This week in PR (14 July)

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 week


Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Ian Morris: Should companies worry about the war on woke? (13 July)
    If a company decides to support a particular social cause as a genuinely core value, then great. They must stand up for that. But they need to be able to justify why they support it publicly and with staff, and they should make 100% sure that their actions – the policies, procedures and behaviours they instigate – mirror their words.’
  • Stuart Lambert: Communicators helped to ruin ESG. Now it’s time to get more precise (11 July).
    If anyone has helped to kill usage of the term ‘ESG’, it certainly isn’t Larry Fink, investors or rabid conservative politicians. It is communicators, whose misuse of the idea has led directly to confusion and needless culture war nonsense.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Emma Drake: The Power of Public Relations: 5 Tips to Impact ‘Know, Like, Trust’ with customers [podcast] (13 July)
    ‘When there’s a lot of competition in the marketplace this ‘know, like. trust’ factor can be really important.’
  • Evie Barrett: Does Gen Z think PR is a ‘lazy girl job?’ (13 July)
    “Success in PR is synonymous with being proactive and taking initiative,” asserts Georgia Cotterill, account manager at Stone Junction. “It’s not just about following procedures and checking off a tick-list, but more about taking the time to do research, outreach and constantly learning to keep your knowledge up to speed.”

Gender, diversity, health and wellbeing

  • Son Pham: Jessica Hope on entrepreneurship, African tech and DE&I advocacy (13 July)
    Wimbart is a peculiar company, in that 100% of our team is BME. We were intentional about making sure we were representative and diverse in that respect. One of my bugbears is hearing agency leads talk about diversity and then not actually do it.’

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Matilda Hartwig: Rethinking consultation in the age of the nimby (13 July)
    The recent green policy flip-flopping by the government has highlighted the increasing need for planners, developers and policy professionals to obtain more robust data on the preferences of the whole community, so the loudest voices in the room do not overpower the decision-making process.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Interview with Philip Salter, Founder, The Entrepreneurs Network [podcast] (12 July)
    ‘I was always interested in ideas, but didn’t realise you could do that for a job. I had an interest in policy but wouldn’t say I was a politics junkie.’
  • Scott Harker: Lots of sense, but little appetite for it (11 July)
    The Chancellor’s Mansion House Speech yesterday passed by with relatively little fanfare. His speech to the great and good of the financial services world in the City of London set out several ambitious measures designed to make use of the UK’s financial services sector to drive economic growth.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

Crisis, risk and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: Stepping with care and determination (10 July)
    There is a lot to come from the current issue the BBC are facing but here are my thoughts on the top five things that matter most when staffing complaints and problems happen.’

Behaviour and influence


Internal communication

  • Martin Flegg: Review of IC 2023 Index (7 July)
    ‘When will organisations finally ditch performative annual employee surveys in favour of more effective methods of listening and when will IC practitioners rise up and say no to their practice being judged by these proxy measures of IC performance?’

Media, digital and technology

  • Catherine Arrow: The second future is AI-powered (13 July)
    ‘There is common ground between data professionals and public relations professionals – both disciplines set out to frame the problem by asking the right questions and it is this common ground where I believe the AI powered public relations future lies. There is no going back from this (as long as the electricity stays on) as artificial intelligence is embedded in our lives – and practice – from this point on.’
  • Duncan McKean: Don’t believe the hype: How to avoid falling for the next tech fad (12 July)
    This week it’s Threads (vs. Twitter). Last year it was Metaverse, and this year (so far) has been dominated by (generative) AI.’
  • Paul MacKenzie-Cummins: Debunked: Summer is as good a time as any for media outreach, Clearly poll finds (10 July)
    ‘56 per cent of senior executives, business leaders and founders will continue to keep abreast of what is happening in the business world whilst on holiday this July and August to some extent or another.’
  • Michael White: Introducing Threads: Meta’s new social network now 100m users strong (10 July)
    ‘Developed by some former Twitter engineers, Threads closely resembles Twitter’s early appearance in 2008, appealing to users seeking a friendlier alternative amid increased scrutiny of Twitter’s policies under Elon Musk’s ownership.’

Academic, education and training