This week in PR (13 December)

About the author

Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

Morning #London town @woolfallalex
Morning #London town @woolfallalex

News in brief

  • Time magazine’s Person of the Year Greta Thunberg has accused world leaders of ‘creative PR’ (via Sky News)
  • The PRCA published an eve of poll prediction from public affairs experts. The average predicted number of Conservative seats was 333 against 228 for Labour. That compares to the exit poll prediction of 368/191 and a morning-after result of 364/203 with just one result still to declare.
  • Here’s the full list of UnAwards 19 winners
  • AMEC board elected for 2020 ‘(via AMEC). The CIPR‘s elected board members will be announced today.
  • Nexus founder Jonathan Choat has died aged 79 (via PR Week)

Trust and professionalism

  • Ella Minty: When Truth and Lies Become One, Who Do We Trust? (12 December)
    ‘While Public Relations will always retain its core functions of building relationships and mutual understanding, reputations and goodwill, its imperative is now that of building trust – we can trust someone we don’t have a relationship with because trust is not rooted in emotions and feelings, but in standing by what you believe in.’

Consulting and careers

  • Chris Owen: Stop chasing your next promotion and focus on gaining experience instead (9 December)
    ‘A senior role for requires depth of knowledge, skill, judgement and pragmatism that only time in the job can deliver. The goal should always be expertise, not the job title – and ultimately, simply chasing the latter approach will prove to be self-defeating.’
  • Joe Mackay-Sinclair: The Romans History, MMXIX (9 December)
    ‘There’s something incredibly satisfying about taking a deep breath, remembering your past 12 months and writing down what you’re most proud of and the stuff that made you happy. (Don’t make a rubbish PR film tho or record an end of year song. You’re better than that).’

Public and third sectors

Politics and public affairs

  • Simon Fitzpatrick: The Cicero Elections Awards 2019 (12 December)
    ‘That’s about as many mostly awful moments from this election as I can bear to re-live. To the Gaukes and Molly Bennett – thank you. To everyone else: make it stop!’
  • Tom Hashemi: Communicating policies and messages to the public (8 December)
    ‘I founded my firm in the wake of the vote to leave the EU because I felt that policy experts on both sides of the debate had failed to have a meaningful voice during the campaign.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • James Herring: Banksy’s latest artwork highlights homelessness at Christmas (10 December)
    ‘Street artist Banksy is known for his commentary on the state of society, with images that call out such things as homophobia, greed and the nuclear arms race. His latest piece, on Vyse Street in Birmingham, depicts flying reindeer in a harness – which appear to be pulling a bench which is used as a bed by the homeless.’

Crisis and reputation

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Ana Adi: #7 Rachel Royall_Women in PR [podcast] (10 December)
    ‘I’m getting much better at [managing stress at work]. I need to do more exercise, but one of the things I’ve started to do is to get much more disciplined about my social media. When I’m spending time at home with my children it’s quality time.’
  • Paul Sutton with Gini Dietrich: Running on empty: Business challenges, burnout & signs of recession part 2 [podcast] (11 December)
    ‘I keep joking that my bike is taking the brunt of my stress – and that I’m in the best shape of my life. It’s been really rough.’

Measurement and evaluation

AI, tools and automation

  • Stephen Waddington: Kerry Sheehan on the slow march of AI in PR (11 December)
    ‘Those who embrace AI will have competitive advantage. PRs who fail to accept this new reality and fear AI will see others move ahead.’
  • Andrew Pakes: How do we get digital ethics right? (10 December)
    ‘AI has the potential to create prosperity but – in the immediate term – it will leave a lot of people behind.’

Brands, storytelling and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: Influencer marketing trends 2020 (11 December)
    ‘The TikTok versus Instagram wars will heat up as the platforms fight for the attention of young users. 39.9% of TikTok users are under 20 years old, according to Business of Apps.’

Internal communication

Media and digital

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

After 85 posts from 28 students at five universities, we’re giving you a break. #bestPRblogs will be back in the New Year. In the meantime, congratulations to Ulster University for dominating and to Hannah Chambers and Niamh Murray for jointly leading on ten appearances apiece at half-time.

  • Emma Rogers (Solent): Election day persuasion (12 December)
    ‘Our Country needs each person who is eligible to have their say and vote. Whatever the reason may be, people haven’t been voting, with one third of registered voters not taking to the polls on Election Day.’
  • Hannah Chambers (Ulster): Can Christmas Ad Giants Team Up In the Name of Corporate Social Responsibility? (12 December)
    ‘The ad break marked a refreshing move away from traditional commercialised Christmas ad’s towards an appeal for a good cause. It is expected that 5 million people will take part in the annual Christmas Jumper Day on this Friday – 13th December. Raising more than £4 million for Save the Children.’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Using films for political campaigns: Good for politicians, or bad for the films? (11 December)
    ‘Trump compares himself to an infamous villain that no one but himself likes, who vows to wipe out all of his enemies. And wants to kill everyone. And then dies. After he’s wiped out by his enemies. No, it wasn’t the Democrats who came up with this. It was actually Trump’s team. I know.’
  • Abi Kitcher (Solent): Developing your professional self: the importance of digital creativity in PR (11 December)
    ‘I wanted to base my blog post this week on what I felt I’ve learnt that has been most valuable to me this semester. This has been the importance of creativity in the PR world.’
  • Emma Street (Lincoln): How To Focus in The Christmas Period (10 December)
    ‘One of the reasons it feels so horrible working in December is because you want to see your friends before Christmas, especially if you’ll all be moving back home after the semester finishes. So schedule a study session where you can all go to the library together at a certain time and do some work together.’
  • Bronagh Carey (Ulster): The Most Important Fashion Trend of 2019 (6 December)
    ‘Not only did this year present to us statement chunky trainers, biker shorts and tiny sunglasses, but it introduced the concept of sustainability, with the help of 15 year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg.’

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