This week in PR (17 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.

Do not disturb @olgadefra on Instagram
Do not disturb @olgadefra on Instagram

News in brief

    • ‘This week we gave notice on our office rental; we’re not going back there. In fact, we’re never going back to an office again.’ Alastair McCapra on the financial road to recovery at the CIPR.
    • Apprenticeships: The PRCA ‘calls for agencies and in-house teams to capitalise on the benefits of the PR Apprenticeship Programme after the Chancellor introduced new cash incentives for organisations in an announcement last week.’ (via PRCA newsroom)
    • The tenth annual State of the Profession survey from the CIPR addressed social mobility and what it means to be part of a professional community. Most (68%) of those responding work in-house, with 32% working for a consultancy or as an independent practitioner. This year, respondents cited strategic planning ahead of media relations among their most common activities. The average salary was £52,136 (slightly down on the year before), with Chartered Practitioners earning £62,372 on average. The gender pay gap persists – but is shrinking.
    • The Liberal Democrats have appointed Mimi Turner as their director of strategy, research and messaging (via Mark Pack’s blog)

Purpose and professionalism

  • Anne Gregory: A profession in statis or catching the moment? (15 July)
    ‘Let’s get away from a narrative that defines us as story tellers, content developers, creatives or social media whizzes. We help create, build and sustain all those things that are precious and meaningful as this awful Covid 19 crisis has demonstrated. We need and can create a narrative that tells that story.’
  • Anne Nicholls: How is the role of communications professionals changing amidst the pandemic? (no date)
    ‘The CIPR’s Education and Skills Sector Group held an online Q&A session on 25 June to provide a forum for debate about the burning issues affecting communications professionals in the sector.’
  • Ben Verinder: CIPR research shows enduring problems for public relations (15 July)
    ‘The hack turned flack cliché is well-founded. Over half of practitioners worked in another industry – most commonly media and publishing – before entering PR. Most of us want to continue in PR until we retire.’
  • Stuart Bruce: CIPR State of the Profession 2020 (15 July)
    ‘What is the strategy or plan based on if it isn’t a robust model or theory? If it is just based on experience or gut instinct then is it really surprising that public relations isn’t being seen as a professional discipline?’
  • Christina Yang: Why and how to become a chartered PR practitioner (14 July)
    ‘Working with chartered engineers, planners, designers and project managers every day, I often find I have to fight a place for PR as a profession. I believe if we want people to view us as professionals like accountants, engineers and lawyers, we must start from ourselves – taking our professional development seriously and working to high standards of professional excellence and integrity.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Ben Smith: Frank co-founder Andrew Bloch on the PRmoment podcast (16 July)
    ‘I ended up at Lynne Franks because I was frustrated at my inability to get into an ad agency. Looking back, what an agency that was: the defining PR agency of its era. The class of ‘95 I started with have done amazing things.’
  • Adam Tuckwell and Jon Wilcox with Alex Myers: Becoming the world’s first global small agency [podcast] (15 July)
    ‘The external work has been very integrated, very strategic and super creative. For us, we’re defined by how we work rather than who we work with. We can’t be pigeonholed into an industry or a location or a specialist execution. It will either become a global phenomenon or crash and burn.’
  • Rob Double with George Blizzard and Nicky Regazzoni: “There was a stigma about us being virtual”

    (15 July)
    ‘Over a glass of wine in a bar we came up with the idea of building a new type of agency that would be designed as virtual from the ground up.’

