This week in PR (13 March)



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.

Sunday morning in the city
#thisislondon via @stephsbubble on Instagram
Sunday morning in the city #thisislondon via @stephsbubble on Instagram

News in brief

  • Havas Group has confirmed its acquisition of public affairs consultancy Cicero Global, now rebranded as Cicero/AMO. (Cicero press release)
  • Heather Beresford fondly recalls her mentor Saskia Jones who died in January. ‘Saskia Jones was an incredibly exciting person to work with. She completely transformed internal comms at Oxfam.’
  • BBC business reporter Dougal Shaw explores the growth of TikTok. ‘TikTok famous’ – but making money? ‘What sets TikTok apart from other social media platforms is the way it finds videos for you. As well as seeing videos posted by friends, users are recommended videos by the company’s software algorithm.’

Academic, education and training

  • Penny Zang: Are You Ready to Teach Online? (12 March)
    ‘Teaching online is not the same as teaching a traditional face-to-face class. This seems obvious, but instructors should not make the mistake of thinking all of their information will transfer seamlessly into the online setting.’

Purpose and professionalism

  • Shimon Cohen: The buck stops with … who? (9 March)
    ‘My call? Personal responsibility. It means taking responsibility for one’s actions, without expecting others to do it for you or blaming others for not doing it for you.’
  • Ella Minty: Shattering Corporate Advertising Rules – BP’s Bernard Looney Leads the Way (6 March)
    ‘The best PR or advertising any organisation can do for itself starts from the very top – with its CEO, Chairman and Board – and with the leadership’s ability to prove that they did what they said they would do.’

Consulting and careers

  • Jon White: Managing Stress and Developing Resilience in PR Roles (11 March)
    ‘A lot of work has been done to understand possible roles for people working in public relations, but they fall into two main role categories: technical and managerial, where in the second role practitioners are essentially consultants able to advise on and act to solve managerial problems.’
  • Ben Smith: Jo Carr, co-founder, and chief client officer at Hope&Glory, on the PRmoment podcast (10 March)
    ‘Who’s Hope and who’s Glory? I am definitely hope and James is definitely glory. It works really well because we’re very different – with a healthy respect for what the other one brings. He’s stronger about the ideas whereas I’m really curious about people.’
  • Stuart Bruce: Top 10 tips for working from home (9 March)
    ‘As Coronavirus (COVID-19) means more people face the possibility of working from home I thought it is worth sharing some of my top tips for home working.’

Public and third sectors

  • Jack Grasby: Complaints welcome: Why we can’t be afraid to fail forward (12 March)
    ‘The world of communication is ever changing and the risk that something won’t work is always there. For us, we’re really OK with that.’
  • Dan Slee: CORONAVIRUS COMMS: You’ll need to enlist a team to play whack-a-mole with online rumour (6 March)
    ‘On Facebook, critical faculty largely goes out of the window. Research from Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said that almost half of people can’t remember who shared the content on Facebook in the first place. The handy thing about Facebook is also its weakness. Your mate Dave shared it. He’s bound to have checked it. Anyway, Dave’s a good guy. But chances are Dave hasn’t.’

Politics and the public sphere

  • Paul Sutton: Maybe The World Needs The Coronavirus (12 March)
    ‘I hate the idea of even a single human being suffering due to the coronavirus. But maybe, just maybe, if it results in greater honesty and transparency and compassion and kindness and loyalty and understanding and respect, COVID-19 is what the world needs right now?’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Advita Patel: How to manage difficult conversations during crisis (12 March)
    ‘Remember your role is to advise and guide, ultimately if they are a senior leader it’ll be their decision if they want to go ahead. But this rule is exempt if what they are proposing is unethical.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Nancy Elgadi: Why it’s time to retire ‘boss bitch’ (11 March)
    ‘I wonder if there is an undue amount of pressure on female leaders to be bossy. Women may feel obliged to be bossy in an effort to challenge the notion that if they’re not, they’re too sensitive or ‘emotional’.’
  • Laura Sutherland: IWD 2020 (8 March)
    ‘We can all help by playing our part. For me, I’m a volunteer mentor for the new CIPR scheme (which I developed!) and I hope a newbie PR firestarter reaches out to me. I’m here and ready!’
  • Joanna Timmermann: The five things I’d tell younger me about being a woman working in PR (6 March)
    ‘As with any client service industry, the need to be available for clients or internal stakeholders drives activity. It is this nature that causes the huge drop off in female talent at the 30+ point.’
  • Hannah-Lil Malone: International Women’s Day: Using Data to Address Gender Imbalance (no date)
    ‘As Caroline Criado Perez highlights in her excellent book “Invisible Women”, two thirds of men in Britain still believe that women now enjoy equal opportunities, despite evidence to the contrary. Capturing data more effectively can therefore readdress the fatigue through a data lens.

