This week in PR (18 April)

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.

'It’s very difficult to explain how the destruction of a building can make me so emotional, but it’s a fact. . It shows architecture is so much more than making a building - it’s creating a sense of community, a shared space for people to interact with each other.' @vasvalch
'It’s very difficult to explain how the destruction of a building can make me so emotional, but it’s a fact. . It shows architecture is so much more than making a building - it’s creating a sense of community, a shared space for people to interact with each other.' @vasvalch

In the news

  • Paul Bristow has resigned as Public Affairs Board chair to be replaced by George McGregor, managing partner,  Interel, and Emma Petela, director, GK Strategy as co-chairs. Cathy Owens, director, Deryn Consulting and Paul Church, associate director, The Whitehouse Consultancy, have been appointed as vice-chairs. Lionel Zetter, former chairman, PRCA Public Affairs and Lobbying Group, remains a vice-chair (PRCA announcement).

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

Purpose and professionalism

  • Koray Camgoz with Penny Fox: #PRpays

    (17 April)
    ‘One of the big roles of my team is that we’re challenging the policy makers. We have a role to play at every stage of policy making.’

  • Ella Minty: Forget About Corporate Social Responsibility (12 April)
    Many say that we, in Public Relations, build and protect reputations – a good corporate governance is the foundation on which we build that reputation.’

Academic and education

Consulting, careers and skills

  • Richard Edelman: One Giant Step (16 April)
    ‘From a standing start five years ago, we have morphed from a classic PR firm to a communications firm. We have added scores of creatives, planners and paid experts. We did this because we believed that we needed to have our own ideas to serve our clients better in a world of diminished mainstream media.’
  • Victoria Tomlinson: 15 ways to avoid being a victim of ageism (15 April)
    ‘If you want to appear youthful, be positive, smile a lot, be energetic, walk into a room beaming, keep up to date with technology, don’t tell people if you are tired or ill and keep learning new things!’

Public and third sectors

Brands and influence

  • Orlagh Shanks: The Rise of the Virtual Influencer (17 April)
    ‘They’re life-like and from their Instagram profiles, you would think they were real people, interacting with followers, posting about their outfits and even appearing to be at the world’s most glamorous and popular events – Lil Miquela even appeared to be at Coachella over the weekend.’
  • Roger Darashah: Finding Your Personal ‘Big Circle’ and Other Thought Leadership Tips (16 April)
    ‘While I’ve often urged communicators to consider brands as if they were people – pay attention be polite listen before speaking, contribute don’t impose, consider your audience first etc – the reverse is equally relevant.  Your professional brand is too important to be left to chance.’
  • Stephen Davies: Scaling Content Creators With Lisa Targett, GM Of TRIBE [podcast] (no date)
    ‘It’s about everyday people speaking to everyday people about the brands they love.’
  • Shelby Loasby: The power of history and heritage in comms (14 April)
    ‘To really harness the benefits of heritage communications, you need to consider three things: Nostalgia and storytelling; Milestones and anniversaries; Branding and design.’

Internal communication

  • Eleanor Tweddell: How to communicate redundancies (16 April)
    ‘I’ve seen so many briefs about redundancies spend half the presentation talking about the new vision for the business, then right at the end deliver the killer line ‘so there will need to be changes, and some of your roles maybe affected’.’
  • Jean-Louis Bénard: Internal Communication: The Battle for 5 Minutes of Their Time (15 April)
    ‘85% of employees say they are more motivated when they receive regular news from their company (JobsInMe). And companies that communicate effectively with their employees are 47% more valuable to their shareholders (Communication ROI Study Report), and are 3.5 times more likely to do better than their competitors (Towers Watson). The numbers speak for themselves.’
  • Rachel Royall: Impactful Internal Communication (12 April)
    ‘Communication is the sister of leadership, yet in many organisations and across our profession, we fail to demonstrate the impact of effective internal communication.’

Campaigns and creativity

Research and evaluation

  • Claire Simpson: Data and research in PR (13 April)
    ‘I’m a big fan of AMEC and its mission to eradicate AVEs off the face of the planet. But, sadly, the vanity metric persists and is still requested by big business in some quarters.’

