This week in PR (13 August)

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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I want to live here. @michaelwhite1 on Instagram #stcatherineslighthouse #lighthouse #lighthouses #lighthousesofinstagram #lighthouse_lovers #isleofwightlife #isleofwightshots #travelphotography #travellove #nikonz

It happened this week

  • Global Britain: Last year CIPR renamed its Twitter account @CIPR_Global, and now PRCA has renamed its account @PRCA_HQ to reflect its global reach and aspirations.


  • Ben Verinder: Reputation, Responsibility, Adaptability: PR in a Pandemic (13 August)
    ‘On the one hand, in-house public sector PRs (in particular those with responsibility for health or internal communications) have seen a staggering rise in working hours. On the other, we have seen some independent practitioners and agencies suffer a significant decline in business, hours and income.’
  • Ben Smith with Jon Gerlis: Has COVID changed the reputation of PR? We discuss the CIPR’s ‘PR in the Pandemic’ report [podcast] (12 August)
    ‘From a professional point of view, the majority of people think Covid has been more positive than negative… The opportunities for public relations were significantly multiplied.’
  • Stephen Waddington: WaddsCon end of term review: seeking speakers and sponsors (6 August)
    ‘More than 900 people have attended at least one WaddsCon event in the past six months, to hear from 24 speakers on a diverse range of topics. WaddsCon started in February, during the second lockdown, as a way for practitioners to explore contemporary areas of marketing and public relations practice.’

Academic and education

ESG, corporate and financial

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Amanda Coleman: A message to prospective freelancers (11 August)
    ‘There appears to be more people wanting to tread the same path I have, out of a paid monthly salary and into the world of being self-employed.’
  • Louise Nicolson: The Class of 2021 (no date)
    ‘Last week, Williams Nicolson welcomed students to our inaugural Summer School for a crash course in strategic communications.’
  • Reanna Griffith: Reaching out is key: How I entered the PR world (10 August)
    ‘During my studies I have written various pieces relating to artificial intelligence, 5G and other forms of technology as these are my areas of interest. With this in mind, it felt right to reach out to a Tech PR agency for insight into what they do and advice on what I could do to get into the field.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: 500 Blog Posts Later (9 August)
    ‘Isn’t blogging dead? Honestly, this is something I’ve asked myself on numerous occasions as I watch everyone flock to Instagram, YouTube and TikTok but there’s just something about the art of written content that I can’t steer away from.’
  • Paul Stollery: Hard Numbers and sister agency Hype Collective create ‘StaffSeed’ fund for employees to launch their own agencies (no date)
    ‘StaffSeed will be open to employees of both businesses at every level. The programme will allow staff to pitch for up to £100k of funding for their own agencies. Staff don’t have to pitch for the full amount. To put that figure into context, Hard Numbers secured £50,000 of funding for its launch, although only needed a fraction of that due to exceeding its sales targets in its first year of trading.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Harry Gardiner: Lacking. On missing motivation during lockdown (11 August)
    ‘Surprising no one, research of how Gen Z used social media to cope with feelings of loneliness during lockdown found that substituting online social activity as a substitute for physical social relations actually resulted in teens feeling less happy.’
  • Sara Hawthorn: Some news… (10 August)
    ‘I need to give myself a chance to rest and recuperate properly, so I’m stopping for a bit. I’m letting the business go, I’m going to be taking some extended time off.’
  • Ronke Lawal: Can You Really be Your Authentic Self at work? (9 August)
    ‘Being yourself is one of the principle foundations of having a trustworthy and credible personal brand but how much of your authentic self can you really bring into professional and business spaces?’

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Fraser Raleigh: Economy bouncing back, but not yet all the way back (12 August)
    ‘The UK’s recovery is among the fastest of the developed economies, but its fall during the pandemic was also one of the sharpest. The UK economy is now 4.4% smaller than before COVID.’
  • Ian Silvera: Crypto is stuck between a hack and a hard place – Washington (12 August)
    ‘For an industry that prides itself on top of the range encryption, the [hacking] event no doubt casts doubt in current and potential investors’ mind. It also brings unwanted attention and scrutiny from media and regulators.’
  • Rob Shrimpton: Ships, greenhouse gas emissions and… software enhanced sails (10 August)
    ‘Ships emit around 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions each year. And with millions of tonnes of goods bought and sold worldwide every day, this is the same amount as Germany or the whole of South America.’
  • Sabine Tyldesley: Humans are ‘unequivocally’ driving climate change – but is it irreversible? (10 August)
    ‘The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its sixth Assessment Report this week with a stark warning that there is “unequivocal” evidence that humans are causing increasing temperatures. UN Secretary-General António Guterres further described it as “a code red for humanity”.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Emma Drake: Repurposing your content [podcast]
    ‘August is a great month to take stock of what you’ve got and refresh it for September.’

Internal communication

  • Jenni Field: Champagne, showers, sunshine and celebration! (10 August)
    ‘Putting all of my thoughts down in a book is one of the most vulnerable things I’ve ever done and I was spurred on by the support from my family, friends and my team. So I wanted to hold an event in person to celebrate and share my thanks.’
  • Rachel Miller: Podcast: A candid conversation about mentoring with Melisa Kakas (8 August)
    ‘I don’t think I’d have found myself in internal comms if I didn’t have this fantastic mentor. It all started by having someone to believe in me who wasn’t my immediate manager.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Jen Atkinson: Agritech: Improving the yields from the fields with IoT (12 August)
    ‘The prevalence of the [Internet of Things] (IoT) has touched every industry, from healthcare to banking, from manufacturing to automotive. In fact, mobile operator Ericsson forecasts the total number of IoT connections worldwide will grow to nearly 27 billion by the year 2026, which is over a 100% increase on the number of connections in 2020.’
  • Lydia Bryant: Propel Media Barometer Report (12 August)
    ‘Journalists open the most pitches at 11am, so the takeaway for PRs is to get their pitches out around this time, 10 – 11am to be precise, rather than as soon as journalists get to their desk, which has traditionally been 9am. Maybe unsurprisingly, most pitches are opened during the first half of the day, before 1 p.m.’
  • Adam Driver: Divide and E-conquer: Segment your emails like a boss (8 August)
    ‘By building up knowledge about your customers and their background or experience, you can segment and send more engaging, relevant and even personalised messages.’
  • Amelia Waters and Dan Parris: How to produce a podcast in PR (6 August)
    ‘I think every agency and business should have a podcast. From an agency perspective, not only is it another arrow in your quiver that you can sell in to clients, it also gives the team the opportunity to learn different skills and find out what it is like to sit in front of a mic.’