This week in PR (12 October)

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.

#huntingforautumn @r_henders
#huntingforautumn @r_henders

News in brief

  • APPC members have voted to merge with the PRCA. The vote was 57% in favour on a turnout of 91%.
  • More than 150 candidates received their results and gained their CIPR professional qualifications this week (#CIPRqualified)
  • The art of the publicity stunt: The Financial Times reports the self-destructive shredding of Banksy’s Girl with a Red Balloon moments after its sale at Sotheby’s.
  • Gamekeeper turned poacher: Former Google communications chief Jessica Powell has written a satirical novel, The Big Disruption: A Totally Fictional But Essentially True Silicon Valley Story. ‘We need to end the self-delusion and either fess up to the reality we are creating or live up to the vision we market to the world’ she writes.  The novel is available on Medium.
  • Sara Collinge has joined Don’t Cry Wolf as managing director.
  • Nudge nudge: There’s a new publication from Behavioural Insights Team and Government Communication Service: Strategic Communication – A Behavioural Approach


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

Consulting, careers and skills

Public and third sectors

  • Amanda Coleman: A job well done (5 October)
    ‘In the public sector it is challenging to recognise good work if it is seen to be taking money away from the frontline.’

Gender, age, diversity and mental health


  • Samantha Seewoosurrun: Letter from Mauritius: Welcome to tropical PR (9 October)
    ‘Mauritius was first discovered by the Arabs and was successively a Dutch, French and latterly a British colony, and the island has celebrated its 50th Anniversary of Independence this year.’


Brands and reputation

  • Ella Minty: How can a brand ever claim to speak for you? (11 October)
    ‘Relationships are human – brands are not human. Have a relationship with a human and buy the product. Praise the efforts of a brand’s “doing good” by buying their products or using their services.’
  • Andrew Caesar-Gordon: What PROs Can Learn From Pret’s Tragedy (9 October)
    ‘Being seen as responsible for the death of your customers is not a good place to be at any time. And if once is unfortunate, then twice is surely careless?’
  • Dan Gerrella: Why brands should take a stand (9 October)
    ‘The report outlines that the rise in belief-driven buyers is across the board, with the largest jump in the 55+ category. A brand’s positioning on important issues is now essential across all categories.’
  • Sheena Thomson: Re-building a reputation post-crisis (8 October)
    ‘Thailand is still run by the military junta that conducted the coup d’etat back in 2014, but they have clearly undergone a full review of what happened during that period, how it has impacted brand Thailand and a change of approach is now evident.’

Campaigns and creativity

Technology and AI

  • Iliyana Stareva: Understanding Conversational Marketing: Live Chat, Messenger & Bots (9 October)
    ‘We define conversational marketing as a new dimension of inbound marketing that allows you to use modern technology like live chat, messenger and bots to connect with your prospects and customers in a human, non-disruptive, speedy way that enables you to exceed their expectations.’
  • Robert Gage: PR can no longer rage against the machines (5 October)
    ‘PR people have to upskill. We have to embrace the change. And we’re not alone in facing this “threat”. Many other industries and businesses are already experiencing a seismic shift which will dramatically change – and in many cases improve – the way business is done.’

Internal communication

  • Jenni KampfWhat we say vs what we do – the authenticity gap (12 October)
    ‘Authenticity comes from the alignment of the things we say with the things we do. The actions that we take have to be honest and driven by the values that we want our people to practice.’
  • Mike Klein: Internal-external Convergence: A call to action (8 October)
    ‘Internal-external convergence presents real challenges to IC folk. Firming up our thinking as a discipline, and becoming more adaptable to operating in an integrated communication picture, is neither optional nor something we have much time to embrace.’
  • Jo Moffatt: What does the future of employee engagement look like? (6 October)
    ‘A great employee experience helps build employee engagement; an engaged workplace creates a great employee experience.’

