This week in PR (11 February)

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.

AxiCom UK has a new home! It’s farewell to Paddington, and hello Southwark Bridge Rd 👋 via @axicom on Instagram
AxiCom UK has a new home! It’s farewell to Paddington, and hello Southwark Bridge Rd 👋 via @axicom on Instagram

It happened this week

  • Edelman has reported a 15.4% revenue increase in 2021, reaching record revenues of $985m as the world’s biggest PR firm closes in on becoming the first to cross the $1bn threshold’ (PRovoke Media).

Industry / profession

  • Farzana Baduel: As custodians of information, PRs have a critical role to play in society (8 February)
    ‘Truth has become a manifesto for the PR industry, as PR professionals seek to take their rightful place in society by joining the fight against misinformation and disinformation. The PR industry is driving real change in society by championing purpose at the heart of organisations and authenticity in communications.’
  • Stefan Rollnick: Communicating Hope: Lessons from our webinar with More in Common (4 February)
    ‘Fighting despair was the subject of our Misinformation Cell webinar on January 31 – ‘Communicating hope’ – where we spoke to Conleth Burns from More in Common about the work they’re doing to understand how we can cut through the hopelessness with messages of hope.’

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Kate Sandle: Balancing Act (no date)
    ‘In a world juggling climate change, social inequality and racial injustice, we need action on all fronts.  As Bernard Looney of BP recently remarked: “we’re all in on the transition”.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Chloe Michel: Building a positive and inclusive workplace (10 February)
    ‘To simplify the Inclusion Week messaging, the campaign was centred around 30-minute conversations held by line managers with their teams on the factory floor. The conversations addressed how we’re different, how we’re the same and how that makes us stronger.’

Public and third sectors

  • Niall Walsh: A successful TikTok strategy for local government (10 February)
    ‘My observation of many councils on TikTok is they are just throwing hook after hook — occasionally, you might get lucky, but as any boxing fan knows, you need to throw some jabs to set up that right hook.’
  • Daniel Cattanach: Don’t gloss over your mistakes – use them to colour your learning (10 February)
    ‘Over-thinking and feeling anxious that something bad will happen could hold you back from achieving or gaining valuable experience through trial and error.’
  • Helen Reynolds: The top free online communities for comms pros (8 February)
    It takes time, dedication and many delicate judgments to run a group that has a welcoming and productive atmosphere.  So hats off and thank you to those who do it, for no payment and for the love of their profession and community.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere 

  • Emily Chen: No 10 makes changes to assuage backbench fury, but is it enough? (8 February)
    ‘The mini reshuffle may have bought the Prime Minister some time with disgruntled backbenchers, but when one considers the emerging narrative that the Prime Minister restricted himself to rewarding loyalists and his dive in popularity in recent opinion polls, he still faces significant challenges in preventing a no-confidence vote.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Andy West: When should you decline an RFP? (8 February)
    ‘Any agency selection process that is dictated by procurement; which is run by procurement without involvement from the client team; or which insists on irrelevant selection criteria or pricing information, must be rejected.’
  • Hayat Rachi: Jenny Manchester on managing a small team (7 February)
    ‘The main challenge in my role is that I am the stand-alone communications lead for the whole team (Campaign to End Loneliness) and we are a very small team of 4 people. This means that I need to be both operational and strategic in the way I lead and manage communications.’

Planning, measurement and evaluation

  • Hannah Harris: The new shape of measurement in 2022: PR experts predict how you’ll evaluate success this year  (9 February)
    ‘For many years, (the measurement of) internal communication has been neglected. But the world is now changing at a pace where we can no longer afford to just put something on the intranet and pray for success. Professional communicators will need to plan internal communication much more deliberately and strategically. And that includes measuring behavioural outcomes that support business impact.’

Brands, content and creativity

Risk, crisis and reputation

Behaviour and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: Why so few creators have Wikipedia bios (8 February)
    ‘Creators fail the notability test used by Wikipedia editors to decide whether a given topic warrants its own article…The tide, however, is turning within mainstream media. Increasingly the Financial Times covers the creator economy with a nuanced eye. Bloomberg, too.’

