This week in PR (11 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.

Kentish dusk. Should be the name of a fragrance, really. @CMRLee on Twitter
Kentish dusk. Should be the name of a fragrance, really. @CMRLee on Twitter


  • Mark Borkowski: Ukraine Tragedy: Russia started battle of words and pictures long ago (10 March)
    ‘The communications battle pales in significance next to the unimaginably bleak human cost of this war; but, in terms of words and images, the West has allowed themselves to be walked over by a flat-track bully, and in doing so made Putin’s sadistic mission just a little easier.’
  • Maja Pawinska Sims: The Reputational Risks Of Doing Business In Russia (9 March)
    ‘As many commentators have noted, the speed of corporate and brand response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – despite the complexities – is the latest iteration of significantly evolving expectations, from all quarters, of the role of business in global society.’
  • Siân Jones: Ukraine’s President is setting a new standard for today’s political leaders (8 March)
    ‘Over the past fortnight, the former actor and comedian, has transformed himself into a wartime leader fit for the 21st century. He has won plaudits across the globe for his steadfast refusal to evacuate the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, his willingness to confront other world leaders, and for his videos, filmed in his office often in casual attire, in which he has issued powerful warnings to his enemies and emotive appeals to Russian citizens.’
  • Steffan WilliamsThe Emperor’s New Clothes (no date)
    ‘How do those in senior positions ensure that the inputs that they receive are accurate?  Who can they trust to provide them with accurate information – especially if it’s not what they want to hear? ‘
  • Dan Slee: PR WAR: That time I had tea with the Russian Ambassador (5 March)
    ‘In ‘Here Comes Everyone’ Clay Shirky wrote of how social media was going to change things and people will no longer be passive consumers. In the old model, media gatekeepers would filter and then publish, he said. In the new model, we are all producers. There will be publish and then filter. There was no mention of the bad guys winning.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing (#IWD2022)

  • Henry Adefope: Financial Services sector get women and BAME on board (10 March)
    ‘When observing gender representation across the FTSE 350 company boards within Financial Services (FS), there has been remarkable progress; women now make up nearly two-fifths (38%) of available board positions, which may well be the highest at any point in history. We observe a similar narrative regarding ethnic minority representation.’
  • Alistair Kellie: How men can ‘LEARN’ to be better workplace allies (8 March)
    ‘We asked our female colleagues how men can be better allies in the workplace and below are some of the common themes.’
  • Laura Legetter: Real estate – a gender laggard losing the talent race (8 March)
    ‘The real estate and construction sector is the second worse performing sector in terms of proportion of women in senior roles with the mining sector at the bottom. In contrast, financial and professional services are near the top with a third more women in senior positions compared with the real estate sector.’
  • Nadia Khan: The Holy Month of Ramadan: Awareness, Understanding and Creating an Inclusive Workplace (7 March)
    ‘Ramadan is about resetting the normal rhythm and slowing things down, so there is time to focus on the spiritual core. Muslims will try and adapt to the pace; making time for extra prayers and many try to read the whole Qur’an over Ramadan.’
  • Daniel Cattanach: Celebrating inspiring women – International Women’s Day 2022 (7 March)
    ‘As communicators, we all have a collective responsibility to play our part in sharing the vision and values of International Women’s Day. This doesn’t mean just sharing a stock image of a successful woman alongside an aspirational quote and the hashtag #BreakTheBias. It means actually helping to establish a culture of equality in society – both through our organisations and through our lives.’ 
  • Sarah Pinch: Ahead of IWD2022 (7 March)
    ‘I am nearly 50… I am mum to a seven year old. I own a business. I employ three people, soon to be four. I sit on three boards and I chair a remuneration committee. I run, and post my massive knee op 12 months ago, I am the strongest, physically I’ve ever been. My industry is female dominated, but its leadership, it is not.’

