This week in PR (16 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.

Taken direct from the account of @gregbunbury. Says it all. Via @nikgovier on Instagram
Taken direct from the account of @gregbunbury. Says it all. Via @nikgovier on Instagram

It happened this week

  • Stephen Benn, director of parliamentary affairs at the Society of Biology and eldest son of Tony Benn, has reclaimed the family’s hereditary title renounced by his late MP father to take a seat in the House of Lords as Viscount Stansgate.
  • Bibi Hilton has left Interpublic after 15 years (PRovoke News)

Purpose and professionalism

  • Jennifer Sanchis: PRCA National Conference: PR leaders share covid comms lessons (14 July)
    ‘PR practitioners in attendance were visibly thrilled to be joined by Alastair Campbell, renowned communications strategist and former Press Secretary to Tony Blair. Alastair himself, of course, has been open about his mental health journey and delivered a raw, honest, and energetic mental health keynote with genuine advice and support for PR practitioners in the room, joining virtually, and beyond.’
  • Emma Drake: Ep 32. Why effective communication isn’t a happy accident [podcast] (15 July)
    ‘A lot of strategy work I undertake is grounded in data and insights. In a world that’s overwhelmed with content we should be trying to focus on what matters.’
  • Rachel Bower: Introducing The Purpose Pathfinder – storytelling in a polarised world (no date)
    ‘Building on our work with The Depolarization Project, The University of Cambridge, YouGov and More in Common, we have developed a unique new model. The Purpose Pathfinder will help our clients design brand purpose narratives that resonate with their audiences in the strongest possible way, while also balancing the polarised views of different audiences.’

Academic and education


  • Sara Neidle: Covid-19 the catalyst for women’s golf (15 July)
    ‘Covid-19 has been the catalyst for change in women’s golf. It has been reported that 25 per cent of female golfers were new to the sport and tried it for the first time because of the pandemic.’
  • Dafydd Rees: In praise of Mark Cavendish and the power of sport to inspire (15 July)
    ‘This is a column in praise of Mark Cavendish. We all need a good story in these difficult times, and few comeback stories are as remarkable or as endearing as this one.’


ESG, corporate and financial

  • Lucy Walton: Climate Change Catalyst (no date)
    ‘The Chancellor’s Mansion House Speech earlier this month was a catalyst for new climate related change. The announcement confirmed legislation will require UK companies to make climate-related financial disclosures aligned with the four pillars of the TCFD framework.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Shimon Cohen: New office, same mission (15 July)
    ‘For some clients, team development, training and recruitment location can matter. And so, we recently moved into our new office in Farringdon to the impressive Kirby Street building run by The Office Group (TOG). Our new office is a hybrid – plenty of desk space but not a reserved space for each team member, plenty of meeting space, breakout areas and Zoom rooms. Lots of space for those “water cooler” moments and no requirement to be “in” 5 days a week, 09:00 to 17:30. Rather than be “in”, just be “on” as appropriate.’
  • Ben Smith: Jay Ward, director, Ford of Europe product communications takes the PR Pepper Challenge [podcast] (14 July)
    ‘We’re a business that thrives on human contact. Not being able to do that has been a massive challenge. But it’s a tale of two halves: there’s clearly an opportunity here.’
  • Amanda Coleman: What is it that you do? (10 July)
    ‘It made me wonder why we are so misunderstood as an industry? How can young people be encouraged to pursue it as a career if they don’t actually know what it is?’


Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Jessica Pardoe: Troubles Of A Black Coun-traay PR Girl (14 July)
    ‘Despite moving out at 18 and living in cities and towns up and down the UK, I’ve never been able to shake my thick Black Country accent (and that’s not for lack of trying – trust me).’
  • Antonia Welch: Diversity and inclusion: tips for promoting your law firm’s progress (14 July)
    ‘It may sound obvious but diversity is, well, diverse! It’s not just about how many women are getting to partnership and how many BAME lawyers you recruit each year. Have you thought about what you can do to assist disabled lawyers to apply and progress within your firm? Do you encourage students from less traditional social and education backgrounds to sign-up for your summer schemes?’
  • Rebecca Roberts: Failure to invite England squad to No. 10 was a messaging own-goal on racism in sport (14 July)
    ‘As the abhorrent racist abuse became the English hangover from an incredible tournament, so too the early reminders that the ‘gesture politics’ label given to anti-racism protest was revealed for what it really was: a dog-whistle of encouragement to those motivated by hatred and division.’
  • Paul Sutton with Julian Obubo: Trolling and online abuse: enough is enough [podcast]
    ‘The issues we have around diversity in our industry are related to the issues we have with racism in society, and they’re not two different things.’
  • Ciara McCrory: If you Wannabe a Feminist, you gotta get with my friends (13 July)
    ‘I do appreciate that the Spice Girls are not the suffragettes but seeing five young women from normal backgrounds who are not afraid to speak their minds go on to take over a male-dominated world felt revolutionary.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Will McMyn: National Food Strategy – Part Two (15 July)
    ‘This morning’s papers were awash with headlines about new taxes on sugar and salt as the second (and final) part of the National Food Strategy was published.’
  • Gareth Jones: Can the government afford to get into a row with the England football team? (13 July)
    ‘Mings’ tweet has clearly hit a nerve – with half a million likes and 150,000 retweets in less than 24 hours, it is one of the most popular tweets on UK political issues this year (if not, ever), dwarfing anything said by an actual politician or recognised political commentator (the only person with more likes/retweets on a UK-based political issue is his England teammate Marcus Rashford).’
  • Nick Vaughan: Racist abuse, football and Wembley violence. The Government must act now.(no date)
    ‘The Government must step up and act now, and prioritise this over and above any World Cup bid. The violence at Wembley and the gutter online racist abuse of carnage aren’t helping our efforts to persuade FIFA we should host a World Cup in 2030.  It is also the right thing to do.’
  • Nick Jessup: Time to give the four-day week a try? (13 July)
    ‘Last week, the results of a four-day working week trial came in from Iceland and were overwhelmingly positive. Workers were paid the same amount for shorter hours, and productivity remained the same or even improved in the majority of workplaces.’
  • Aimee Howard: Will Freedom Day really be free? (12 July)
    ‘It appears Johnson is hoping the rising levels of infections will soon peak, leading to a form of herd immunity and rates declining. However, he’s now talking about guidance rather than rules and that is a recipe for confusion.’
  • Matt Redley: Vaccine Passports – A new chapter for travel (12 July)
    ‘To enable safer, COVID-secure travel, vaccine passports are being viewed by governments as the short-to-medium term solution to enable international travel whilst managing infection rates as best as possible in the process.’
  • Christine Quigley: A Labour rose by any other name… (12 July)
    ‘At present, Labour is still planning for an in-person conference in September, the first such conference under Keir Starmer’s leadership.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Stuart Bruce: Excellent crisis communications can help turn a crisis into an opportunity (14 July)
    ‘Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had the privilege of working with the CEOs and heads of communications of many of the British teams heading to the Tokyo Olympics. I’ve been running crisis communications training to help them prepare for the many risks they will face at this year’s delayed Olympic Games.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Natalie Orringe: Tackling bias in how we create and tell stories (14 July)
    ‘The challenge is particularly acute for those working in the charity sector where traditional ways of prompting donations have used stories that position those receiving help as victims.‘
  • Gemma Storey: Writing is a process, not a task (13 July)
    ‘Writing’s not just about finding an hour to bash away at a keyboard. It’s really important, for example, to know three things before you start your draft.’

Planning, insight, measurement and evaluation

  • Peter Appleby with Richard Bagnall: The communication and PR industry stands at a crossroads (12 July)
    ‘Our view is that PR and comms pros do not need yet more nuisance sales calls, pretty charts and dashboards! They need relevant experience, critical thinking, expertise, and world class service and support to help them make sense of the changing media and comms environment.’

Internal communication

  • Sarah Browning: One size communication does not fit all… (no date)
    ‘Your strategic communications planning should consider the diversity of your audience and their communication needs. You need to understand them, their motivations, perspectives and experiences.’
  • Rachel Miller: How to work with comms champions [podcast] (11 July)
    ‘We’re going to be looking at how we as internal communicators can work with champions – or ambassadors – inside our organisations.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Luke Budka: What is digital PR? (14 July)
    ‘Digital PR is the use of online trusted, independent, unbiased, third parties to positively influence a brand’s target audience.’
  • Yolandé Haynes: From TikTok to a chart-topping hit: How TikTok disturbed the music industry (13 July)
    ‘After releasing a TikTok video of himself singing the well-known sea shanty, The Wellerman, @nathanevanss – instantly went viral in a life changing moment with his version receiving over 9,000 likes within 3 days. Nathan was soon signed to a record deal by Polydor Records, a Universal Music Group UK imprint, who then released his rendition which hit number 1 in the UK top charts. He also later performed it live at The O2 at The Brit Awards 2021.’
  • Ashwinder Bedi: A view from the Fira: Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2021 (13 July)
    ‘MWC is a staple within the telecoms calendar; it’s where the bellwethers of industry come to announce new partnerships, new deployments and new messaging. It’s where the experts come to demonstrate and debate their visions for the future. It’s where the industry concerned with connectivity, connects.’
  • Shaifali Agrawal: How to republish your media coverage – without breaking the law (12 July)
    ‘Your company has secured media coverage. You may be keen to share on your website and social media, however, the excitement can soon turn to disappointment when you receive a legal note saying that you have breached copyright laws in the process,’
  • Alex Malouf: When the media is gone, what’s your plan B? (12 July)
    ‘I’m still surprised by how few organizations [in Dubai], especially local brands, are using their owned media to get out their messaging.’