This week in PR (1 March)

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.

Regent's Park looking gorgeous this morning @marcelkl
Regent's Park looking gorgeous this morning @marcelkl

In the news

  • Gender pay gap reporting was a big story last year. Well, there’s less than a month to this year’s deadline, and The Guardian reports that some firms have not yet corrected last year’s data.
  • The government’s ‘fake news unit’ has secured extra funding (Press Gazette)
  • This week the CIPR published its latest Brexit briefing.
  • The PRCA is seeking nominations for ‘50 for 50’: a celebration of those who have contributed to diversity and inclusion in the industry.


Insights and opinions: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week (UK focused, but with a global outlook). Recommendations are welcome to [email protected] or @pr_place

Consulting, careers and skills

  • David Brain: The PR industry needs more not less pioneering thinking (25 February)
    If Edelman does crack getting significant lead brand roles we will all eventually have greater license to operate at the strategic end of the biggest and most lucrative area of communications.’
  • Marcel Klebba: One of the best pieces of careers advice (25 February)
    ‘While it’s important to focus on your strengths, it’s so essential from the career growth and development point of view to work on things that we’re not good at.’

Politics and public affairs

  • Paula Keaveney: Developing The Independent Group’s brand (25 February)
    ‘The SDP had a relatively lengthy period of high profile semi adulatory attention.  Time spans are shorter these days as communications have speeded up, and the Independent Group may find the honeymoon period is more like a mini break.’
  • David Singleton: The Independent Group gets help from public affairs operators (22 February)
    ‘The main man behind the scenes for the new grouping of MPs is said to be former Labour aide and Edelman consultant Rob Newman. Also helping out is FTI Consulting managing director Oli Winton.’

Public and third sectors

  • Richard Evans: 50 charities with the biggest Instagram followings (27 February)
    ‘Looking at number of Instagram followers is only ever a finger in the air and comes with some big caveats. Not only is it a single (and potentially misleading) measure of success, but some charities may have causes and audiences that make it easier to build a big following than others.’
  • Tom Gannon: 7 useful story plots for local government comms (26 February)
    ‘Christopher Booker wrote about 7 basic plots which I think apply well to content and comms and are useful in helping us connect with audiences to have a positive impact on our objectives.’

Brands and influence

  • Jan Gooding: Brands are the campfire of the company (no date)
    ‘Brands cannot change the world. But clearly, purposeful CEO’s and companies can. The wrong-headed belief that it is the brand, not the company, that must be ‘purposeful’ is leading to some very odd advertising.’’ 

Trust and reputation

  • Chris Measures: Huawei – communicating innocence? (27 February)
    ‘In many ways Huawei is a victim of its own success – from a brand that nobody knew how to pronounce a year ago, it has rocketed into the public consciousness, although not for all the right reasons.’

Internal communication

  • Katie Macaulay with Jennifer Sproul: What it means to be the voice of IC [podcast] (27 February)
    ‘Next month on the 12th March the Institute [of Internal Communication] celebrates its 70th anniversary.’
  • Dave Wraith12 years of CPD: a reflection (26 February)
    ‘This month marked my 12th year of logging my CPD with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). On the CIPR site you can review all the development you’ve taken to date, so I’m taking a mini trip down the development lane to reflect on 12 years of CPD.’
  • Lee Smith: The reality of working in Internal Communication (26 February)
    ‘Generally speaking, we’re far too reactive and too focused on the here and now. Many of us don’t align what we do to the organisation’s strategy and we lack long term perspective and robust planning.’
  • Kerry Smith and Zoe Shaughnessy: Keeping comms pumping at the British Heart Foundation (25 February)
    ‘Our new promise to beat heartbreak forever was a result of a strategic review, which lasted two years… We felt that the starting point for us was to take our employees on the journey first.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Zoe Clark and Brendon Craigie: Without borders podcast with Andrew Bloch (no date)
    ‘The ethos of the agency has always been centered around this word talkability. Which we define as the buzz that takes over and does your best marketing for you. And really what we’re always trying to do with any campaign is to generate word-of-mouth, whether that’s kind of in the real world round the pub, round the water cooler, or more likely nowadays online via social media and various forms of content.’
  • Andy Green: Celebrate #speakcockneyday on March 3rd: the ‘fird of the ‘fird (24 February)
    ‘Cockney is more than an accent, or vernacular. It’s a state of being, a character, with virtues of self-reliance, magnanimity, a commercial nous, independence of spirit, egalitarianism, directness, and subversion of pretension and pomposity.’

Measurement and evaluation

Technology and AI

Media and digital

  • Michael White: Talking content in Munich [vlog] (28 February)
    ‘I’m delivering a series of training sessions on how to create content to deliver an overall brand story.’
  • Jennifer Robson: A picture is worth a thousand words (26 February)
    ‘Here’s my favourite resources for free, high-quality stock images that you can use for your social media, website and blogs. (Oh, always check the licensing details before using the images!)’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

PR Careers: 2019: 150 PR internships and graduate schemes

  • Lucy Hayball (Bournemouth): The power of co-creation (28 February)
    ‘This year, for the first time in my degree I have been working with students from Marketing Communications, Marketing and Advertising. The way we all create campaigns for assignments is so different. The way we approach problems is different. The way we think can be different.’
  • Liz Hinds (Gloucestershire): PR: It’s not life or death (28 February)
    ‘For some reason, people around my age and younger seem to have an irrational fear of the main function of the device we all have in our pockets, a mobile telephone. Maybe it’s due to the fact that we have been growing up with a plethora of text-based platforms that we’ve forgotten how to use our voices.’
  • Olivia McVeigh (Ulster): The things I learned from 13 year olds (28 February)
    ‘When asked would any of them want to start their own business, the whole room of students put up their hands. I was amazed at how far we’ve come from when I was back in year 9.’
  • Holly Rees (South Wales): Eating Disorders Are A PR Problem (27 February)
    ‘There are several ways in which PR plays a part in the creation of eating disorders in young people, and there are things that all of us could do (as PR professionals and human beings) to combat the deadly effects of simple and seemingly harmless actions and reactions in the media and world around us.’
  • Beth Smith (Sunderland): Meet the PRofessionals | Deb Sharratt, Deb Sharratt Communications (27 February)
    ‘When I started studying PR I often found it difficult to find how other people got into the industry and have always found it interesting when speaking to professionals that everyone takes their own path, it tends to be that no two people got into the industry the same way.’
  • Megan Maddex (Southampton Solent): Working with Carnival UK Internal Communications Team (26 February)
    ‘It is clear that every member of staff is as valued as the next, from the management onshore to the hospitality crew on the ships.’
  • Yana Miladinova (Bournemouth): The best of both worlds (25 February)
    ‘To all students out there, no matter what year at university you are in: get work experience. I can’t stress enough how important it is to show on an interview that you have at least a faint idea how an agency operates.’
  • Ceri Jones (South Wales): How to Write Amazing Content People will actually Read (no date)
    ‘A big struggle for bloggers is creating content people actually want to read. One of the main metrics we analyse as bloggers are page views, but is that the one we should be deriving the most meaning from?’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): The “C” Word (24 February)
    ‘People seem all too quick to excuse a behaviour by saying it’s their culture. It eliminates their responsibility and shifts the blame. It’s not them choosing to act that way, it’s out of their control – it’s instilled in them, it’s how they were raised.’
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): #FridayFive: Five Life Struggles of a 21 Year Old (22 February)
    ‘I’m starting to look at life with the question, ‘What would you do if social media didn’t exist?’ – where would you go, what would you do and who would you be?’