This week in PR (10 July)

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.

Pondscape 🌳 @itsjamesherring on Instagram
Pondscape 🌳 @itsjamesherring on Instagram

News in brief

  • Ten years on from the first iteration, AMEC has published its Barcelona Principles 3.0. AMEC is hosting a free launch webinar this afternoon.
  • The planned merger of WPP-owned Finsbury (UK), Glover Park Group (US) and Hering Schuppener (Germany) will create a consultancy firm called Finsbury Glover Hering with headquarters in New York (New York Business Journal reports)
  • Last week we included the news that former MP Luciana Berger had been hired by Edelman UK. This week we learn she’s being joined by her former colleague Chuka Umunna who has been appointed executive director of the firm’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) practice (PRovoke Media reports).

Covid-19 comms

  • Amanda Coleman: The speed of recovery (8 July)
    ‘For some the recovery is unlikely to happen any time soon. Remember Covid-19 has not gone away, we are on the verge of an economic crisis the scale of which no-one has ever seen, and there are other crises that may hit us around the corner. This mix makes the world an incredibly complex case for communicators.’
  • Dan Slee: COVID COMMS #21: People are sharing official messages less, so what can you do? (8 July)
    ‘If this whole episode has proved anything its that the communicator who churns the same stuff out without thinking has had their day.’
  • Gillian Drummond: Carehome comms during Covid crisis (6 July)
    ‘As the negative care home headlines grew in the news, so did anxiety among our residents, already feeling the strain of isolation from their families. And staff members felt frustrated.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Sarah Pinch: Gender Equality in Business (8 July)
    ‘For the last five years I have grown in confidence to talk more about the challenges of running a business, having a child and being a woman.’
  • Jude Tipper: How your comms could stop the bully (6 July)
    ‘Always remember there are two sides to every story, two sides to what you see. Seek advice, read policies, speak up in confidence. Just do something. (This, of course, goes for bullying in any form. Research has shown that the sooner someone intervenes in workplace bullying, the sooner it is prevented from escalating. Prevented from destroying careers and lives. Let us be each other’s keepers.)’
  • Harriet Small: But What Did You Do? (no date)
    ‘I have been working in the background to create a workshop, The Beginners Guide to Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging and the Role of Internal Communications & Employee Engagement.’

Purpose and professionalism

Virtual events

  • Lorne Armstrong: Four levels of virtual engagement (no date)
    ‘Most of us love live events. No one really loves a Zoom call. It was fun and convenient to begin with. We put on silly hats, we did funny backgrounds. But now it feels functional and flat. It’s certainly not an event. Virtual is just that …virtual

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Emily Huyton: Why my time of furlough will make me a better Account Director (4 July)
    ‘The problem was, I had become so obsessed with progression and self-improvement that it actually started to have a reverse effect. It was like running at full speed on a hamster wheel without actually getting anywhere.’

