This week in PR (16 October)

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.

@kevoruck Back in a physical classroom for the first time since January. Internal comms diploma at ETC Venues, Monument.
@kevoruck Back in a physical classroom for the first time since January. Internal comms diploma at ETC Venues, Monument.

News in brief

  • The Government Communication Service‘s COVID-19 Communications Advisory Panel Report was published this week. In the introduction, Alex Aiken says it has ‘displayed the fundamental significance of our profession in responding to crises, with communication being a central and fundamental pillar of the national response, and communication professionals demonstrating their value in helping leaders engage with internal and external audiences.’
  • The USC Annenberg Relevance Report 2021, also published this week, examines the impact on the future of public relations of the ‘chaotic’ events of 2020. The essays range across activism, technology, disinformation, influence and challenging sectors (sport, automotive, retail, news media).


Please check our PR Calendar and continue sending us links to your planned events.

Covid-19 and comms

  • Holly Ashford: Top PR Trends: Covid Communications (13 October)
    ‘Even the UK government took the influencer strategy, paying social media influencers to promote the Test and Trace programme. A number of stars from the reality show Love Island were paid to create posts promoting the service, accompanied by hashtags #gettested and #letsgetback.’
  • Deb Sharatt: Coronavirus: As communicators, what have we learnt? (12 October)
    ‘The true ‘crisis’ for communications is not covid-19 for most PR practitioners (though it is an issue that must be managed) it is the changes to society that it has brought.’

Professional associations

  • Andy Green: The CIPR is at a crossroads and why it needs to change (14 October)
    ‘Personally, I believe the Institute has got its student recruitment strategy fundamentally wrong. It needs to offer free membership as part of a long-term recruitment/relationship strategy.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Simon Whitehead with Danny Rogers: Growth In A Time Of Disruption [podcast] (14 October)
    ‘My impression is that PR is outperforming other marketing disciplines [during Covid]. Advertising has declined pretty rapidly over this crisis; PR has declined less rapidly. But it’s a mixed picture: if you’re a brand promotional agency, you’ll have had a tough time. The part of the PR sector that’s almost been booming is corporate and public affairs.’
  • Chris Blackwood with Ben Smith: Turning the table [podcast] (14 October)
    ‘For the vast majority of my career I’ve worked in publishing. Haymarket/PR Week taught me how to do B2B publishing – and events, which is where B2B publishers make most of their money.’
  • Adam Driver: Brutal, but brilliant: getting Chartered (13 October)
    ‘What a day. A few weeks ago, I took part in one of the online CIPR Chartered assessment days. It was one of the toughest professional days in my career, and also the most rewarding.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

    • Caroline Green: The enhanced need for mental health first aiding in a remote workforce (9 October)
      ‘By the end of the year, we’ll have six team members trained up as mental health first aiders. To reflect the changing working patterns of our team we’re ensuring that at least two of those people are remote workers.’
    • Amanda Coleman: A kind word (10 October)
      ‘To anyone who thinks they are invincible please realise that you are not. Anyone can struggle with their mental health. It is just down to the circumstances that you face. In a crisis it is essential to remember to address the psychological and not just physical issues.’


Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Marie Le Conte: Think Tanks at a Crossroad: Adapt or Be Replaced (15 October)
    ‘It could even be argued that the work think tanks provide is needed in the public sphere now more than ever, after years of misinformation and clashes between blindly ideological politicians. Having had enough of experts for a while, is Britain now ready for a return to evidence-based policymaking?’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

Internal communication

  • Rachel Miller: What podcasts exist for Comms and PR pros? (12 October)
    ‘We are spoilt for choice when it comes to podcasts about Comms and PR. There are lots of Internal Comms and PR podcasts to choose from and many new ones launching at the moment. I spotted the Institute of Internal Communication is planning to launch one this month.’
  • Emer Beirne with Jody Lewis: “Because of COVID-19, the profile of IC is higher than it has been for many years” (12 October)
    ‘Because of COVID-19, the profile of internal communication, I believe, is higher than it has been for many years – and I mean consistently, across sectors, across different organisations. So, let’s take advantage of that opportunity. Let’s show what we can do. Let’s represent our audiences. Let’s move internal comms on to where it needs to get to – and let’s drop the ‘internal’ bit of it.’
  • Martin Flegg: Power of the collective (10 October)
    ‘There is large gap in PR and internal communication, a disconnect which exists between theory and practice, much more so than in other professions. Proficiency and ability in PR, and by definition internal communications, is not viewed as being a blend of these two essential ingredients. It is heavily skewed towards practice and that practice is now, for better or worse, being heavily influenced and directed by digital technology.
  • Jo Bland: What do you want to be when you grow up? (9 October)
    The pace in internal communications was lively with no day the same, I was negotiator, problem solver, channel manager, project manager, strategist, working with the permanent secretary, leadership teams around the organisation and political leaders.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Gini Dietrich: The PESO Model: Bringing it All Together with Thought Leadership (15 October)
    ‘The last piece of an integrated PESO Model program, before you get to measurement, is authority—or thought leadership. If you do all of this work as outlined, it will be inevitable that you’ll build authority for your organization and its executives. But you also have to create some of it on your own.’
  • Chloe Pope: The technology dilemma – can we really trust technology (no date)
    ‘The Social Dilemma flicks between documentary and drama, and the drama paints a picture of the impact social media platforms are having on us as individuals, and the damage it is doing to our society.’
  • Paul Sutton with Chase Buckle: Latest Trends in the Digital Consumer [podcast] (14 October)
    ‘Younger people are not ditching Facebook. Our data makes it very clear that Facebook is the top app for younger age groups outside of China.’
  • Belle Lawrence: Serious Social: T is for… [podcast] (no date)
    ‘In the UK [TikTok] really started to come into its own in March when we went into lockdown – and that trend isn’t slowing down.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

We’re keen to showcase bloggers and content creators among current public relations students. First, we need to find you. The best way is to share your post using the #prstudent hashtag.

  • Kerry Bradley (Ulster): When reality TV star meets reality (11 October)
    ‘Trump is very aware of the power of images in the media and the message they send to the American public.’
  • Daisy Dunn (Leeds Beckett): Why we should stand with musicians (8 October)
    ‘The attitude towards the arts is one that needs to change, and fast. In 2018 The UK music industry alone contributed £5.2 billion to the UK economy and was recorded to employ over 190,000 individuals.’