This week in PR (18 October)

About the author

Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of our Insights, formerly PR Place. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of #PontcysyllteAqueduct becoming a @unesco World Heritage Site, five structures along the Llangollen Canal will be lit up every day at 7.30-9.30pm until 27th October. @canalrivertrust
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of #PontcysyllteAqueduct becoming a @unesco World Heritage Site, five structures along the Llangollen Canal will be lit up every day at 7.30-9.30pm until 27th October. @canalrivertrust

News in brief

  • Brexit preparations: ‘Both the PRCA and CIPR have been awarded grants from the Government’s Business Readiness Fund to help the PR industry prepare for the potential of a no deal Brexit.’ (Vuelio)
  • Weber Shandwick picked up three awards. Here are all the winners from the PR Week awards ceremony this week.
  • Nine more have achieved CIPR Chartered Practitioner status. They are: Victoria Caddy, Julie Jupe, Hannah Layford, Huw Lewis, Sarah Murphy, Deb Sharratt, Ramona Slusarczyk, Neal Smith and Karen Westcott
  • Britvic has appointed former Unity and M&C Saatchi director Davnet Doran as head of brand PR (Holmes Report)
  • HSBC has appointed McKinsey’s comms director Steve John as group chief communications officer (PR Week)
  • Ian Coldwell FCIPR, chair of Edinburgh-based Pagoda PR has died at the age of 60 after a long illness.
  • San Diego State University has held a memorial service for Glen Broom, who died in August. He was the last remaining original author of the world’s longest-running public relations textbook: Effective Public Relations by Cutlip, Center and Broom was first published in 1952 and is still in print in its 11th (international) edition.

Academic and education

Purpose and professionalism

  • Paul Sutton with Rax Lakhani: Problems with public relations [podcast] (15 October)
    ‘The awards season is a treadmill. The judging process is genuine, but agencies know how to write an entry. When you scrutinise the results and dig a bit deeper, the methods and output fall foul of best practice.’
  • Bode Ayodele: Ethics and human-like machines: Do we need an AI transparency disclosure policy? (15 October)
    ‘I ponder whether it isn’t time for the introduction of a mandatory ‘Transparency Disclosure’ in AI policy, where the creator/users of technology are made to clearly indicate where a machine that mimics a human being isn’t actually one. As the real intent shouldn’t be to deceive people into believing otherwise?’
  • Jennifer Sanchis: How can PR secure a seat at the board table? Oxford experts’ top tips (no date)
    ‘An expert panel made up of Nicola Green, Corporate Affairs Director at O2, Fathima Dada, Managing Direction Oxford Education at OUP, Mish Tullar, Head of Communications Partnerships and Policy and Oxford City Council explored this topic.’

Consultancy and careers

  • Nicky Regazzoni: Are you having great Flex? (16 October)
    ‘We set up The PR Network 14 years ago to offer an agile alternative to the traditional agency that allows us, our partners in the PRN business and our 2000+ associates to work flexibly – without any compromise on results.’
  • Rich Leigh: 10 tips to have the best relationship with – and results from – your PR agency (15 October)
    ‘If you’re hiring a PR agency, you’re agreeing to a relationship. Relationships need work – and not just in the early and exciting stages. Consistent communication, mutual respect, trust and empathy are all important, and the results are inevitably better when these things align.’
  • Maja Pawinska Sims with Richard Houghton and Crispin Manners: Podcast: How To Grow, Build & Sell A PR Agency (14 October)
    ‘We currently advise a number of different agencies. We’re amazed that the same mistakes are still being made, so spotted a gap in the market for a book.’

Crisis and reputation

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Maja Pawinska Sims: Industry On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (17 October)
    ‘Take one particular type of creative soul, give them a job in PR, then chuck deadlines, demanding clients (who are often under their own intense pressures), financial and budget squeezes, a 24/7 global news cycle, the tenth circle of hell that is personal and professional social media, always-on tech… plus not enough sleep and too much of the inevitable self-medicating gin into the mixer. Boom.’
  • Peter Holt: Does PR *really* have an age problem? (16 October)
    ‘In a roundabout way therefore this article has helped me begin to focus on the challenge of how the industry body I give a big chunk of my time to as a volunteer – the CIPR – needs to change so as to better represent the industry.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Progress on gender equality in PR is slow and we’ve a long way to go (14 October)
    ‘PR is a predominantly female occupation however there are still more men in senior roles.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Jessica Pardoe: Creative Campaigns #18 – The Fortnite BLACKOUT (14 October)
    ‘One thing is indisputable: Epic Games have created one hell of a discussion today, and one that their long-term profits will probably generously thank them for. Isn’t it funny how silence can be so loud?’

Internal communication

  • Jenni Field: Big words, little meaning – What do we mean by measurement? (17 October)
    ‘Decide what it is you are trying to achieve. This doesn’t have to be several different things a dashboard can show you. It can be one or two things, linked to the business strategy.’
  • Belinda Gannaway: EX and culture – let’s up the resolution. (14 October)
    ‘Let’s be clear. Culture is environment and context. Experience is the feelings people have as a result of what they see and hear – and the meaning they give to those feelings.’
  • