This week in PR (14 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.

It happened this fortnight


  • Steven Shepperson-Smith: CIPR March update: Bournemouth/Glasgow/Francis Ingham (31 March)
    ‘Francis [Ingham] was very supportive of my MBA dissertation project, underlining the genuine support I know he offered all learners in our industry. He was further welcoming to me at events held by the Company of Communicators.’

Misinformation and disinformation

  • Maja Pawinska Sims: Ukrainian PR Army Launches Platform To Combat Russian Disinformation (31 March)
    ‘Over the past 13 months, the PR Army has built a network of international journalists, experts, PR specialists and volunteers and worked with more than 1,200 publications in 74 countries, including Forbes, the Washington Post, the BBC, CNN and the Financial Times.’

Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Tim Le Couilliard: Are we sports-washing our football shirts? (13 April)
    ‘Arsenal was one of the first to change its kit for campaign purposes with its “No More Red” campaign – targeted at reducing knife crime and youth violence in the capital.’
  • Amelia Beale and Imogen Shaw: Purpose on Payday (31 March)
    ‘This month saw the Financial Conduct Authority carry out a preliminary review of ESG benchmarks, finding the overall quality was poor and outlining where improvements must be made.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Claire Foster: Be Seen (no date)
    ‘Time saved by not commuting is on average 73 minutes in the UK and according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, a lot of that time benefit goes back to the employer.’
  • Emma Drake: Ten Tips to nail you first or next speaking opportunity [podcast] (13 April)
    ‘It’s not sales-led, but [speaking] adds authority and authenticity to your personal or your business brand.’
  • David Olajide: How to use LinkedIn to build your personal brand (10 April)
    Twitter has always been a popular platform for professionals to connect and share their thoughts. However, in recent years, there has been a trend of people leaving Twitter for LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers a more professional environment for individuals to connect and share their expertise.’
  • Ben Smith with Jo Ogunleye, Julie Dilger and Olivia O’Brien: An insiders perspective of a modern in-house communications department, with Google UK’s comms team [podcast] (31 March)
    ‘Sometimes it is a bit overwhelming because Google is so big. You could talk Google 24 hours a day seven days a week and still not tell all the stories.’
  • Heather Yaxley: The persistent problem of PR churn (30 March)
    ‘Hoping LinkedIn might offer a perspective on churn in PR, data obtained from Andrew Bruce Smith showed 4,000 of 98,000 PR professionals in the UK recorded a job change in a 90-day period (December 2020 to March 2023). This points to a 16% annual churn rate.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Tom Haynes: Plan for Water: A fresh start or more of the same? (6 April)
    ‘Sewage discharge is a huge issue of concern in Conservative heartland seats, and so the government will be hoping both that the plan works, and that it neutralises a politically challenging issue.’
  • George Esmond: #TradeTuesday: Joining the CPTPP provides Britain the opportunity for long-term trading leverage (4 April)
    ‘CPTPP nations are also among some of the fastest growing in the world, and a key cornerstone of the Indo-Pacific market that is expected to generate 56 per cent of all global growth from 2019 to 2050.’
  • Emily Wallace with ChatGPT: I asked ChatGPT about AI and the Public Affairs industry (3 April)
    ‘Chatbots and virtual assistants can help streamline the process of engaging with policymakers and other stakeholders, by answering routine questions and providing information on policy positions and initiatives. This can free up human staff to focus on more strategic tasks, such as developing messaging and building relationships with key influencers.’
  • Angus Hill: Powering up? (31 March)
    The fact that ‘Powering up Britain’ was neither radical or fast enough to meet key national ambitions, doesn’t mean it’s not welcome or important.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

  • James Gwinnett: Mulvaney madness or masterstroke? (11 April)
    ‘Is it “a shame to see such an iconic American company go so woke” (as stated by Jenner), or is it the case that the old adage is true; that “there’s no such thing as bad PR”?’

Crisis, risk and reputation

Behaviour and influence

  • Son Pham: Gen Z proves celebrity gossip is in its peak era. What’s next? (13 Aprll)
    The concept of a parasocial relationship, often a one-sided relationship, was coined in 1956 by Donald Horton and R. Richard Wohl to describe the way mass media users acted like they were in a typical social relationship with a media figure, such as feeling as though they are besties with a well-known celebrity.’

Internal communication

  • Katie Macaulay with Jason Anthoine: Comms with courage [podcast] (5 April)
    ‘There’s probably been 50 people on this podcast that have said the same thing. What we need is a seat at the table. Well, when you get the seat at the table around everybody else, they’re all coming in there with charts and graphs. And we’re coming in there with arts and crafts. And they get all the resources because they can prove that what they’re doing is working. And all we can say is we got a bunch of likes.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Lily Germain: PR and AI: The new hot couple (11 April)
    ‘One of the wins of AI is the speed at which it can knock up content. It will optimise your time by assisting with idea generation, writing, editing and visual assets. Us mere mortals had previously only dreamed of creating content in seconds.’
  • Neville Hobson: Twitter verification means little now (2 April)
    ‘I don’t plan on leaving Twitter – I’ve been here since 2006 – but I no longer see this social network as a primary place of engagement with people. It still has a role to play in the wider universe of people sharing opinions, news and information online but with huge caveats attached.’

Academic, education and training

#prstudent #CreatorAwards23

Lydia Cooper (Leeds Beckett): The Best of PR and Marketing on Race Week (Australian GP) (9 April)
‘F1 decided to found a new women’s competition, named F1 Academy, in order to help young female drivers progress into careers in motorsport.’