This week in PR (1 October)

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.

Back on the river. Canary Wharf skyline. @wadds on Twitter
Back on the river. Canary Wharf skyline. @wadds on Twitter

It happened this week

  • Words of the week: Keir Starmer made a good joke in his Labour Party Conference speech (‘my father was a toolmaker – and so, in a way, was Boris Johnson’s’). But the words of the week have to be ‘blah, blah, blah’ from a speech by climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Profession and ethics

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Steffan Williams: Make Haste (no date)
    ESG is the new megatrend. In turn, investors are increasingly demanding more, as sustainability takes centre stage.’
  • Andrew Adie: Purpose on Payday (27 September)
    ‘The Competition and Markets Authority has published its ‘Green Claims Code’ giving guidance on how organisations should communicate green claims to consumers and stating that it will review the claims being made by business and take action if it finds evidence of customers being misled.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Ray Basaula: 5 lessons from my first internship (30 September)
    ‘It can be uncomfortable at first to ask questions for fear of asking something so dumb that it’ll be documented forever. But we’ve all heard the saying “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” – and it’s actually true!’
  • Angharad Planells and Rich Leigh: Radioactive 2.0 – people and policies (28 September)
    ‘We very publicly became one of the first companies in the UK to offer a four-day week for five days’ pay in 2018. The pandemic fundamentally changed many things for many companies. We’re not ashamed to say that we lost a huge amount of business in the first lockdown, across impacted sectors. We made good use of furlough, and are very proud to say that every staff member that was furloughed is back working full-time.’
  • Jessica Pardoe: My Top 10 PR Red Flags To Pay Attention To (28 September)
    ‘If an employer doesn’t offer any working from home options at all, then this comes across as a red flag for me too. Perhaps not a deal breaker, but if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that our old way of working was outdated as hell.’

Public and third sectors

  • Amanda Coleman: Remember Sarah (30 September)
    ‘The [Sarah Everard] situation has shaken trust and confidence in the police. No amount of protests that this was a lone individual will stop women feeling uncertain if they are approached by a male police officer. There are no words that will wipe those feelings away. After my time working in the police it makes me sad to think of all those amazing officers who may be seen through that filter. There is no one thing that will rebuild confidence in the police. There is a long road ahead.’
  • Vanessa Chance: World Alzheimer’s Month (28 September)
    ‘I am really looking forward to our own fundraising this year in the office. In the past we have paid by donation yoga classes, bake sales and sponsored running. It is great to see my colleagues get competitive for a good cause and really heart-warming to see their generosity too.’ 

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Thomas Messenger: Political Insider: Labour Party Conference (29 September)
    ‘The main takeaway for many from #Lab21 is that Corbynism has been excised from the party, with Starmer now entering a new phase of his leadership where he can turn his attention squarely towards the country. The big question facing Labour is, is the country willing to listen?’
  • Stuart Thomson: Getting the most from the party conferences (29 September)
    ‘As with any event, the most important consideration is the follow-up. You must make the most of the information gathered or contacts established.  Of course, the nature of the follow-up will vary but do not leave anything to chance, continue to be pro-active.’
  • Benjamin Peart: Three million more Britons will gain the right to vote (no date)
    ‘The Election Bill will now make British citizens living abroad eligible to vote for life, no matter how long they have lived out of the country for. Overseas voters will only have to re-register every three years. This ‘vote for life’ policy has been in the last three Conservative manifestos.’
  • Pearce Branigan: Fuelling the Flames of Fear (28 September)
    ‘It is a truth most commonly accepted that the very act of denying a crisis or panic, will naturally have the opposite effect in exacerbating one (what is colloquially referred to as ‘the Corporal Jones effect’.)’
  • Chris Adams: What the German elections mean for the future of UK-EU relations (no date)
    ‘Observers should not be fooled by the SDP’s narrow victory – their candidate for Chancellor, Olaf Sholz, is no radical change or new dawn for German politics. As the current Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister in the ‘Grand Coalition’ which has governed Germany since 2017, he has succeeded in positioning himself as the natural successor to Merkel.’
  • Paddy Kent: New Affordable Housing Programme: 300,000 homes a year still looks a long way off (27 September)
    ‘The overall focus on shared ownership reflects that home ownership is a Government priority. But it is politically controversial, especially as shared ownership homes are mired in the ongoing crisis (or scandal) of leasehold, service charge and the allocation of the costs of fire safety remediation works.’
  • Nick Barron: Poles Apart (24 September)
    ‘Polarisation reduces debates to zero-sum arguments, but kindness helps us to see each other as people rather than adversaries, and to identify win-win scenarios. Understanding people is the essence of great communication – and never more so than in the Networked Age, when people are the medium through which ideas travel, peer-to-peer.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Barnaby Fry: Legal vs Communications: Can they work together in a crisis? (no date)
    ‘So, is the legal approach always about secrecy and communications all about transparency? At our recent event, we got together a lawyer, newspaper Editor and a crisis specialist to talk about the most effective response in a crisis and how the media reacts to your crisis response strategy.’
  • Chloe Shelcott and Matt Stott: Fuelling the panic: The power of media in crisis situations (27 September)
    ‘Crisis situations shine a spotlight on the immense power and influence that the media has on the public. The media’s primary role is to deliver factual information of public interest, which is instant in today’s 24/7 media landscape. But the media are also businesses that need to attract readers, generate sales and increase web clicks. As a result, some outlets can often be seen walking the thin line of impartial facts versus commercial interests.’

Campaigns, creativity and behaviour

Content, storytelling and influence

Internal communication

  • Rachel Miller: Discover who won the IoIC National Awards 2021 (26 September)
    ‘A total of 37 class winners were handed out, along with a #WeMatterAtWork Awards and the Grand Prix Award winner was the pinnacle of the evening. This top trophy went to: Now & Next: Engaging employees during challenging times for AstraZeneca by Ruder Finn UK.’
  • Jenni Field, Advita Patel and Trudy Lewis: Are power poses and quotes enough to keep you motivated? [podcast, after 17 mins] (24 September)
    Jenni Field: ‘The thing for me is it’s not all about work. I generally try not to work on Fridays; and only to work between 10 and 4. If I was just working all the time, I’d find that really hard.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Emeka Ikechi: GUEST POST: Four tips for better social media imagery (30 September)
    ‘As the old adage goes: show, don’t tell. If you can demonstrate how your product or service is used to improve your customers’ lives, you will create an image and idea in customers’ minds.’

#prstudent #CreatorAwards22

It’s October, students have returned to university and we have launched our #CreatorAwards22 and are looking to discover and showcase talented #prstudent content creators.