This week in PR (15 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.


It happened this week

  • John Harrington with Eliza Wiredu and Evie Barrett: ‘In the AI age, everyone assumes the worst’ – #Photogate PR lessons, PR Week podcast (13 March)
    ‘The Royal Family attempted to address the rumours about Kate’s health, but their attempt ended up causing more speculation. This resulted in hashtags like #photogate trending on social media platforms.’
  • Amanda Coleman: That photo and tackling disinformation (11 March)
    It was the photograph that was supposed to stop the conspiracy theories and provide reassurance about the health of the Princess of Wales. But it quickly became a lesson in how ‘warts and all’ is the best approach.’

Profession and ethics

  • Alastair McCapra: PR’s role in the UK’s dirty money problem (11 March)
    As the [Foreign Policy Centre] report found out, many PR agents are currently laundering the reputation of corrupt players from overseas, helping them establish networks within the UK.’

Business and finance

  • Clotilde Gros: The $3tn hangover (14 March)
    Private equity groups globally are sitting on a record 28,000 unsold companies worth more than $3tn.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Chris Norton and Will Ockenden: How to perfect your pitch with Lord Sugar’s PR guru – Andrew Bloch: [podcast] (12 March)
    ‘Now I have in the fashionable term a portfolio career. I spend time doing mergers and acquisitions (buying and selling PR, marketing, digital agencies for the big management consultancies); I continue to look after Lord Sugar and the Apprentice winners; and I sit on the board of several companies.’
  • Helen Deverell: Eight years of freelance life (and a few truths I learnt along the way) (12 March)
    ‘Work out what success means to you, not to everyone else. I do work I genuinely enjoy with lovely people, and I earn decent money doing it. I haven’t grown my business in the sense that I don’t run events or have products or have taken on employees. Growth for me is about learning and improving.’

Gender, diversity, health and wellbeing

  • Ben Smith with Charlotte West and Jo Patterson: Global Women in PR’s Annual Index charts the progress towards gender equality in the PR workplace [podcast] (12 March)
    ‘Some companies are saying ‘if you’re not in the office on the days we’re telling you to come in and you’re not getting seen, guess what, you’re not going to get promoted’. I fear that if we push too far down the line of seeing flexible working as the ultimate benefit that means we can have it all as women, then we’re going to miss out in future.’
  • Aoife Godfrey: The feminist case for remote work (12 March)
    ‘Working from home isn’t just about convenience or productivity; it’s about dismantling traditional workplace structures that disproportionately disadvantage women.’
  • Shilpa Saul: How can PR leaders demonstrate a true investment in women to accelerate progress? (8 March)
    It has been heartening to witness the support so many PR agencies have shown PR Mums [a community-led platform offering former PRs a pathway back into the industry after starting a family] since our inception last year.’

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere


  • Perry Miller: Countdown to go/no-go (12 March)
    ‘Two weeks today is make or break day for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The 26th of March is the last opportunity for him to call a general election on the 2nd of May, which is when local elections take place across the country.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

Crisis, risk and reputation


Internal communication 


  • Kevin Ruck: Is it time to retire the annual employee survey and really listen? (11 March)
    ‘The use of AI for listening to employees has much to offer in terms of descriptive analytics that help managers and leaders to make sense of what employees are saying that is then part of a process that includes responding and/or acting.’
  • John Clegg: Achieving high impact internal comms with limited resources (11 March)
    Whenever I take on an in-house role, the absolute first thing I do is to conduct an audit of the existing channels and content. You can’t make decisions regarding your channels, content or workload until you have the performance data.’
  • Rachel Miller: Podcast: How to transform your internal communication (9 March)
    ‘What does transformation mean? To transform something means to make a real difference. What does transforming your organisational communication mean to you?’
  • Katie Macaulay with Danielle Bond: Mastering your approach to strategic communication [podcast] (6 March)
    ‘When a communications professional looks at a business problem, they see a communications solution. And when an HR professional or a development professional looks at a business problem, they see leadership capability building as the solution. And IT see technology as the solution. The thing is business problems don’t come in silos.’

Media, digital and technology


  • Jen Kelham with Teresa Cottam: Analyst relations in 2024: preparation, preferences, and predictions (13 March)
    Good analyst relations are all about picking up the phone and building relationships – this is something I am always telling young PRs. I get so many emails that it is very easy for your message to get lost in my inbox.’
  • Neville Hobson: Wikipedia and PR: Navigating a Complex Relationship (11 March)
    Despite the establishment of best practices… there’s a noticeable trend towards collective amnesia regarding the proper ways to engage with Wikipedia, necessitating a renewed effort to educate and remind industry professionals of the ethical standards required.’

Academic, education and training

  • Matt Tidwell, Pamela Bourland-Davis, Elizabeth Toth: PR Education: What Does the Next Generation Need to Succeed? [podcast] (8 March)
    ‘The Commission on Public Relations Education is now 50 years old. The founders were concerned that there was no consistency on what students studied under [the banner of] public relations.’