Public and third sectors

  • Ettie Bailey-King: Why PR and marketing professionals should join a charity board (8 July)
    ‘There’s an extraordinary variety of charities in the UK – almost 400,000 – and they range from huge organisations like Cancer Research UK and Oxfam down to village playgroups, ramblers associations, and local scout troops. Whatever cause you’re passionate about, whatever your local area, there’s a charity that’s right for you.’
  • Dawn Reeves: No more heroes – purpose and the greater good! (7 July)
    ‘There’s enough room in the carrier bag story for heroes but the hero story can stray into populism and sound like it’s an individual thing. Heroes can be forgotten in a news cycle, public service is about doing what’s right, what matters, every time.’
  • Ian Griggs: Power grab or rationalisation? Government plans huge reduction in comms personnel (7 July)
    ‘A seismic shake-up of Government comms teams will see the current cohort of 4,500 people across more than 20 departments slimmed down to hundreds by next year.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Kate O’Donnell: This week’s mini-Budget is just a drop in the ocean for the UK’s #GreenRecovery (9 July)
    ‘With the environmental stakes so high, we must not simply shift into ‘recovery’ mode following the pandemic. Instead we must place focus on transitioning to a more sustainable, future-proofed recovery.’
  • Martha Kool: There’s something about Sunak (9 July)
    ‘Even prominent Tory voters have claimed that ‘Bojo has lost his mojo’, and Matt Hancock fumbled the testing numbers. But through it all, there has been one constant – the general feeling that Rishi Sunak is pretty alright.’
  • Arun Sudhaman: Why Consulum Isn’t Flinching About Promoting Hong Kong (8 July)
    ‘”It’s my personal opinion, but if you start from the premise that everyone deserves counsel in the court of public opinion, then it stands to reason that you should disclose your work,” says David Gallagher, who chairs the global ethics council at the UK’s PRCA.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Beware damaged political relationships (7 July)
    ‘The Covid period has been challenging for engagement with Government. Many organisations have had to fight hard for support. As we enter a different phase there may be damaged political relationships that need to be repaired.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Jennifer Sanchis: Crisis knowledge management: Where to start (9 July)
    ‘A recovery strategy should be evidence-based and embrace crisis knowledge management. This relates to the monitoring of key sources of information leading through a crisis (eg WHO, NHS England, Public Health England, etc); and also encompasses the collection and analysis of data internally to help guide organisational decisions and stakeholder management.’
  • Matt Silver: Managing reputation through a crisis: the legal route (3 July)
    ‘One of the best ways to ensure your communications and legal teams work together effectively is to appoint counsel that truly understands the others’ roles, responsibilities, and expertise.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Charlotte Stoel: Unrestricted creative thinking in an ever more restricted world (no date)
    ‘What we need now is to learn how to think creatively alone, or with the help of your loved ones (yup, really), or your virtual pals and colleagues. Granted, it’s not quite the same as a brainstorm in the boardroom with frisbees and jelly beans but there are many ways to creatively get around your current challenges – whether work, or life in general.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

Monitoring, measurement and evaluation

Internal communication

  • Annique Simpson: 3 Ways to Keep Your Communications Super Simple (8 July)
    ‘I’ve spent my recent coronavirus ‘sabbatical’ exploring different tools and techniques to #KeepCommsSimple. The solutions were (annoyingly) obvious.’
  • Katie Macaulay with Roger D’Aprix: IC’s founding father [podcast] (8 July)
    ‘One of my first discoveries when I joined General Electric is that companies work amazing hard to find the best and brightest, and then in my opinion immerse them in a system designed to limit their creativity and innovation. Someone needs to start humanising these organisations, I thought.’
  • Mike Pounsford: The Listening Spectrum (6 July)
    ‘The Listening Spectrum is a framework to think about how we currently listen and to plan what listening approach to use in future. It should help leaders and communicators think through what approach best meets their needs in any given situation.’
  • Martin Flegg: Ethics of the ‘all staff’ email (6 July)
    ‘If the message in your ‘all staff’ email is just about the sender and doesn’t take into account any of the needs of the receiver then it has all the hallmarks of being unethical propaganda and worse, vanity communication.’
  • Janet Hitchen and Mike Klein: A Call for Courage and Ambition (3 July)
    ‘COVID-19 has brought nothing if not dramatic changes to the world of work that no one was anticipating or particularly ready for. To make the most of these changes, it’s time for Internal Communication professionals to take a hard look at what it would take to really drive the profession – and those we serve – forward.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Sarah Alonze: Digital Dick Turpins and Kardashian-style malware – a whistle stop tour of common security terms (8 July)
    ‘I’ve summarised what I think are the most commonly-found terms, why they’re important, and what they mean, all with a light hearted, creative twist.’
  • Sandy Lindsay: Can I feed my baby tuna? (7 July)
    ‘I’m a big fan of social media as you know but I’ve often cited that one of its issues is its tendency to create a ‘show reel world’ where everything is perfect. Every meal turns out exactly like the YouTube example, every holiday a dream holiday and every baby the bouncing, smiling, perfect cherub.’
  • Paul Sutton: Why the Facebook Ad Boycott is Futile (3 July)
    ‘Most companies are run by a board of directors who have ultimate power. At Facebook, Zuckerberg has complete voting control over the company and can’t be removed by shareholders. So in order to affect Facebook, you have to affect Zuckerberg himself.’

Academic, education and training