Internal communication

  • Jenni Field: Why communication is important [podcast] (9 February)
    ‘How we communicate with each other – having communication – is what helps us trust each other and build relationships.’ 
  • Rachel Miller: What does world-class internal communication look like? (8 February)
    ‘State of the Sector is an annual study of IC professionals. The 2022 results were created by responses from 1,300 organisations around the globe, including 46% in North America.’
  • Martin Flegg: The knowledge (7 February)
    ‘At the time the Engage for Success report was published I was working in-house in a UK government department. I remember the ripple the findings created across the public sector with the Cabinet Office quickly producing guidance for departments to follow to secure higher levels of employee engagement.’
  • Claire Widd: There’s no place I’d rather be (7 February)
    ‘As an internal communicator, we experience change before most of our peers and change is tough. Just because you’re helping to deliver the news, doesn’t mean you’re immune to it.’
  • Lucy Eckley: Why I studied for a professional qualification after more than 20 years in my discipline (4 February)
    ‘Over the past 11 years as an independent consultant, I’ve worked on a diverse range of change programmes with large and complex organisations. I have a business-related degree and a postgraduate diploma in marketing. But I’d never taken a qualification since I took a side step into internal communication in the early 2000s. The profession and the business landscape have changed so much in that time. I wanted some solid theory to complement my practical experience.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Darryl Sparey: NFT Marketing: Some really hard numbers? Maybe. (XX February)
    ‘We’re hoping to get 10,000 followers of our Twitter account for the project, which we’re hoping to convert into 1,000s of engaged community members on our Discord server. And we’re hoping to do this in 40-ish days. Those are some hard numbers indeed!’
  • Gemma Storey: Can PR do anything for the image of NFTs? (7 February)
    ‘At the moment, despite the excitement that some people have about NFTs, there’s a lot of doubt and actual anger around them. PR can’t do much for the technology until the regulatory, legal, ethical and environmental issues around their production, trading and ownership are ironed out.’
  • Helen Fripp: Podcasting – why should I? (7 February)
    ‘Zoom/Teams is the basic requirement, and you and your guest can record on your phone as a back-up in case the internet drops out, or alternatively you could invest in a podcast programme like Zencastr which is specifically designed to minimise glitches and maximise quality.’
  • Rosie Gogoley: How to use reactive opportunities to build relationships with journalists (8 February)
    ‘If the purpose of outreach is to build a relationship with this journalist, it needs to not feel one-sided in your emails. The best way to do this is to interact with the journalist outside of the reactive piece, whether it’s thanking them, praising one of their articles or talking about a shared relevant interest – anything to get them talking!’
  • Paul Cheal with Nic Newman: Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2022 [podcast] (8 February)
    ‘The metrics now tell us that much of the value is delivered by a small number of high profile journalists, and that has increased the pay gap between the stars and the rest; and then on top of that we’ve had the development of these new subscription platforms like Substack or podcast platforms which allow individuals to set up on their own and earn lots of money directly.’  
  • Paul Campbell: The return of the ‘real’ Mobile World Congress: Three tips for a winning tradeshow PR campaign (7 February)
    Provided that content is well crafted and adds value, being a smaller brand needn’t be a disadvantage to getting your voice heard during MWC.’
  • Neville Hobson: Second Life was ahead of its time (7 February)
    ‘I’m still in Second Life from time to time; look me up and connect if you’d like to chat. We need to showcase those early adopters I mentioned before to illustrate that what they did paved the way in so many ways for what others are doing today across the whole spectrum of Web 3 and metaverses.’

#prstudent #CreatorAwards22


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  • Julie Mari (Solent): Clean cosmetics, a new trend? (10 February)
    ‘There is already a restriction on phenoxyethanol: its concentration may not exceed 1% of the finished product. But if there is such a regulation, why is it possible to put the word “Clean” on a cosmetic product that contains it?’
  • Kira Daly (Greenwich): Qualifications and courses for aspiring PR professionals (9 February)
    ‘There is a plethora of options available, from virtual ad hoc training courses to apprenticeship and internship schemes to full-time degree courses. There really is a world of educational opportunities facilitated by fantastic PR professionals and bodies in the UK and beyond!’
  • Elena Niculescu (Solent): Do not resuscitate – learning disabilities (9 February)
    ‘I call ‘’Do not resuscitate’’ orders for us people with learning disabilities absurd. People with learning disabilities can still express themselves, on the care they need, we should still receive care despite learning disabilities.’
  • Bethany Gough (Solent): How I cope with stress at university (7 February)
    ‘Every night before I go to sleep, I turn my phone off for an hour and read.’