This week in PR (10 December)
About the author
Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.
It happened this week
- Shoot the messenger: Allegra Stratton has resigned following the emergence of a recording of rehearsal for a press briefing that alluded to a 10 Downing Street staff party last December. Not only has she lost her job, but she never took up the job she had been appointed to – to be the prime minister’s press spokesperson in the model of the US presidential spokesperson in the newly installed Downing Street press briefing room.
I've got a newspaper from the day I was born. I think lots of people have. "Daddy, why didn't you keep me any newspapers?" https://t.co/IWAKYdqbWg
— Sir Stuart Bruce | PR Futurist (@stuartbruce) December 9, 2021
Profession and purpose
ESG, corporate and financial
- Louise Nicolson: Hope in a Hot Climate (no date)
‘We will reach 1.5C warming in the next 20 years – even if we radically cut emissions. Some climate impacts, such as sea level rises, are set in motion irreversibly. One-in-50-year heatwaves could now occur every decade. The concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere is at its highest levels in two million years. Yes, two million years.‘
Public and third sectors
Survey results for the public sector comms tracker are out and the results are worrying.
🚩70% are more stressed than before the pandemic.
🚩56% say their mental health is worse.
🚩39% see verbal abuse weekly.
🚩10% see racist abuse weekly. https://t.co/ctF2eiCmJ7#cipr pic.twitter.com/FxxSIm77r9
— Dan Slee (@danslee) December 6, 2021
Politics, public affairs and public sphere
- Fraser Raleigh: PM reaches for Plan B, but will his MPs do the same? (9 December)
‘If the Prime Minister had hoped his announcement that the Cabinet Secretary would conduct an inquiry would put a lid on the story, he was quickly disappointed as more allegations emerged of parties in No.10 that – if true – would have been in breach of the restrictions.’
- Ian Silvera: The six-letter word causing crypto trouble in Westminster and on The Hill (9 December)
‘The crypto industry’s credibility with lawmakers was at stake once again this week as politicians on both sides of the Atlantic pulled out their magnifying glasses and pondered over its future.’
- Stephen Coleman: Downing Street Christmas party: political communication expert on four key takeaways from leaked Allegra Stratton video (8 December)
‘Before anyone even speaks in the practice press conference, we see the expensively designed room. This is the media briefing suite constructed by the current government at a reported cost of £2.6 million.’
- Stuart Thomson: Five public affairs trends for 2022 (8 December)
‘The Government continues to be muscular in its approach. Surprisingly for a right of centre, free market government, it believes wholeheartedly in the power of the state.’
- Joe Cooper: Government faces difficult choices ahead of Christmas period as travel restrictions tighten (7 December)
‘While another national lockdown seems unlikely at this point given the easing of restrictions for much of this year and the roll out of the vaccine, should measures need to be taken beyond wearing masks and working from home, there could be significant political and fiscal implications for the Government and the Prime Minister if they find themselves forced into a U-turn.’
- George Esmond: Could sport be the catalyst for new relations with China? (7 December)
‘Across the west, governments have been intensifying their rhetoric towards Beijing and discussing what new forms of soft power can help tame the Chinese dragon.’
- John Moss: Old Bexley & Sidcup – is this the final nail in the UKIP/Brexit Party/Reform coffin? (no date)
‘In this by-election. Reform, UKIP, Heritage and the English Democrats between them polled just 9.3%. Reform, arguably the most organised and highest profile of those parties standing on a platform to the right of the Conservatives, secured just 6.6%.’
Wellbeing, gender and diversity
- Adam Driver: Jane and Trev (6 December)
‘2017 was an awful year. I lost both of my parents – Dad to an aggressive kidney cancer, a few weeks after diagnosis, and Mum to long-term health complications later that year.’
Consulting, teams and careers
My whole purpose is to create an environment where others can succeed.
— John Quinton-Barber (@johnqbarber) December 6, 2021
- Jenni Field: Make networking work for you (8 December)
‘If you attack networking with clarity, knowing why you want to meet a specific person or infiltrate a professional group, then you’ll have something sensible to say rather than an embarrassing “um!”’
- Emily Wallace: Happy Birthday to us! We are 1 today (8 December)
‘We made it. We have a growing list of happy clients, we finally have a bit of money in the bank, and with it a bit of security and, more importantly, choices about how we invest going forward. So, we are recruiting.’
- Stuart Bruce: Personal news – nothing ventured, nothing gained (8 December)
‘I’ve teamed up with Tim Bailey, an old friend, to co-found a new business. It fuses my experience and expertise of helping PR and communications teams to modernise and improve with Tim’s expertise and experience in digital transformation.’
- Reanna Griffith: An internship beyond anything I could have expected (7 December)
‘Prior to beginning my internship, I assumed that an intern predominantly shadowed full-time staff and helped them in minor ways — how wrong was I.’
- Paul Sutton with Rachel Miller: How to futureproof your career in 2022 [podcast] (7 December)
‘I’ve taken time to work on – not in – the business and I’ve done that with the help of business coaches. That’s the difference mentoring gives to me.’
This week, @Radioactive_PR turns 7.
Just stumbled upon the first notebook I used when I started the agency and Christ, it’s brought a lot back – the names, the client planning and ideas – and shown me how far we (and I) have come! Just lost myself for half an hour in it. pic.twitter.com/Wdsud6WUe3
— Rich Leigh (@RichLeighPR) December 5, 2021
Content and creativity
- Alice Wilkinson: No one cares about handwriting; is good grammar next? (9 December)
‘The power of written content means that, for the foreseeable future, we are unlikely to lose our love of good grammar.’
- Philip Trippenbach: The big lie of thought leadership in B2B (8 December)
‘This is what we call the ‘infrastructure’ of good thought leadership programming. Let’s have a look at each element in turn.’
Risk, crisis and reputation
- Laura House: How can leaders rebuild trust in an age of corruption? (8 December)
‘This HBR report defines the three critical elements of trust in others – positive relationships, good judgement/expertise and consistency – in other words, walking the talk.’
Media, digital and technology
I now officially have a BSc and an MA, all in the space of a month, what a whirlwind!
An amazing day meeting classmates and lecturers for the first time! Congrats everyone on the media and PR course at Newcastle🥂 pic.twitter.com/TQxKOPJIPi
— Sophie Smith (@sophiersmith19) December 8, 2021
- Julie Mari (Solent): Fast fashion, greenwashing and woke-washing (8 December)
‘Companies do woke-washing when they use social movements to boost sales instead of addressing how their firm is complicit with ethical issues.’
- Elena Niculescu (Solent): The toxic side of fashion (8 December)
‘Because I’m organic I’d want my clothes to be organic too, but companies around the world aren’t as fast to make more changes to their supply chains, to change fabrics with more sustainable ones. It’s all about money.’
- Bethany Gough (Solent): Is Gymshark labelling their influencers as athletes the best PR move they have made? (6 December)
‘Online, they are promoted by what they call their ‘Gymshark Athletes’, who are essentially influencers who they endorse to exclusively wear their clothing across their social media platforms alongside occasionally appearing at PR events to support the brand.’
- Jasmine Denike (LCC/UAL):