This week in PR (12 July)

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.

I couldn’t be prouder to work for @miniuk today, launching the new MINI Electric to the world's media. @helenwilsonxx
I couldn’t be prouder to work for @miniuk today, launching the new MINI Electric to the world's media. @helenwilsonxx

In the news

  • ‘A new report into perceptions of PR among executives has found that two in ten do not know what PR stands for and 40% do not think it delivers good value to their business.’ (Holmes Report)
  • The government is concerned about grade inflation in English universities, revealed by Office for Students data (The Guardian)
  • Data privacy has been in the news. There were large fines under GDPR for BA and Marriott, and the issue of the leaked diplomatic cables that led to the resignation of the British ambassador in Washington.

Education, research and academic

  • Johanna Fawkes: Recent publications (11 July)
    ‘Since I ‘retired’ last year I seem to have been rather busy.  The good news is that, free from REF constraints, I can write what interests me not my employer!’
  • Jon White: Public Relations Research: Thinking Outside the Box at BledCom (10 July)
    ‘Critical thinking is seen as key to the future of public relations practice. A session on this topic elaborated on this. Public relations thinking in future will need to be more subtle, lacing irony with sincerity, and based on a commitment to broad humanistic and scientific continuous learning.’
  • Sandy Lindsay: Why we can learn from Glastonbury’s unlikely star (8 July)
    ‘Alex Mann and Cori Gauff tell us a lot about the fearless attitude of the so-called Generation Z. They’ve got far more about them than I ever did when I was 15. They know their own minds. They know they’re not going to work from 6am-10pm like I did, and good for them.’
  • Liz Bridgen: The stories told: A review of our Unconference (7 July)
    ‘Liz Bridgen and Sarah Williams focused on getting to grips with their unfinished pole dancing and PR paper…. also presented a proposal for an edited book that they are developing for female academics and female voices in the PR industry.’
  • Noel Armstrong: How to ace your CIPR Internal Communications qualification (6 July)
    One of the things I enjoyed most about the course was meeting other internal communicators. The people on my course (I studied with PR Academy in London) were so friendly and freely shared information and best-practice advice.’

Insights and opinions: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week (UK focused, but with a global outlook). Recommendations are welcome to or @pr_place

Purpose and professionalism

Consulting, careers and skills

Politics and public affairs

Public and third sectors

  • Tom Gannon: Go EAST (10 July)
    ‘As comms and public relations pros we will always mean well but when you delve into the world of behavioural insights, biases and heuristics you quickly realise we could unwittingly be inhibiting behaviour change and missing some powerful tricks.’
  • Peter Holt: Trello changed my life ….. (10 July)
    ‘When I arrive on a new assignment, of the first things I look at – or, if I’m honest, often have to search for – is a grid, comms planner, or workflow management system.  Finding out what is coming up is a bit of a basic.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Joanna Randall: Changing the face of PR (9 July)
    ‘I’m embarrassed that in 2019 the industry looks the same as it did when I started my first job in PR 25 years ago.’


Brands and influence

Trust, crisis and reputation

Internal communication

  • Debbie Aurelius: How to use a podcast for internal communication (11 July)
    ‘I think podcasts are best suited to storytelling, particularly where you hear people tell their story in their own voice. There’s something very powerful about hearing someone’s story from the heart, even if that’s simply about how much they care about their job or their customers.’
  • Anthony Bernard-Sasges: How to plan your Internal Comms budget (5 July)
    ‘Not only are more communicators engaging in measurement activities, many increased the percentage of their budget allocated to this activity. Spending on measurement and monitoring as a percentage of the communications budget has more than doubled in the past two years.’

Campaigns and creativity

Measurement and evaluation

  • Andrew Bruce Smith: Return on communication: treat your PR plan like a financial prospectus (8 July)
    ‘Apparently Slack increases an organization’s “return on communication” by “increasing accessibility of communication, which in turn increases transparency and breaks down silos.’
  • Laura Joint: The Instagram hokey-cokey… (8 July)
    ‘[Instagram] Insights data are only available to business accounts. Check first to see if your Instagram account has been set up in this way.’
  • Mark Pinsent: PR measurement. It’s you, not me. (no date)
    ‘There. I said it. It’s almost impossible to attribute a genuine business outcome to the result of most PR activity.’

Technology and AI

Media and digital

  • Vikki Willimott: The secret to B2B Content is easy; treat people like people (8 July)
    ‘Good B2B content is – and always has been – about treating people like people. At H+K we use the idea of ‘B2H’ or business-to-human, as a way of helping teams to remember this.’
  • Andy M Turner: Cleaning negative Google search content: Can you? Should you? (5 July)
    Not so long ago, concern about a negative story could easily be dismissed with the response that today’s news is tomorrow’s Fish & Chip wrapper.’
  • Ross Wigham: Table tennis & social media learning (4 July)
    ‘The battle for eyeballs is real because people are busy and their timelines are stacked with other content.  You need to give people a reason to look at your content and your curation is increasingly important because people will lose interest or unfollow if you don’t get it right.’


  • Gary Taylor: What lies beneath? (10 July)
    ‘It’s great that we’re getting all of this coverage and support for the England team, and I hope it extends to the Women’s Super League season. But what if you’re running a club that isn’t in WSL (formerly WSL1) or The Women’s Championship (formerly WSL2)?’