This week in PR (18 June)

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.

Very tasty looking #asparagus #gurneys #burnhammarket #norfolk #norfolkcoast @elleeseymour on Instagram
Very tasty looking #asparagus #gurneys #burnhammarket #norfolk #norfolkcoast @elleeseymour on Instagram

It happened this week

  • Queen’s Birthday Honours: Former CIPR president Sarah Waddington has been awarded a CBE for services to public relations and voluntary sectors; Lisa King, Director of Communications and External Relations, Refuge has received an OBE for services to victims of domestic abuse; Alison Daniels, Deputy Director, Digital, Communications Directorate, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has received an OBE for services to British foreign policy; Viv Brealey, Deputy Director of Communications, Public Health England has received an MBE for services to Public Health particularly during Covid-19; Donna Webster, Deputy Head of Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has received a BEM for services to the NHS particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • CIPR Excellence Awards winners were declared last night (#CIPRexcel)

Purpose and professionalism

  • Emma Duke: To fully engage with our role as communicators we must be ready to lead (no date)
    ‘Listening is the communicator’s superpower and I truly believe it’s what makes us great leaders. It enables us to anticipate issues on the horizon, to understand the complexities of an organisation, to empathise with frustrated employees and to create truly inclusive organisations.’

Academic and education


  • Mark Borkowski: Naomi Osaka’s No-Win Standoff with the French Open (15 June)
    ‘Even though many fellow athletes are rushing to Osaka’s support, the tennis champion has also been subject to a surprising amount of criticism for refusing to undergo the tournament’s press circuit.’

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Koray Camgoz: Why PRs must act on climate change (15 June)
    ‘As strategic counsellors, public relations and communications professionals are uniquely positioned to help clients and organisations create positive change on climate issues.’

Consulting, teams and careers

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Chris Love: Men’s Health Week 2021 (15 June)
    ‘I tackled my sleep cycle by talking to people. I was amazed that so many people were in the same position or had previously suffered from insomnia. It felt really good to know that I wasn’t alone. Recently, the ‘coronasomnia’ phenomenon is disrupting routines and ongoing uncertainty is contributing to a surge in insomnia across the UK.’
  • Amy Jones: Pride Month marketing: praise-worthy or performative? (14 June)
    ‘If there’s a lesson to learn from all these, it’s not to profit off protest or rainbow-wash your company when you could be making real change. You can’t whack a rainbow logo up if you’re turning a blind eye to persecution overseas.’

Public and third sectors

  • Dave Worsell: Making the case for citizen experience (CitX) (15 June)
    ‘What can the public sector learn from customer experience as a concept? Is it even relevant when you don’t have “customers” in the traditional sense?’
  • Amanda Coleman: Banish the talk of reputation (15 June)
    ‘Organisations and businesses must banish the focus on reputation management when they are responding to crises, issues and incidents.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Fraser Raleigh: PM’s WhatsApp messages: Embarrassing but not explosive. For now. (17 June)
    ‘The Prime Minister has long had a tolerance for riding out embarrassing stories that far exceeds that of any of his predecessors and confounds his opponents. But even he will be shifting uncomfortably if he knows that yesterday’s messages are at the tamer end of the screenshots saved on Cummings’ iPhone.’
  • Christopher White: PMBs: the good, the bad and the bonkers (16 June)
    ‘Private members’ Bills (PMBs) are a chance for individual MPs to put forward legislation that would otherwise be overlooked by the Government as part of its agenda in the Queen’s Speech. There are some incredibly important issues put forward.’
  • Andrea Williams: NIMBYs – are we all one at heart? (16 June)
    ‘These are perhaps the boldest reforms to the planning system we have seen after years of tinkering around the edges. My hope is that we get the new homes we desperately need, where we need them, and as part of well-thought-out local plans to build our communities of the future.’
  • Angus Hill: Fixing a broken market: how to create a thriving housing market (15 June)
    ‘The fundamental challenge remains that the UK needs more homes, but changes – for example to planning policy – intended to speed this up or focus building in particular areas has historically met fierce resistance, especially in the South East. The government’s upcoming Planning Bill is likely to see a repeat of this, with a series of showdowns this Autumn.’
  • Sabine Tyldesley and Matthew Williams: UK – Australia trade deal: Down Under coming out on top (15 June)
    ‘Although some details are still to be released, Australia’s beef and sheep, dairy, rice, sugar and wine makers are likely to be the big winners.’
  • Simon Gentry: Covid forever, and ever (14 June)
    ‘Poll after poll show that the public are broadly content to remain unfree.  The reasons are varied, but for many their quality of life is higher and not facing unemployment, or not needing medical care, what’s the downside?’
  • Stuart Thomson: Changing stakeholder communications? (14 June)
    ‘I am less convinced that politicians, one of our key stakeholders in public affairs, will be completely happy with continued video-conferencing. Of course, it will work for many situations, but the experience is that direct one-to-one discussions helps to build trusted relationships, especially early on.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

Campaigns, creativity and behaviour

  • Rich Leigh: Are PR stunts still relevant in 2021? [Slide show] (11 June)
    ‘I think we’ll see fewer taking a punt on stunts – and what real life stunts do get through will be much higher quality.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: Philip Brown talks Offset: Formula E’s new creator collective [podcast] (17 June)
    ‘We have decided to set up our very own influencer collective of mostly UK-based individuals, contracted for the duration of our seventh season, to create original content. The goal is to allow these individuals to tell their stories. We’re not just focusing on automotive influencers.’

Planning, insight, measurement and evaluation

Internal communication

Technology, media and digital

  • Stephen Waddington: Life on the internet in the UK in 2021 (17 June)
    The Online Nation 2021 Report published by Ofcom provides insights into use of the internet in the UK. It is packed with insight for marketing and public relations planning.’
  • Jamie Williams: GB News launch – success or flop? (14 June)
    ‘Andrew Neil launched the programme with a 5-minute monologue. Neil promised to give a “voice to those who have been side lined” and cover the “people’s agenda”.’