This week in PR (16 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


  • Iretomiwa Akintunde-Johnson and Blossom Deji-Folutile: Understanding the public relations market in Africa (13 December)
    ‘20 million Africans have migrated from the continent since 2010 according to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. 11 million have headed for Europe, five million to the Middle East and three million to North America. The brain drain of young people from the continent will impact the future of the economy and burgeoning professions and creative industries such as marketing and public relations.’
  • Chris Tucker: Are we well placed to be the so-called “ethical guardian”? (12 December)
    ‘To me, [Jacquie] L’Etang’s paper always serves to put us in our place, reminding us that it is still possible to practise PR without being a member of a professional body let alone sign up to any kind of ethical code. Many PR practitioners have had no ethical training of any kind at all, and in many respects this goes to the heart of the reputational challenge the industry faces as it embarks on a process of professionalisation.’

Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Maja Pawinska Sims: Podcast: Andy Pharoah On Mars & Sustainability (15 December)
    ‘I steward sustainability on the leadership team. I see my role as making sure we’re having the right discussions, setting the right targets and putting in the right resources to achieve them. We’re tackling issues of climate; we’re also tackling issues of poverty and water.’
  • Tim Le Couilliard: The World COP – why a win on nature needs to be coming home (15 December)
    ‘While some will be glued to a significant sporting tournament underway in Qatar, the world’s climate change community are engaged in another kick-about. Focused on halting and reversing biodiversity loss, this COP15 summit is dedicated to nature protection.’

Consulting, skills and careers

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Charley Sambridge: Fighting food waste during the cost-of-living crisis (15 December)
    ‘As part of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, the Government has committed to halving the UK’s per capita food waste by 2030.’
  • Rebecca Roberts: Why new voter id legislation risks disenfranchising a generation (15 December)
    ‘Under new government rules, the Elections Act 2022, voters across the country will now be required to show photographic identification before they are handed their ballot paper. Much of the rhetoric around the decision has centred around the risk of fraud, however, very little evidence has supported that it’s an issue for the UK voting system.’
  • Imogen Shaw: Energy companies in a pressure cooker environment (15 December)
    ‘The regulatory environment has suddenly become more complicated for renewable energy generation companies and this poses challenges both in terms of their engagement with politicians and policymakers, but also in terms of their communications to investors.’
  • Mike Peacock: Big bang 2.0 or more of a whimper? (12 December)
    ‘Truss was fixated on tax cuts but most economists say the key to higher productivity is “supply-side reforms” – a term that covers everything from investment in digital and physical infrastructure, and education/skills, to smart deregulation, removing trade barriers and easing planning laws.’
  • Chris White: Government unleashes big reforms to the City, but how soon will they make a difference? (13 December)
    ‘The UK’s financial services sector makes up a little under 10% of the economy, and recent data has made troubling reading for the government.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

  • Son Pham: Why we never talk enough about ourselves — and brands should know it (12 December)
    ‘Spotify has done a great job to leverage its internal data and tap into human truths to succeed in a viral campaign. This year, you can see if you are The Adventurer, The Specialist, The Early Adopter, The Deep Diver, The Devotee or The Time Traveler.’
  • Stella Bayles with Amar Singh: Brands and fans in sport & entertainment in 2023 [podcast] (no date)
    ‘At Budweiser we had an always-on publishing strategy related to creating content around week-in week-out flow of Premier League and La Liga matches and that was being activated all around the world and coordinated centrally by me. But then all that stopped with Covid.’

Internal communication

Media, digital and technology

  • Jack Grasby: Five ways to instantly up your social media game (15 December)
    ‘According to recent statistics, more than half the world is now on social media. That’s 4.7 billion people – or 59 percent of the human population – holding an account on one of the various channels now available to us.’
  • Steve Baker and Louise Parker: Creativity with Mark Rofe [podcast] (13 December)
    ‘I would describe myself as an internet prankster that’s fallen into digital PR and is able to use that to sell Christmas trees on the internet. The digital PR side is the one that interests me most.’
  • Molly Gretton: Microsoft acquires 4% stake in the London Stock Exchange (13 December)
    ‘The 10-year deal includes a contractual agreement in which the LSEG must spend a minimum of £2.3bn over the next decade on a digital makeover using Microsoft’s internet cloud technology, including its Azure data storage product, its Teams communication tools, and integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into its products.’

Academic, education and training

#prstudent #CreatorAwards23

This section is open to any UK-based public relations student (or indeed, any UK-based student seeking a career in public relations). It’s currently dominated by Sunderland students: others are welcome too. Tag your shareable content with #prstudent and I’ll consider it for inclusion here.

  • Rachel Williams (Sunderland): How could BookTok improve how it does PR? (14 December)
    ‘Bloomsbury, as one of the largest publishing houses, can be quite select with who receives their [advance reader copies] and do not send them to those with less than 10,000 followers.’
  • Chloe Rose (Sunderland): Football’s not coming home… but he is (13 December)
    ‘Domestic violence incidents increase by a shocking 38% whenever England lose a football match, any major tournament for many brings with it the fear of what might happen if (or in this case when) a team loses a game.’
  • Destiny Hollern (Sunderland): Gaming in Numbers: facts and stats of an industry (12 December)
    ‘As a practitioner, it is important to know the engagement that a platform can bring as you can then promote your key messages to a wide audience. It is also important to follow trends so you can understand what the current market wants.’
  • Amie Cairns (Leeds Beckett):
@amiercairns PRODUCTIVE was feeling slightly under the weather today but the gym always makes me feel healthier and happier and topping it off with a relaxing night in &lt3  #prstudent #publicrelations #leeds #leedsstudent #marketing #pr #publicrelationsagency #fyp ♬ CUFF IT – Beyoncé