This week in PR (12 February)

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.

Highbury Fields 7:15am
@onecarlie on Instagram
Highbury Fields 7:15am @onecarlie on Instagram

News in brief

  • Former MP Chuka Umunna is leaving Edelman after nine months for JP Morgan [source: PR Week]

Covid-19 and comms

  • Oliver Matuszynski: Seen It All Before (11 February)
    ‘This pandemic was precedented.  We just forgot.  One hundred and one years ago, the Spanish Flu infected 500 million people and killed 50 million.’

Ethics, purpose and professionalism

  • Alex Malouf: Ethics during a Pandemic – An example from the airline sector (12 February)
    ‘In a rush to get out a positive headline, was the decision that the Etihad team took the right one? Will their messaging now engender trust?’
  • Eva Maclaine: Ethics Q&A with new CIPR President (5 February)
    ‘Strategic PR advisers should remind the organisation and the senior leadership team about the reputational impact of what they might decide to do. But I don’t subscribe to the idea that PR people should hold the conscience of the organisation on our own.’

Corporate and financial

  • Mike Love: The Reality Gap (5 February)
    ‘The [Reality Gap] methodology was primarily a communications tool to help determine whether the solution to a problem was to communicate more effectively, or to advise changing the reality.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Teela Clayton: Can I get your digits? Networking in a Covid proximity (11 February)
    Right now, I am making the most of existing in the virtual world. I’m dipping into conversations, liking posts, following people. So if you fancy a chat, let me know. Let’s get something booked in. Slip into my DMs. Send me an email.’
  • Mark Borkowski: The sedative effects of PR speak (10 February)
    ‘We are mistaken if we think our clients want to hear about enhancing digital touchpointing in a competitive space to add SEO backlicking value. What do we really do? We listen to clients. We call journalists. We help craft a way for brands to present themselves to the world.’
  • Megan Skinner: How I Ianded a PR internship (9 February)
    ‘Finding an internship isn’t often an easy path, but if you’re looking for something you enjoy, have the confidence to apply and the skills to succeed you may just find success in the places you least expected!’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Chris Norton: PR’s mental health crisis – 6 tips for coping with lockdown (10 February)
    ‘One of the major impacts I’ve felt of the pandemic is not having the social interaction in the office. We have gone from having everyone working and collaborating together to working in our own homes by ourselves.’
  • Silvia Cambie: The Darkness of Others (8 February)
    ‘The way to be happier these days is apparently to resist the urge to brag about your life on social media.’

Public and third sectors

  • Darren Caveney: What the epic Jackie Weaver teaches us about communications, bullying and life itself (5 February)
    ‘I had to watch it three times last night for full effect: the first to figure out if this was even a real thing, the second to take in the detail, the third purely to tuck in and enjoy. It’s the most I’ve laughed in 2021 so far.’
  • Andrea Heslop: 5 tips on running virtual events (5 February)
    ‘Virtual events must be shorter than in-person events and broken down into short segments – people are used to consuming content online in short format such as TedTalks or YouTube videos.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Emily McGowan Phoenix: The week that local government took the limelight (11 February)
    ‘The video itself was shared by a young person interested in their local political agenda and there are promising signs that it has the potential to generate greater diversity in engagement across local politics.’
  • Gareth Jones: Why are British politicians obsessed with the word ‘woke’? (10 February)
    ‘It has been reported for a while that Number 10 wishes to pursue a “war on woke”, which is typically cited when government ministers and Conservative politicians go on the offensive on cultural issues – whether around ‘left wing BBC bias’ or activist lawyers.’
  • Stuart Thomson: A Government Decision Should Not End The Engagement (8 February)
    ‘Depending on the form the plans take, when they come before parliament they may be amended or may need amending. For the companies involved, the scrutiny of parliament also throws up matters of reputation management as well.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: Crisis, disaster, incident….what is it? (10 February)
    ‘If we are going to be able to deal with crisis effectively we need to be talking about risks, risk management and risk mitigation.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Orlagh Shanks: How The UK Government Should Have Spent The £63k On Influencers For The Test & Trace Campaign (11 February)
    ‘The government paid £63,000 to 42 influencers (which averages at around £1,500 each) to promote their test and trace campaign. Many of these influencers were Love Island and other reality TV stars.’
  • Sarah Browning: What makes a good story? (11 February)
    ‘A good story is an account of events that engages the audience and is designed to elicit some kind of response from them.’
  • Scott Guthrie: QVC-ification of influencer marketing (9 February)
    ‘We know that the Covid-19-induced lockdown has pulled forward a huge amount of future adoption to eCommerce. Livestream shopping has the potential for fast-growth within social commerce – a subset of eCommerce.’

Planning, measurement and evaluation

Internal communication

  • Jenni Field: Why we rush to fix before we understand (11 February)
    ‘Our bias is towards taking quick action; we’re more comfortable with doing something, even if it’s counterproductive and leaves no time to understand or diagnose what’s wrong. But a true fix is about making changes that last.’
  • Rachel Miller: Working successfully with leaders [podcast] (8 February)
    ‘Internal communication is too important to be left to one team, one department or one person. It is everybody’s responsibility; and that includes your leaders. You cannot be a brilliant leader without being a brilliant communicator.’

Technology, media and digital

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Joel Currie (Ulster): Social Media, the modern-day propaganda tool for the Far-right (11 February)
    ‘It is easier for misinformation to be spread on social media than it is to correct it, it is also easier to ignite social divisions than it is to repair them. The very nature of how we engage in social media helps the far-right, authoritarian factions to wear away at the foundations of our democratic systems.’
  • Kayleigh Tinney (Ulster): It’s the Digital Uni Notes For Me (11 February)
    ‘At the beginning of the week, I download all the relevant material that I need for that week into Notability for example the lecture PowerPoint presentation. I then use my laptop to watch lectures and take notes directly onto the downloaded PowerPoint slides on my iPad. This system is what works personally for me as I like having everything in one place.’
  • Alicia Fox (Ulster): What does the future hold (or not) for the High street? (10 February)
    ‘Whilst the high street has been in decline for many years, the problem has accelerated at an alarming rate this year.’
  • Sophie Smith (Newcastle): Deciding What You Want to do With Your Life (8 February)
    ‘I’m happy I stuck with [my undergraduate degree], but I’m much happier now I’m studying PR. Every time we learn something new, or I take on a new module, I visualise my future much more than I did when I was studying maths.’