Campaigns and creativity

Brands, storytelling, content and influence

  • Orlagh Shanks: Should Influencers be Certified in Advertising? (11 March)
    ‘I would love if the ASA could bring out a course for influencers and influencer marketers to become certified in the rules and laws surrounding product placement, disclosing payment and advertising on social media. If you know of any of these types of courses that exist, please do send them my way.’

Internal communication

  • Rachel Miller: How to communicate COVID-19 working patterns (10 March)
    ‘If you don’t have a working group set up already with HR, IT and Legal colleagues, create this guiding coalition today.’
  • Martin Flegg: Perils of the emoji (7 March)
    ‘If we must use emoji in workplace communications, then I think it’s important that we understand what they mean (or could mean) and what our audience think they mean before we do so. We are careful to use the right words in our communications, so we should be careful about using the right emoji (or no emoji at all).’

Media and digital

  • Jessica Pardoe: 5 Key Takeaways from #MancSEO (11 March)
    ‘It doesn’t matter what weird and wonderful website you build, if you can’t use creative tactics to drive traffic, then it won’t make you any money.

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Hannah Chambers (Ulster): My International Women’s Day Winner and Loser of Advertising (12 March)
    ‘Upon further inspection every woman in the ad was shown for their particular contribution to their industry or their work for women’s rights, which I personally think is great.’
  • Georgia Galway (Ulster): It’s time to pop your social media bubble (12 March)
    ‘When American politics came up, I was genuinely taken aback about how deeply divided a nation it is, even in comparison to Northern Ireland.’
  • Charlotte Price (Sunderland): Thursday thoughts with Beth Smith (12 March)
    ‘I have found PR to be a very welcoming industry, fellow PR people have been more than happy to share advice, feedback or just chat about PR. But if you don’t ask, you don’t get!’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): I just want soap. (11 March)
    ‘I know that everyone’s a bit scared and panicked, and fair enough like, people need food if they’re gonna be trapped in their house. So, I get buying stuff in “in case”. But, it’s so, so excessive. And unfair. Just because YOU can spend £200 on a huge shop to fill your American fridge and utility room freezer, doesn’t mean everyone can. I just want SOAP.’
  • Orlaigh Doherty (Ulster): Is it still a man’s world? (11 March)
    ‘Today’s society puts immense pressure on women to be a ‘supermum’ who perfectly manages their home, cares lovingly for their children and succeeds in a full-time career. Ultimately, these expectations are unrealistic and only make women feel guilty as if they have failed in some way.’
  • Connor Lamb (Sunderland): How have airlines used their media outlets to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak? (11 March)
    ‘Airlines have been cancelling flights, but what sort of message are their PR teams giving out through their social media channels and websites?’
  • Rory Drake (Sunderland): Exploring the Relationship Between Sports Journalism and PR: Q&A with The Athletic’s Chris Waugh (10 March)
    ‘Over the past five years or so, PR departments at clubs have grown substantially and I think that will continue. More and more in-house media teams are being set-up and so clubs (in general) are becoming less and less accessible.’
  • Molly Stevenson (Ulster): The ‘C’ Word (9 March)
    ‘Dad went to get his tonsils privately removed as he was complaining of having a sore throat for over a month. During this operation the doctor found a cancerous growth, one that they couldn’t remove there and then as it was too far on. He was told he would have to endure radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but the prognosis was good.’
  • Emma Street (Lincoln): Had a Splendid time in London (8 March)
    ‘This was the first time I had visited an agency in London, and it was a great way to get a sense of the agency lifestyle – especially when we had a tour around the office, and got to see how collaborative the work spaces were laid out.’
  • Steven Batey (Sunderland): Like, Comment, Retweet, Repeat? (6 March)
    ‘Social media in 2020 is seemingly all about getting likes, going viral and generally being as popular as possible with both your friends and often strangers too. Is it now becoming just somewhere to brag and show off about your latest job, your new outfit or your weight loss regime?’