This week in PR (17 September)

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.

Sunset from the top of Ilkley Cow and Calf @emmabprice on Instagram
Sunset from the top of Ilkley Cow and Calf @emmabprice on Instagram

It happened this week

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Louise Nicolson: Sustainability Psychology (no date)
    ‘Beginning your sustainability journey is like the first step onto Kilimanjaro. Daunting. Uncertain. But if carefully planned, 85% of ascents are successful.’
  • Oliver Hughes: Back to school in the City: Lessons for a CEO from M&A to COP26 (10 September)
    ‘In this latest stage of the pandemic, chief executives need to have a greater dialogue with a wider set of stakeholders. CEO’s communications during Covid to date have necessarily focused on investors, for their financial support, policymakers, for Government backing, and employees, to reassure them.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Suzanne Griffiths: 5 Lessons Learnt from 20 Years in B2B PR (no date)
    ‘From starting as a junior account executive to two decades later as the MD of an award-winning B2B tech agency, it’s fair to say that I’ve learnt a lot not just as a communications professional, but as a manager, about running a business and about the industry as a whole.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Ben Smith with Rebecca Taylor-Cottle: Will flexible working help solve PR’s diversity and recruitment problems? [podcast] (15 September)
    At the moment, if you have to live in an expensive city like London for work, this is one of the reasons why we have such a white, middle class industry.’
  • Darren Caveney: Still a blast, still the best (15 September)
    ‘Comms Unplugged is my favourite event. I describe it as more experience than event. And after 18 months of Covid, Comms Unplugged 2021 proved to be even more special. Important even. A chance for people to reconnect.’
  • Priya Bates: Have we made progress on Diversity in PR? (14 September)
    ‘I think we’ll all agree that 2020 was a memorable year. Between a global pandemic that changed our day-to-day lives; the protests and increased focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging after the murder of American George Floyd; and a political landscape that used social media to create divisions; our roles as internal communication and public relations practitioners became both critical and complex personally and professionally.’

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Rebecca Coleman: A bump in the night (16 September)
    ‘This week’s reshuffle has been surprising, not just for its removal of more popular Cabinet members such as Robert Buckland, but also its timing.’
  • George Pascoe-Watson: Reshuffle puts Conservative Party on early election footing (16 September)
    ‘A NEW, decisive Boris Johnson has put his Party in a General Election footing, many Westminster observers think. The reshuffle of his government is intended to ensure he can go to the country as early as 2023 if he wants to.’
  • Pearce Branigan: Lucky number Seven (16 September)
    ‘Gove’s appointment as Housing Secretary is as much about replacing Jenrick, as it is changing the narrative of the department and Johnson’s premiership more broadly towards the Levelling Up agenda.’
  • James Gurling and Matthew Elliott: Cabinet Reshuffle: Clearing The Decks (no date)
    ‘With Liz Truss promoted to become the new Foreign Secretary, and both Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel keeping their jobs, two of the Great Offices of State are now held by women, and two by members of the BAME community.’
  • Andrew Adie: Bin woes set to spill over into major national embarrassment (14 September)
    ‘Brexit, Covid and soaring demand for online shopping have all been blamed to varying degrees. What is clear is that there’s no quick solution to the problem: You can’t recruit and train new drivers overnight.’
  • Douglas Johnson: There is power in a region (14 September)
    ‘It’s tempting to see the main appeal for the Conservatives of further regional devolution as electoral. A key part of the party’s recent appeal in ‘Red Wall’ seats in former Labour heartlands has been the promise of investment.’
  • Aimee Howard: With a rebel yell, they cried ‘Less, Less, Less’ (14 September)
    ‘The target of 300,000 homes a year has struck fear into constituencies such as Chesham and Amersham, which boasts both green belt land and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.’
  • Phil Briscoe: If I Had a Photograph of You…. (14 September)
    ‘The current voting system allows anyone to walk into a polling station and give a name and address to receive a ballot paper. There are no identification requirements and beyond the basic human values of honesty and morality, the only thing that stops someone repeatedly attempting personation is that they might be recognised on the second visit by the staff in the polling station.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Making your campaign memorable (13 September)
    ‘Half the battle when undertaking a public affairs campaign is ensuring that it is memorable. Without thinking about how best you can do that, your campaign will fail to deliver the influence you are seeking.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: When disaster strikes what matters most? (16 September)
    ‘The next stage is for more organisations to sign up to this approach to ensure that what matters when dealing with disasters, emergencies and crises is that people are at the heart of the response. Those who are affected should be front and centre when taking action and critically should be at the heart of the communication.’

Campaigns, creativity and behaviour

  • Lynn PR: Lynn PR releases The BS Monitor (no date)
    ‘The first-ever dedicated pulse check of literacy and adoption of behavioural science (B-Sci) in the PR and communications industry has arrived.’

Brands, storytelling and influence

  • Andy Kirby and Jude Tipper: How to create key messages and a strategic narrative (16 September)
    ‘Strategic narrative has become a bit of a buzzword lately. It’s reached the ears of boardrooms across the land who are asking for strat narratives as fervently as they’re welcoming the return of the QR code. Don’t freak out if that request comes to you. All a strategic narrative really is is a solid structure for telling the story you want to be heard by your well-defined audience. It’s key message scaffolding – on which you can build a story – and the creativity comes with how you tell that story.’

Planning, insight, measurement and evaluation

  • Steve Shepperson-Smith: Reputation data can be a lever for strategic organisational change (15 September)
    ‘The PR industry desires to work at a more strategic level in organisations. Practitioners should think not just about measuring outcomes rather than outputs, but shift budget towards reputation surveys that can help PR teams to take a fuller part in management discussions about organisation-wide strategic change.’
  • Emma Drake: Ep 40. How adaptable is your plan? [podcast] (16 September)
    ‘The days of ‘set it and forget it’ have long gone. As communicators we need to be responsive and adaptable.’

Internal communication

Technology, media and digital

  • Dan Slee: COMPUTER RULES: What you need to know about social media algorithms (16 September)
    ‘Another consistent trend amongst algorithms is that it encourages and rewards you for engaging with people. In other words, that may include asking them questions they’re likely to respond to. Answer their questions. Like their Instagram post. Comment on their answer. This stuff isn’t hard. Before the internet it used to be known as manners.’
  • Ellie Nash: Should your B2B organisation be using TikTok? (no date)
    ‘It’s hard to know where to start when creating your TikTok account, but remember, this isn’t LinkedIn. You need to discover your business’s niche. For the most part, this is a chance to show off the personality of your business, the talent of your team and the fun you have within the office. Most of the TikTok audience tune into the app to watch entertaining content that distracts them from the stress of their daily lives, so keep that in mind.’
  • Tricia Fox: The Media, The Newswire and The Fake, Fake Press Release (14 September)
    ‘But what happened to the checks? The media’s job is not to simply copy and paste the press releases they receive and publish them. Someone, somewhere didn’t do their job. Someone, somewhere didn’t do even the journalistic basics.’
  • Howard Kosky: Three months post its launch: What GB News means for PRs (13 September)
    ‘GB News has its place in the mix and that we should recognise that a growing proportion of the population is choosing the channel for their TV news content.’