This week in PR (17 August)

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.

'I was the only person taking selfies with the view in front of me' @hayleytoothill
'I was the only person taking selfies with the view in front of me' @hayleytoothill

Behind the headlines

  • The CIPR has been very active on the lobbying front this week: welcoming an ASA investigation into influencer endorsements; campaigning for the sector’s continued access to talent post Brexit; and warning of the effects of new tax regulations (IR35) on freelance practitioners.
  • Simon Francis is to lead a PRCA panel exploring how to improve the social impact of PR.
  • Lord Herman Ouseley reflects on the Kick It Out campaign 25 years after he launched it.
  • Language and grammar: Me Myself and I are all annoyed at pronoun misuse (via Chris Lee)
  • Essay about the internet from Jeff Jarvis: Platforms are not Publishers. ‘The essential value of the internet is conversation, not content.’
  • On the day that 350 news organisations in the US wrote editorials in support of press freedom, US public relations bodies including PRSA and Page issued their own statement: ‘Today we join with our compatriots in the news media to proudly affirm the Fourth Estate as a vital engine of democracy.’


Insights and opinions: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week (UK focused, but with a global outlook). Recommendations are welcome to or @pr_place



Business / profession


  • Emma Leech: Clearing: It’s about People, People (16 August)
    ‘Too many universities have completely missed “the people thing” and the need to really think about, understand and respond to potential students as individuals.’
  • Mark Dorey: Reflections on a decade working in HE comms (13 August)
    ‘Working in communications roles I’ve been able to interact with people from all parts of the institutions; vice chancellors, ground staff, cleaners and most importantly coffee shop staff.’
  • Gary Taylor: Is this the end of the PR degree? (12 August)
    ‘Rather than mourn the passing of the oldest undergraduate PR degree course at Bournemouth, or tut sadly as lots of other PR degree courses team up with journalism, I look at this as an opportunity to reshape undergraduate degrees – hopefully for the better.’

Mental health

  • Jessica Pardoe: Postgrad depression is real – here’s how I combat it (15 August)
    ‘My little tattoo is a constant reminder of a cracking three years and the incredible friends I made. It’ll always be with me, just as they will be – i’m really happy that I chose to get it done.’
  • Jo-ann Robertson: Pick yourself up and dust yourself down (15 August)
    ‘This week I attended a full-day course run by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England with 14 colleagues from Ketchum London. I am now a qualified mental health first aid champion.’


Careers and skills

  • Amanda Coleman: At different stages (15 August)
    ‘I am expected to be an expert negotiator, a coach, a risk manager and a visionary. In a business everyone will look to you for advice and guidance; from the staff you manage through to the CEO.’
  • Hamish Thompson: The cat with two brains (15 August)
    ‘If, as communicators and marketeers, we turn to the data rather than, as cats do, trusting the processing power our guts, we’ll get swamped and delayed.’
  • Lorna Branton: It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you learn it (15 August)
    ‘In my view, it’s not so much what gets you into communications that’s important, but what you do once you get there.’
  • Stephen Waddington: How to optimise your LinkedIn profile for search and discovery (13 August)
    ‘It’s important that you complete your profile to maximise the opportunity for search and discovery. Rich profiles are visually engaging and enable prospects and to seek you out. They are also optimised for search. Here’s a ten point workplan to get you started.
  • Marcel Klebba: Why work in technology public relations? (12 August)
    ‘Another important role of public relations in technology sector is explaining really complex ideas in simple words. Simplifying technology and getting under the skin of it means the job is never boring and can be hugely gratifying.’

Tools and automation

  • John Brown: Social media analytics tools are not for market research [vlog] (15 August)
    ‘What Twitter is not is a great platform for observing sustained audience behaviour over time… Instead, invest in some proper research, take that out of the scope of social media and talk to some real people.’
  • Joanna Drabent: Booking a PR tool to ride (14 August)
    ‘Prowly’s task is to help PR pros become independent in creating visually attractive press releases and brand newsrooms, and, in the process of managing contacts and distributing content, give them superpowers in the form of analytical data, which allows them to deliver better results every day.’
  • Vassilena Valchanova: Productivity Tools – A Fast Track to Success (13 August)
    My system consists of three key tools: A task management app to keep track of projects and to-dos; A calendar app for appointments and time blocking; A note app for your archive of useful resources and notes.’
  • Carla Mateus: Five mistakes people make using Google Analytics (13 August)
    ‘Goals enable you to see if people are doing what you actually want them to on your site. This can be anything from visiting more than one page, to downloading an asset.’

Influencer marketing

Crisis and reputation

  • Jennifer Sanchis: What can open data bring to your reputation? (15 August)
    ‘One of the most reliable and most important data sources in the UK has been made available by the government on its website.’
  • David Alexander: Can Ben Stokes restore his reputation after brawl scandal (16 August)
    ‘Stokes has now publicly stated that he is going to focus on his cricket and along with his advisers, he must work harder to ensure that he avoids any more encounters with the law, that he stays off social media channels and that he acknowledges that his behaviour was damaging for the sport he represents.’
  • Stuart Thomson: What makes a good CEO in a crisis? (15 August)
    ‘Self-awareness in a CEO can be a valuable trait. That means everything from putting a strong team around them, not just those who agree, through to knowing when to listen and when to make a decision.’

Internal communication

  • Helen Deverell: 7 top tips for credible communication (14 August)
    ‘As useful as it is to know how many people clicked on your intranet article, that’s not what’s going to wow your CEO. Start thinking about how you can measure the tangible impact you’ve had on the business.’
  • Caroline Kealey: Communicators as Change Agents (no date)
    ‘The Achilles heel of change leaders tends to be communications – they don’t know what to say, when or how. They are extremely uncomfortable with the naturally emergent nature of change, and struggle with how to keep teams informed and engaged when full information is almost never available.’
  • Mike Klein: Four dimensions of internal influence: ambassadors, influencers, advocates and followers (13 August)
    ‘When it comes to organizations and their social dynamics, I tend to think there are four main kinds of people, each of which has distinct roles and needs to be addressed in distinct, yet integrated ways.’
  • Advita Patel: Unleash your inner rebel! (10 August)
    ‘I’m proud to say that the rebel in me has been unleashed and I’m now a fully-fledged member of the #commsrebel committee.’

Media and digital

  • Ella Minty: The 5 Rules of Successful Media Relations (16 August)
    ‘Build a relationship based on trust and respect – after all, if you provide the journalists with a good story, you become reliable as a source and, if you do not fluff your way in or out of that professional rapport, you’ve built a relationship for life.’
  • Paul Burton: How small businesses can use Instagram Stories – an in-depth guide (no date)
    ‘Instagram Stories gives small businesses an informal way to promote themselves, their products and offers in a way that doesn’t appear pushy or salesy. And it’s perfect for showing off the people and passion that makes your business tick.’
  • Tim Downs: How do we make sure tech companies are doing enough to tackle fake news? (13 August)
    ‘Given that it is boosted, promoted, sponsored posts that carry the greatest influence because they allow access to specific audiences, deliver greater reach, increase engagement and drive shares then make them the tech providers legal responsibility.’
  • Dan Slee: SHODDY NEWS: How to complain about bad journalism 2.0 (12 August)
    ‘Every generation blames declining editorial standards. But as news rooms have been hollowed out old heads have gone. There’s also less time to check copy and pressure to get the story online.’