This week in PR (15 December)

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


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Famous Campaigns (@famouscampaigns)

Professional practice

  • Stefan Rollnick: Will fact-checking be a “losing game” in 2024? (11 December)
    ‘Beating disinformation is about more than just pointing at disinformation and hoping that it loses its power. To paraphrase the Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett who gave this Substack its name: “The best answer to a lie isn’t a fact it’s a deeper truth”.’

Purpose, climate and ESG


  • Andrew Adie: COP28: What does it mean for business? (14 December)
    When even NGOs are giving a cautious welcome to the outcome of a COP you can be sure it has achieved something worth having.’
  • Ben Carr: COP28: A historic agreement struck, but will it be enough? (14 December)
    The UAE Consensus “calls on parties to contribute” to take actions including “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science”.’
  • Michael White: Bots and unreliable websites spread COP28 misinformation (14 December)
    The online discourse around COP28 reveals a troubling trend of misinformation, mistrust, and polarization. For businesses, COP28 further shows that misinformation is a mainstream challenge and threat that influences audience perceptions.’
  • Matt Peacock: The madness of shale (12 December)
    Here’s the first thing I learned about shale gas: it is a wilderness technology. It works well in vast empty spaces where hardly anyone lives. And it is profoundly implausible in densely populated landscapes where a lot of people live.’
  • Dafydd Rees: Climate Finance: COP28 champions carbon markets (12 December)
    For me, the most striking aspect of the past few weeks in Dubai has been the unity of purpose and support which has been shown for the role of carbon markets from the public and private sectors.’

Consulting, skills and careers

Gender, diversity, health and wellbeing

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere


  • Stuart Thomson: Interview with Paul Gerrard, Co-op [podcast] (11 December)
    ‘It surprises me how few people there are with senior civil service experience working in public affairs.’ 

Brands, content, community and creativity

Research, data, measurement and evaluation

Crisis, risk and reputation


  • Amanda Coleman: Understand the impact of trust deficit (14 December)
    ‘The most trusted professions for 2023 are nurses, airline pilots, librarians, doctors and engineers… At the opposite end of the table, politicians are at the bottom with trust at the lowest it has been since 1983 when the survey was started. They are closely followed by government ministers, advertising executive, journalists, and estate agents.’

Internal communication 


  • Katie Marlow: Panel discussion: ‘A great workplace starts with great communication’. (14 December)
    ‘Whenever you take the time to find out what colleagues preferences are when it comes to communication, face to face and in person events are frequently their top preference. You simply can’t beat getting together with others in a room for some kinds of communication.’

Media, digital and technology


  • Jesper Andersen: Navigating the AI Maze: Top Influencers & Resources You Need to Follow (14 December)
    ‘One of the questions I get a lot these days is: ‘Who or what do you follow to stay on top of the development in Artificial Intelligence?’
  • Neville Hobson: How to achieve audio excellence in podcasting (14 December)
    ‘From its humble beginnings, where enthusiasts and amateurs alike shared their voices through rudimentary setups, podcasting has undergone a remarkable transformation. Today, it stands at the forefront of digital storytelling, with studio-quality audio no longer a luxury but a baseline expectation among discerning listeners.’
  • Dan Slee: SOCIAL NUMBERS: UK Social media data for 2024… Twitter collapses and TikTik rises (12 December)
    ‘For the first time UK data puts YouTube with 45.5m users as the largest platform in the UK followed by Facebook on 45.1m.’
  • Chris Norton and Will Ockenden: How to maximise the use of AI in PR and Marketing campaigns [podcast] (12 December)
    ‘We noticed that several AI-written blog posts did well initially but then dropped off a cliff. Did Google penalise them? We have to test and learn.’
  • Andrew Bruce Smith, Antony Cousins and Swati Virmani: PR in the age of AI [podcast] (11 December)
    ‘If you break communication into building blocks, you can then ask where AI can help. After you’ve experimented with content creation, then try some other areas such as objective setting. Humans will spend more time in direction setting, strategy, human relationships and contextual intelligence – the up front ‘why’.’

Academic, education and training

  • Stephen Waddington: Using social media to build a profile and advance your research career (14 December)
    ‘The lack of engagement between theory and practice is often said to hold back progress in public relations. Limited learning and development and professional standards are cited as a reason that the discipline isn’t taken seriously in management.’