YouTube announced Shorts videos were racking up 30 billion views per day, and it’s estimated that 1.5 billion YouTube account holders are now regularly watching Shorts.’

Academic and education