This week in PR (14 January)

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.

Gorgeous on the Regent's Canal first thing this morning. @tonylangham on Instagram
Gorgeous on the Regent's Canal first thing this morning. @tonylangham on Instagram

It happened this week

  • Among the tributes paid to Professor Jonathan Van-Tam who is leaving his role as deputy chief medical officer for England, Matt Hancock described him as ‘one of the best public health communicators in history.’
  • Respected political commentator Steve Richards (see his piece below) has joined the advisory board of WA Communications.

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Ian Morris: Is purpose killing performance? (13 January)
    ‘Could the ever-increasing focus of management teams on ESG issues be distracting them from running their companies successfully?’
  • Paul MacKenzie-Cummins: Why should you become a B Corp? (13 January)
    ‘Does gaining accreditation as a B Corp actually mean anything to employees, customers, investors and other stakeholders? Does it reshape how the business is perceived from employer of choice status to preferred product or service provider in their space?’
  • Kate Sandle: Radical Responsibility (no date)
    ‘The next decade will be the litmus test for business.  Let’s take responsibility and act with humility to meet the challenge set by our planet and our children.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere 

  • Fraser Raleigh: PM asks for time, but is it borrowed? (13 January)
    ‘As MPs found when they triggered a vote in Theresa May’s leadership, even unpopular leaders can see off these contests, which under party rules cannot then be held again for a year.’
  • Steve Richards: Sorry, not sorry (13 January)
    ‘In this blog I’ll outline Downing Street’s strategy aimed at saving Johnson and why a significant number of Conservative MPs and party members do not believe it will work.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Public Affairs: It’s Not Just About Westminster (no date)
    ‘Central government itself is now shifting out of London.  The establishment of ‘Treasury North’ in Darlington is not just symbolic, it means that decision-making could change.  The Chancellor, in the 2020 Budget, said that 22,000 Civil Service jobs would move out of London by the end of the decade, with a target for 25% of roles to be outside London by 2025.’

Consulting, teams and careers

Content and creativity

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Sharon Flaherty: How to prevent your content causing you a PR crisis (12 January)
    ‘There’s no doubt there was no malice intended by the content writer who wrote the post. But the problem is it was created from one perspective on the world and without thought to the circumstances of those who it was targeting.’
  • Andy Barr: Ovo’s Marketing Is High on Ideas, Low on Energy and Empty on Empathy (11 January)
    ‘As we know from historic marketing fails such as Protein World’s “Beach Body Ready” campaign, search engines struggle to distinguish between positive and negative press, so swaths of coverage—be it good or bad—can actually help a company and its website rank higher for its dream keywords, in this case “cheapest electricity provider.” In the case of Protein World, its marketing director claimed the campaign added £1 million to the bottom line.’

Behaviour and influence

  • Imogen Watson, Fayola Douglas and others: The Molly-Mae debacle: will the influencer bubble ever burst? (12 January)
    ‘People trust people more than they trust brands. This is a timeless human truth and the bedrock of influencer marketing. However, no matter who or what you are, trust takes years to build and seconds to break.’

Internal communication

  • Aaron Gordon: PR missteps accelerated the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes (12 January)
    ‘While Theranos employees drank the Kool-Aid for years, internal discontent that prompted team members to go public with their grievances is what ultimately took down the company and sealed Holmes’ fate as a disgraced “former” CEO.’
  • Jenni Field: What is organisational culture and is it important? (10 January)
    ‘More than anything, leaders must close the say-do gap – what they say they’re going to do and what they actually do – by behaving in ways that complement their words.’
  • Rachel Miller: What IC pros need to know about culture [podcast] (8 January)
    ‘He purpose of this episode is to help you get clarity and help you articulate what culture is.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Tim Le Couilliard: Murdoch’s TV return (11 January)
    ‘Having been stripped of Sky News by the CMA in the name of editorial independence, for Murdoch, talkTV is personal and is the last missing piece in global influence for the media mogul.’
  • Nic Newman: Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions 2022 (10 January)
    ‘More publishers plan to push ahead with subscription or membership strategies this year, with the majority of those surveyed (79%) saying this will be one of their most important revenue priorities, ahead of both display and native advertising.’
  • Ben Capper: Doing 2022 better (9 January)
    ‘I’ve come to the conclusion that the social media business model is entirely broken, and locked in a perpetual cycle of harm. I’m working on a project at the moment which explores online safety, and what governments around the world are attempting to do to bring about greater regulation of the space(s); that has really opened my eyes to the issue.’

#prstudent #CreatorAwards22

News of a past winner

Ellie Jones (Liverpool John Moores)


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A post shared by Ellie Jones PR (@elliejonespr)

    • Jasmine Denike (LCC/UAL): 
@jazzdenike thank you so much for 8k #fyp #minivlog #londonvlog #londonlife #hammersmith #london #uktiktok #londonvlogger #londontiktok #singleinlondon ♬ original sound – Michal

  • Bethany Gough (Solent): Will influencer culture be cancelled in 2022 (10 January)
    ‘As someone with 6.2 million followers on Instagram, and such huge success at a young age, it’s understandable how she doesn’t understand her privilege…It’s not sensible to suggest that everyone is in the position to chase their dreams and reach the same levels of financial success as her and it’s simply incorrect.’