Purpose and ESG

  • George Esmond: Fuelling ESG (10 March)
    ‘The events of the last two weeks appear to be a seminal moment for ESG, with governments, companies, funds, and investors all forced to reanalyse the risks that the Russian invasion of Ukraine poses to their business. Nowhere has this been more apparent than the oil and gas sector.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Hayat Rachi: Jill Spurr on mixing the academic and creative (8 March)
    ‘I think communications is an amazing combination of creativity and science, so it appeals to my arty side as well as my academic brain. I wish I’d known it was a career option when I was a kid.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere 

  • Imogen Shaw:The Energy Independence Plan – what we know so far (10 March)
    ‘It is clear that Johnson views net zero as a central plank of his governing agenda. He and the Cabinet’s other net zero advocates remain eager to push the message that getting to net zero is in the interests of national – as well as economic and environmental – security.’
  • Nick Barron: Twitter has killed our Common Enemies (8 March)
    ‘Social media has killed the effectiveness of the Common Enemy depolarisation strategy, because of three axioms.’
  • Peter Jones: Rishi’s recipe for growth: private sector investment (4 March)
    ‘Sunak’s position as a free-market enthusiast was never in doubt and this belief in the benefits free markets deliver sits at the heart of his political and economic philosophy. As such it is unsurprising that his core aim is to lift private investment rather than deploying the power of the state.’

Behaviour and influence

Internal communication

  • Ally Illsley: How to start being an internal communicator (10 March)
    ‘In addition to a mentor, if you can also get yourself a comms pal then I reckon you’re on to a winner. Here you are looking for someone who will genuinely never judge, roll their eyes, sigh or grit their teeth as your number pops up on their phone again.’
  • Dan Holden: Recommended Internal Comms podcasts (no date)
    ‘In total, there are over 20 podcasts I’d recommend you check out but here are some of those I go back to regularly, in no particular order, that are dedicated to internal communication.’
  • Mike Klein: The strategic case for internal communication: six reasons for ramping it up now (8 March)
    ‘To maximize the power of your employees in driving the credibility of your business and brand to the people they come in contact with, not only does the gap between your brand promises and your employee experience need to be minimal – but that your internal communication needs to be the foundation of your external communication.’
  • Eduvie Martin: Dear IC, stay creative. It’s worth it (8 March)
    ‘Internal communicators have evolved into executive producers, video editors, script writers, storytellers, newscasters, and internal podcast hosts to capture the attention of employees and influence engagement levels and I’m loving it!’

Media, digital and technology

  • Dan Miles: Distribution or differentiation? (no date)
    ‘The way in which B2B buyers engage vendors has changed fundamentally over the last 10 years. And, in response, the way that B2B organisations market themselves has also undergone something of an evolution. Except for channel marketing, that is.’
  • Jordan Mulvaney: Instagram Is In Purgatory (8 March)
    ‘I have outlined the 5 reasons why Instagram is in purgatory and how individuals and brands can avoid falling into some of these traps.’

Academic and education

  • Ann Pilkington: What gives a qualification credibility? (10 March)
    ‘Big congratulations to everyone who became #CIPRQualified this week or are on their way to being so. Balancing study with work and home life can be a challenge – so gaining a qualification is a big achievement.’
  • Stephen Waddington: The  researcher’s dilemma (8 March)
    ‘I started my PhD with grand plans and big ideas to investigate the ways in which public relations contributes to innovation in organisations. Ambition and foolhardiness are good primers for an audacious goal. My research topic needs refining into a tighter area of study.’
  • Anne Nicholls: How ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards Jumped Back into Education (4 March)
    ‘Above all, Michael’s experiences both as a sportsman and mature student have taught him perseverance. “I had to fight tooth and nail for any kind of attention in sport, but that gave me tremendous resilience. Once I put my mind to doing something I would go for it and that was the same with law… You can always make time to study. I encourage people to never stop learning.”

#prstudent #CreatorAwards22

  • Jasmine Denike (LCC/UAL): Just a healthy evening [TikTok video]
  • Bethany Gough (Solent): My experience as a freelance PR (8 March)
    ‘Working on a freelance basis has been the main way I have gained experience whilst studying. Due to Covid, I have found it hard to get a traditional placement opportunity and so have been conscious of doing things which make myself stand out from the crowd.’
  • Elena Niculescu (Solent):  The internet, social media and its influencers (7 March)
    ‘The internet is in dire need of some sort of policing, we have way too many ‘’influencers’’ who sell weight loss teas which can cause kidney failure and other conditions, unhealthy beauty standards.’
  • Tamsin Hunter (Leeds Beckett): Celebrity culture in the 21st century; the good, the bad, and the ugly. (5 March)
    ‘After seeing how fans treat celebrities online, is there any surprise that more and more artists are dissociating themselves from social media? I used to hate it when celebrities’ social media accounts turned from personal to professional, but honestly, now I can’t blame them.’