  • Darren Caveney: Virtual comms consultants – a fascinating 14 week journey with twists and turns aplenty (13 July)
    ‘We have inadvertently set up a brilliant virtual collective of like-minded individuals here and one where relationships are flourishing. We’ll no doubt recommend each other for work in the future, as demand returns to previous levels. We’ll work together too.’
  • Ailene Barr: Global comms through an international agency orchestra (13 July)
    ‘True localisation involves a local spokesperson who is a native speaker and has local market insights. This is where the international orchestra model comes into its own. An organisation can set key messages and core offerings at its headquarters. A central PR agency can develop stories, assets and distribution strategy.’
  • Chris Measures: 10 things I’ve learnt from a decade of running my own PR and marketing agency (10 July)
    ‘As I foolishly wrote a post entitled 5 things I’ve learnt in 5 years of running my own business in 2015, I’ve now got to up my game and come up with 10 lessons.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • John Quinton-Barber: A fiscal stimulus is welcome – but we need a ‘safety first’ culture to properly rebuild confidence (13 July)
    ‘We still have a long way to go to beat this virus and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Big Community Sew, it’s that the small gestures of looking out for people and checking in on neighbours mean an awful lot. Making sure people are safe and helping them adjust to a new environment is going to be key to rebuilding confidence.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Think ahead to the next election (10 July)
    ‘The Government will not have had time to strip itself back following Covid. It will continue to have a bigger role in our lives, quite possibly running more services or being involved as a ‘shareholder’, than many of us will be able to remember. That delivers a more existential threat to what it means to be a Conservative Government and what Labour stands for in such circumstances.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Stella Bayles with Cole Knaflic: Storytelling with data [podcast] (16 July)
    ‘When you’re starting from a creative PR background you understand story. For folks who identify as quants first and foremost, their fear is on the communication side.’
  • Jason Mackenzie: Crafting stories, changing narratives, shaping reality (15 July)
    ‘Why do we harp on about ‘storytelling’ and ‘brand narrative’? Why is ‘story’ powerful, and why should businesses, organisations and brands of all sizes pay careful attention to creating and telling their own stories?’
  • Jessica Pardoe: 6 Tips To Tell A Powerful Brand Story* (14 July)
    ‘Your brand story should involve a compelling narrative that outlines the feelings and facts associated with your business. Brand storytelling is not considered a traditional advertising form, and your story should be built with your audience’s values in mind.’

Monitoring, measurement and evaluation

  • Richard Bagnall: The time is now for the PR industry to prove its effectiveness (10 July)
    ‘It is no longer acceptable to say that you work in #PR and you’re not a numbers person. It’s no longer OK not to engage with data and expect someone else to do this for you. It’s not OK to work in PR and focus only on tactics and activity with scarce thought to a credible plan that sets out clearly what organisational objectives you intend to accomplish.’

Internal communication

  • Nicole Alvino: Prospering in the Digital Workplace (15 July)
    ‘Head of EMEA Employee Communications and Change Practice at Finsbury, Louisa Moreton, sat down to unpick the challenges now faced by so many workplaces with Lucas Millar and Owain Service, experts in neuroscience and behavioural science respectively.’
  • Martin Flegg: Mind the Gap (13 July)
    ‘I think the practice vs. theory disconnect in internal communications is particularly chronic, and it has persisted for years. I’ll wager that a significant proportion of internal communicators know little or no internal communication theory.’
  • Advita Patel: How to get your leaders to listen to you… (no date)
    ‘But what about you as a trusted advisor supporting your leaders? How do you make sure that senior executives and the CEO listen to what you have to say?’
  • Suzie Robinson: Intranets, apps, and proof common objections no longer matter (13 July)
    ‘Even when colleagues aren’t together in the same place there’s an important need to create a sense of community — between them and with the company itself.’
  • Kate Isichei: The express way to engagement… (12 July)
    ‘I came up with the idea of Engagement Express as a podcast series to support HR, engagement and internal communication professionals as well as CEOs, within SMEs, to get inspiration and tips on how to move the engagement dial in the right direction.’

Technology, media and digital

Academic, education and training

  • Niamh Murray: What Now? (15 July)
    ‘What am I and other graduates going to do? We get asked this every.single.time we tell someone we’ve finished uni. “Ooh, so what are you doing now?”; “Are you going to get a job?”; “What’s the plan now, then?”’