Media and digital

  • Jon White: Fake news, disinformation and their consequences: Challenges for public relations (22 October)
    ‘We have responsibilities in the area of content preparation – not to knowingly allow false or misleading information to be disseminated.  We should call out others who fail to hold to the same standard, joining journalists in their attempts to reality check the claims of politicians, as an example.’
  • Laura Crimmons: Why PR agencies should be better at PR than SEO agencies [Slideshare] (11 October)
    ‘PR agencies should be better at one key area of SEO… earning links.’
  • Jessica Pardoe: Let’s talk about journalists and PRs (10 October)
    ‘I think there’s a common misconception amongst the PR industry – especially towards those who are new to it – that journalists can’t be spoken to. But this is so, so wrong.’
  • Dan Slee: Facebook is local media (10 October)
    ‘In September last year I set about counting the Facebook groups and pages in Braintree. But not just the town. Also the villages. Coggeshall, Black Notley, Bocking, Witham and Great Bardfield too.’
  • David Gallagher: The power of “the news” (10 October)
    ‘I can trace a lifelong interest in “the news” – how it’s made, how it’s influenced and how it affects just about every aspect of our lives.  I went on to study journalism at the University of Texas and then, as some of my professors would say, to pervert it as a public relations consultant in Washington, DC and London.’
  • Marcel Klebba: Interview with the man behind #bestPRblogs: Richard Bailey (10 October)
    ‘Launching last week #bestPRblogs, aims to highlight some of the marvels from the community of blogging public relations students. I’m really proud that last year, MK was listed amongst finalists of the contest.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Yana Miladinova (Bournemouth): 10 Questions With Iva Grigorova (11 October)
    ‘I like the idea of Inbound PR because it combines the strongest asset of the PR professional – the content creation, with the strongest assets of the inbound methodology – the measurement of results.
  • Anna Stewart (Ulster): 10 tips for both surviving and embracing an Erasmus year in Spain (10 October)
    ‘Spanish time is relative and very vague: mañana is anywhere from 8am-2pm, tarde can last until it’s dark outside, and noche can mean anything from late evening to the early hours of the next morning.’
  • Sian Jones (South Wales): Mental Health Awareness Day (10 October)
    ‘My place of work and study – the University of South Wales has run a brilliant campaign this week, offering tea, toast and a chat for staff and students, as well as a choir, video, jigsaws, colouring and digital content from people at USW discussing their personal stories of working and coping with mental health issues.’
  • Sofia Solia (Leeds Beckett): Multicultural Leeds – the Greek way (9 October)
    ‘When a new country becomes your home, a period of cultural adjustment follows. The educational system in the UK is very different from the one in Greece, and the interaction with people that have diverse cultural backgrounds, proved to be a big issue for me.’
  • Heiða Ingimarsdóttir (Leeds): Motivation is the key to success (8 October)
    ‘I have gone through so much in my life and I had to grow up quickly. I have often had to rely on myself and just pull through.’
  • Rachael Gordon (Ulster): The Tomorrow Lab Presents: Creative Engagement (8 October)
    ‘Did you know that Helena [Langdon of Innocent Drinks] is responsible for #DogsAtPollingStations? And the well-traversed 4th Floor Stapler? What’s her magic formula? Basically, there isn’t one.’
  • Lottie Wiltshire (South Wales): PR! I PR things. People. Places. Concepts (7 October)
    ‘To me, Public Relations is responsible for the reputation and communication of organisations to publics, and this is done through earned (free) media such as blogger/influencer relations rather than paid media like sponsored posts on social media.’
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): This week’s entry appears above under ‘Influencers’. Just because…
  • Aoibheann McCormack (Liverpool John Moores): PRPlacement: Surviving 9-5 (5 October)
    ‘Your first day of Placement, the alarm is set for around 5 am just so you can make sure you can look perfect for all your introductions; that is if you even sleep (I didn’t.). Can’t remember the last time your alarm was set this early? Not for work at least? Don’t worry. You will get used to it.’