Media and digital

  • Scott Guthrie: Today there is no news (18 April)
    ‘In the UK we certainly don’t like paying for our news. Just 7% of people polled in the UK say they have paid for online news in the past 12 months.’
  • Paul Sutton with Helen Reynolds: Does Lush’s decision to ditch social media stink? [podcast] (17 April)
    ‘It doesn’t matter how good your content is, social media has become largely pay for play. Organic reach is not there anymore.’
  • Alex Malouf: The Truth why Print is Struggling in the Gulf – it’s Ownership (15 April)
    ‘If the print industry wants to succeed, it’s going to have to invest heavily in reporting news that readers want, rather than what owners want to publish.’


  • India Minton-Barker (Wolverhampton): Personal Branding (16 April)
    ‘I like to let my work, my writing and my personality do the talking rather than being over the top and distracting from the content.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

PR Careers: 2019: 150 PR internships and graduate schemes

  • Heiða Ingimarsdóttir (Leeds): 10 months in Leeds… (17 April)
    ‘When a person is 34 years old and a mother of 3 and doing a masters in England she might not party and socialise as much as she imagined before she arrived, as she’s likely to be the one of the oldest students on the course.’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Do it for the ‘gram (17 April)
    ‘We’re all guilty of doing it – well most of us millennials anyway. Out for coffee? Snap that cappuccino art. Out for food? We want to see your poached eggs and avocado. Nails done? Ooh girl, show me.’
  • Lili Dewrance (Bournemouth): Why I love podcasts (17 April)
    ‘For those reading who are unsure about the world of ‘podcasting’, I will discuss three important things I get out of a good podcast as we progress through this blog post.’
  • Beth Smith (Sunderland): Why is networking important as a PR student? (16 April)
    ‘Before I even started blogging and my masters I had conversations with both Orlagh Shanks and Jessica Pardoe about starting my blog and both offered such good advice back in September that I’ve kept it up ever since!’
  • Megan Tidbury (Southampton Solent): Making the right decisions as an Influencer (16 April)
    ‘After the introduction of the ASA Influencer Marketing Guidelines, it has become a lot clearer to influencers what they should be including in their posts.’
  • Lucy Hayball (Bournemouth): #Startingout: Career profile with Rich Hawkins (16 April)
    ‘I started in B2B technology PR, moved into consumer tech, went into pan-EMEA consumer campaign work and then kind of by accident moved more into social and content and away from PR.’
  • Katie Gebbie (Sunderland): Why All PR Students Should Give Blogging A Go (16 April)
    ‘Starting a PR blog can help you to form relationships with other PR students as well as PR professionals. It can help you to read their insights and opinions, share their work and just generally become part of the wider PR student community.’
  • Lauren Thomas (South Wales): Is it LUSH to abandon social media? (16 April)
    ‘Whilst the ethical beauty brand’s desire to stop fighting with algorithms and reconnect with consumers is admirable, it could prove a costly error.’
  • Silje Bekkelund (South Wales): PRomoting Easter (14 April)
    ‘Easter in Norway is about cozy times with your family, enjoying the nature and eating Kvikk Lunsj and drinking Solo.’
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): #FridayFive: Five Reasons to Work With Micro-Influencers (12 April)
    ‘For the big influencers, has it all just become a money game? Have their followers and consumers become uninterested and unengaged due to the frequent posting of ads? Micro-influencers are looking to be the way forward, and here are some reasons why.’

As we close the contest for another academic year, let’s review the numbers. We’ve featured 253 blog posts from 73 students at 15 UK universities.

Here are our top five universities ranked by numbers of students and blog posts featured:

Ranking University Students Appearances
1 Ulster 30 59
2 South Wales 10 57
3 Bournemouth 3 38
4 Liverpool John Moores 2 29
5 Sunderland 4 20

Other universities featured during the contest were Birmingham City, Gloucestershire, Greenwich, Leeds, Leeds Beckett, Lincoln, London College of Communication, Southampton Solent, Westminster and Wolverhampton.

To turn to individuals, it’s been a strong contest this year, not least because two past winners (Orlagh Shanks from 2018 and Lucy Hayball from 2017) continued into their final year and are still leading the way. Here are the top ten individuals:

Ranking Name / blog link Appearances
1 Orlagh Shanks 25
2 Lucy Hayball 20
3 Niamh Murray 19
4= Heiða Ingimarsdóttir 17
4= Yana Miladinova 17
6 Beth Smith 11
7= Holly Rees 10
7= Lottie Wiltshire 10
9= Ceri Jones 7
9= Megan Tidbury 7

I’ll have more to say about these outstanding individuals in a future post, but for now, let’s confirm that the best PR student blogger 2019 is Orlagh Shanks.