This week in PR (17 November)

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.


Profession and ethics

  • Mark Phillimore with Rob McGibbon and Mark Borkowski: The Rise of Spin and Celebrity [podcast] (13 November)
    ‘I did some celebrity interviews in The Sun with copy approval; sometimes there’s no alternative. PR was getting the upper hand. The Beckham documentary on Netflix brings us to the new way of doing celebrity PR.’

Purpose, climate and ESG


  • Claire Munro: Book Review: Purposeful Brands (15 November)
    ‘It’s all about the bottom line for Skees – as she builds a convincing case for her proposition that a robust sustainability strategy and comprehensive environmental, social and governance (ESG) programme is now a proven predictor of a well-run company.’
  • Emily Tse: Why is Social Engagement Lagging in the Sustainability Sector? (15 November)
    ‘Short-term needs, like economic pressures like rising inflation, job losses and the energy crisis or family concerns, often take precedence over sustainability.’

  • Joanna Kent: #ConsumerCorner: Meat-free food is here to stay – so say the trends experts (14 November)
    Sustainability is closely linked to the rise in flexitarian diets, with a growing number of shoppers consciously choosing meat-free alternatives as part of an eco-friendlier mindset.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Paul Stollery: Scaling Service x Rich Leigh: how I literally wrote the book on PR (15 November)
    “They came to me with the idea, PR myths, and I said, ‘Oh, there’s so much to talk about here.’ Why do clients pay us? To help them become famous. But nobody wants to see the fingerprints on the success, which leads to all these myths and misconceptions. And that got the publishers really excited.’
  • Shirah Bamber: The view from the other side of the fence (12 November)
    ‘When I announced that I was leaving Preston City Council, after almost 8 years of managing their communications (and later policy) service, a lot of people were shocked. More than one person said that they believed if you cut me in half, local government would be running through my veins. And yet I left, and went to work for the private sector.’

Gender, diversity, health and wellbeing

Public and third sectors

  • Dan Slee: CLIP ARTISTS: Here’s some do’s and don’ts for local government TikTok (12 November)
    ‘Birmingham City Council have an innovative approach where they have a couple of members of staff who act as creators where they star in a TikToks which cast an entertaining view of Birmingham. There’s nothing on the council going bankrupt but there are tips for students on where to study, for example. That’s fine. TikTok isn’t and never will be a channel for everything.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere


  • Sara Price: Is Labour still a steady ship? (16 November)
    ‘Old wounds reopened over the Israel-Gaza conflict on Wednesday, resulting in Keir Starmer’s biggest rebellion of his leadership to date. Almost a third of the Party’s MPs voted in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza during Wednesday’s Commons vote. The fallout being 56 MPs who defied the whip.’ 
  • Natasha Egan-Sjodin: New faces in the Treasury: What Sunak’s shake up of the top team means for the City? (15 November)
    ‘Notably for the City is the appointment of a familiar face – Bim Afolami MP – to his first Ministerial role as Economic Secretary to the Treasury. With real life experience in financial services before becoming an MP and as the long-serving Chair of the Financial Services and Markets APPG, Afolami is no stranger to the inner workings of the City.’
  • Rachel Ward: Out with the old, in with the old (14 November)
    As Cameron takes his seat at the cabinet table, he will be joined by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, both of whom also held prominent positions during the Cameron era. At first glance, and if one was unaware it was 2023, they might be forgiven for thinking that this is in fact David Cameron’s old government.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

Research, data, measurement and evaluation

  • Leigh Greenwood: SOS: why ‘sending out stuff’ hampers outcomes for PRs (15 November)
    ‘The modern communications practitioner has an unprecedented opportunity to be strategic. We can research our audiences and external landscapes in great depth, get instantaneous feedback on content to support continuous improvement and evaluate how our campaigns impact the bottom line of the organisations we support by using best-practice measurement frameworks and digital tools.’

Crisis, risk and reputation


  • Amanda Coleman: Is crisis comms becoming risk averse? (14 November)
    ‘It is in the taking of a few risks, with a clear understanding of what that means, that can bring the biggest benefits to a crisis communication response. Risk aversion can stifle our crisis communication effectiveness.’

Behaviour and influence

Internal communication 


Media, digital and technology


  • Abbey Crawford: SEC Newgate AI Weekly (16 November)
    ‘AI-generated fake audio resembling London Mayor Sadiq Khan is stirring controversy and faces a police investigation. In one clip, the fabricated voice dismisses Remembrance Day, while another falsely suggests cancelling a Palestinian march. The Metropolitan Police is actively probing the issue.’
  • Rich Leigh: Draft press releases in a fraction of the time with Press Release Draft GPT (13 November)
    ‘I’ve just built Press Release Draft GPT. Give it a go if you have paid access to ChatGPT.’
  • Neville Hobson: With GPT Builder you can create your own personalised ChatGPT (13 November)
    With this innovative creator, anyone from a small business owner, to a creative writer, to a PR practitioner, can fine-tune the capabilities of ChatGPT, forging a digital companion that not only understands their specific context but also augments their daily tasks with a touch of AI-driven ingenuity.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Status report: artificial intelligence (AI) in public relations (11 November)
    ‘We have almost certainly underestimated the medium to long-term impact of AI on public relations. The pessimistic argument is that it’s a threat to all professional disciplines. The optimistic viewpoint sees it as a tool to help public relations practitioners work more efficiently and effectively.’

Academic, education and training