This week in PR (13 April)

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.

Tower Bridge @marcelkl on Instagram
Tower Bridge @marcelkl on Instagram

News in brief

  • Responsible leadership or virtue signalling? It may not surprise you that Waitrose is to remove all disposable cups from its stores this year, but Iceland’s decision to remove palm oil from its own-brand products is newsworthy.
  • Oxfam must be delighted to be out of the news. Now it’s Save the Children’s turn: it’s being investigated by the Charity Commission over claims it failed to investigate sexual abuse allegations against staff.
  • AMEC is looking for a new CEO as Barry Legetter is standing down after 11 years in the post. Closing date for applicants to step into his shoes is 14 May.
  • CIPR welcomes nominations for ‘70 at 70’ unsung heroes of public relations from within its membership. Closing date 16 May.
  • The revamped public relations programme at Leeds Beckett University is BA (Hons) Public Relations and Brand Communication.


Our calendar of events now appears on a separate page

Thought leaders: Pick of the posts

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

Business / profession

  • Richard Edelman: The Chief Change Officer (13 April)
    New Definition of CCO: Chief Change Officer — The new CCO must lead on establishing the social contract for the corporation.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Meeting AMEC’s leadership team as it kicks off search for new CEO (12 April)
    ‘Barry is one of the hardest working individuals that I have ever known, always putting in the necessary hard work to make sure that our objectives are met and to keep things moving forward.’
  • Brendon Craigie: Making a location-agnostic model work (12 April)
    ‘The enlightening thing for me is that when everyone is remote no-one feels remote. We have a level playing field and we probably communicate far better than we would in an office because it is so important to all of us.’
  • Dr Ana Adi and Thomas Stoeckle: Fit for the 21st and digital century (10 April)
    ‘PR should abandon its managerial dreams and focus more on achieving its promises.’
  • Jo-ann Robertson: Building Camelot… the First 100 Days (9 April)
    ‘I’ve been on four continents, advised 14 clients, won 8 new clients, hired 25 new people, promoted 23 people, joined the PRCA Board, been elected to the Women in PR committee, hosted an event on influencer marketing, attended the Omniwomen summit, listened to every colleague who [h]as wanted to be heard, and challenged myself to be better than I was yesterday.’

Careers and skills

Campaigns and creativity

  • Anne-Marie Lacey and Laura Richards: Prototyping and PR (no date)
    While PR is not (usually) focussed on designing chairs or building digital products, the same process can still be used to craft meaningful, effective campaigns.’
  • Dan Glover: PR Moment podcast (9 April)
    ‘A creative solution is an idea that solves a problem. I would call myself a problem solver.’

Crisis and reputation

  • Stuart Bruce: Sorry is the hardest word in crisis communication (12 April)
    Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are just the latest famous names and big companies to be caught out by their inability to understand the art of the apology.’
  • Mike Sergeant: Create your moments (6 April)
    ‘Once lodged, impressions based on a small number of events or episodes can be hard to change.’
  • Mark Borkowski: From Zuckerberg to Sorrell: when the CEO is hung out to dry (6 April)
    ‘Zuckerberg is fighting solo to retain his position. But he is by no means finished- and nor is Sir Martin. With neither Facebook nor WPP having any clear succession plans, power continues to reside with the CEOs.’

Gender and diversity

  • Jane Fordham: Countdown To Reducing Your Gender Pay Gap (10 April)
    ‘12 months is no time for organisations to take steps to (start to) tackle any imbalances. The first step is to ensure you’ve used the data to understand the nature of your challenge so that you start off in the right direction.’

Internal communication

  • Advita Patel: Do we really need a seat at the table to make a difference? (12 April)
    ‘Don’t worry too much about not having a seat at the table – remember actions speak much louder than words.’
  • Amanda Coleman: Employees first (10 April)
    ‘The workforce have to be at the heart of work to develop the reputation of the business. They are the brand ambassadors and the people who should embody what the business is about.’
  • Erika Lee: How to use video to communicate culture (10 April)
    ‘A huge part of the campaign’s success would be enabling employees and leaders globally to contribute their own take on the new culture in a way we could easily curate and share – that’s where Seenit, a video collaboration platform based in London came in.’

Media and digital

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

Here are two useful resource for PR students:

And here’s our pick of the best posts by those studying public relations and/or aspiring to work in PR.

  • Irinia Meier (Greenwich): 100 hours post hand in (12 April)
    Every guide and every tutor will advise you to narrow down as much as possible as soon as possible. I couldn’t agree more.’
  • Aoibheann McCormack (Liverpool John Moores): #2- #TheHomelessPeriod (12 April)
    ‘In the North West of England, where I currently live, Homelessness is a dire problem, with a 130% increase in those sleeping rough since 2014.’
  • Elizabeth Owens (Ulster): PR in the NHS (12 April)
    ‘From my placement year, working as a Communications Intern in the South Eastern Trust, I learnt the importance of PR in the NHS and witnessed first-hand the misconceptions associated with working in PR.’
  • Jonny Allen (Ulster): Stop Funding Hate… public service or media bully? (11 April)
    ‘If we can learn anything from the case of Paperchase, it is that if you are going to make a decision to advertise somewhere, convict to it and don’t back down and apologise if a few people aren’t happy with it…after all, you can’t please everyone.’
  • Chloe Stewart (Ulster): Netflix: Binge Responsibly (10 April)
    ‘Like any addiction, the harm ultimately lies in what it’s taking you away from. A lot of these shows stop you living in the moment.’
  • Megan Rea (Ulster): For Pod’s Sake (9 April)
    ‘Podcasts are well and truly an established form of media with a community growing significantly year on year.’
  • Jessica Pardoe (Liverpool John Moores): Breaking in as a New Blogger (7 April)
    ‘Though lifestyle writing is arguably the easiest kind of blog to run, it can also be hard to think up original content ideas.’
  • Niuma Ugail (Leeds Beckett): Rich Leigh’s “Myths of PR” (6 April)
    Personally, my favourite chapter in this book is Gender wage gap figures. Not only because, it is one of my favourite topic in the industry but because this book gives so much more.’