This week in PR (12 November)

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.

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Sunrise. Loch Ewe. No filter. #scottishhighlands #highlands #mountains #lochs @kevoruck on Instagram

It happened this week

COP26 and climate

  • Andrew Adie and Dafydd Rees: Insights from COP26: Day 11 – Cities & Built Environment Day (11 November)
    ‘Last night’s surprise joint statement from the US and China that they will work together to limit global warming and achieve the 1.5C temperature ceiling for global warming has increased pressure on other countries to commit to tighter targets.’
  • Chris Owen: Stunts, lipstick, pigs and COP26 (11 November)
    ‘I guess what makes Co-op stand out as an ambassador for this is its very essence as a collective, based on people and community. Were a less socially conscious chain to attempt this, it could be taken as greenwashing.’
  • Paul Holmes with Duncan Meisel: Podcast: Clean Creatives On Its Campaign Against Fossil Fuel PR Firms (11 November)
    ‘We’re trying to bring together leading voices in the public relations and advertising industry to address the industry’s work with fossil fuel companies.’
  • Paul Cahalan: COP26 – from intent to proof (11 November)
    ‘Public pressure and private business-led initiatives are making a difference and have led the UK government into action – announcing (at COP26) that companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, as well as some financial institutions, will be compelled to report net zero progress from 2023, though it remains to be seen how that will be implemented.’
  • Naomi Harris: COP26 – What you need to know (5 November)
    ‘Greta Thunberg walking out of a panel on carbon offsetting, arguing that it was just another method of ‘greenwash’ by business illustrated yet again what happens when the corporate world, which is moving – but more slowly than Greta would like – collides with activism.’

Profession and purpose

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Bob Huxford: The 150 Billion Dollar Tweet (11 November)
    ‘Elon Musk has done it again. Put out a tweet that gives investors kittens and sends the share price reeling.’

Public and third sectors

  • Lucy Salvage: NEXTDOOR DATA: How influential is Nextdoor becoming? (11 November)
    ‘We’ve known for a while now that the Twittersphere isn’t once what it was and the OfCom stats prove it. Twitter is the main social media account for only 5% of 16-24 year olds, and the older folks don’t rate it much either, with only 4% of 65+ year olds tweeting on the regs.’
  • Andrew Kirby: A plagiarist’s guide to leadership (10 November)
    ‘It helps if the people you are leading appreciate that you are genuinely interested in them. And crucially it’s not just those you manage. Leadership style isn’t just about those who work for you. Leadership style should work for all, no matter if someone is above or below you.’
  • Nick Fromont: GUEST POST: Social media content: how to plan in advance (5 November)
    ‘One thing we’ve found vital at Doncaster Council to help us plan our social media output is Trello. For those that don’t know Trello, it’s a free web application which allows you to work and manage projects collaboratively – and it includes a calendar feature!’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Sian Jones: Can the public still relate to Boris Johnson? (11 November)
    ‘We often hear that Boris Johnson gets away with things other politicians wouldn’t, because his unconventional behaviour is already ‘priced in’ to his political stock… But when accusations start to be made of Britain being ‘politically corrupt’, there comes a point when voters will sit up and start to take notice. Sleaze resonates. Chaos resonates.’
  • Chris White: Time for the Government to learn from its mistakes (9 November)
    ‘The decision to try and save Mr Paterson was deeply misguided. The report from the Standards Commissioner was as clear cut and damning as it is possible to be, with numerous clear-cut breaches of the rules.’
  • Stuart Thomson: What Can Sewage Teach Us? (11 November)
    ‘It comes down to picking the issue, appreciating the political setting and the pressure on MPs and Government, having media plans (not least social media) with a respected figure head, a solution and frankly supporters organised to take action (inside and outside Parliament).’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

    • Sarah Waddington: Socially Mobile opens for applications (10 November)
      ‘My co-founder Stephen Waddington and I founded Community Interest Community to support practitioners from lower socio-economic backgrounds, as well as under-represented and under-served groups including black, Asian and ethnic minority practitioners, women returnees, and those with disabilities.’
    • Milk and Honey PR: What happens in Marrakech… goes on the website (5 November)
      ‘In 2020, we set ourselves an ambitious goal to help 250 people from marginalised backgrounds into PR careers by 2025, and since then, our diversity team have been working hard to hit that target.’


Planning, measurement and evaluation

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Paul MacKenzie-Cummins: What becoming a B Corp means to us (10 November)
    ‘In this, our seventh year in business, Clearly has become only the seventh PR agency in the UK to gain B Corp status.’

Brands, celebrity and influence

  • Mark Borkowski: The Art Of The Cancellation Comeback (9 November)
    ‘Influencers are particularly prone to being cancelled, because what they’re selling often isn’t a talent or body of work, but their own lives – and if their audience discovers they aren’t who they portrayed themselves as, woe betide them.‘

Internal communication

  • Rachel Miller: How to communicate the end of 2021 (11 November)
    ‘I’ve noticed a shift from people communicating about Christmas and using the phrase festivities instead. Does that resonate with you?’

Media, digital and technology

  • Paul Sutton with Jeri Williams: The downsides of personal branding [podcast] (10 November)
    ‘The more divisive my posts were, the more followers I attracted [on LinkedIn]. It was like pulling a pin out of a grenade. I don’t like being well known – but my business has been built off my online presence.’
  • Jonny Atter: Reels vs TikTok: which performs best? (11 November)
    ‘Earlier this year, Instagram revealed plans to lean more into video – moving away from its photo-sharing roots to capitalise on the type of content that has made TikTok and YouTube so successful. It’s no surprise, therefore, that Instagram Reels is now heavily influenced by the format and layout of TikTok, sporting a very similar look and feel.’
  • Amanda Coleman: Power, responsibility and time to listen (8 November)
    ‘This report is long overdue and I sincerely hope that it starts a conversation that will lead to change.’
  • Neville Hobson: Metaverse: how Facebook rebrand reflects a dangerous trend in growing power of tech monopolies (6 November)
    ‘What is overlooked is how this represents the desire to create metacapitalism – which uses technology to shape, exploit and profit from human interaction. It is a completely marketised virtual reality world fuelled by the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, unjust global working conditions and the constant invasion of users’ data privacy for private financial gain.’

Academic and education

#prstudent #CreatorAwards22

For students

  • Orlagh Shanks: Every Reason To Apply To The Mountbatten Program (8 November)
    ‘Take a second and just imagine it. You wake up every morning and go to work in New York. You wake up on the weekend and go for brunch in New York. You go for a few after work drinks, in New York. Because guess what? You live in New York.’

By students

  • Martin Agunwa (Leeds Beckett):

  • Elena Niculescu (Solent): Living With Depression (10 November)
    ‘How is it for me to be living with depression? Well, it’s okay. It’s okay because I have had small accomplishments which make me feel proud and these make the week fly by like Ursula von der Leyen’s private jet (for more than 31 miles btw). It’s manageable. It feels great to have stuff to do, important stuff, they feel important and when I get stuff done, I go ‘’YESSSS!’’, booty shakes and all.’
  • Bethany Gough (Solent): Newsjacking: the textbook PR tactic for success? (8 November)
    ‘If your aim is to gain publicity it can be determined that by newsjacking popular trends you can achieve this.’
  • Lily Harrison (Solent): Can Clubbing Help Reduce CO2 Emissions? (8 November)
    ‘A  night club in Glasgow called SWG3 is trialling technology to create renewable energy from dancing night-club goers.’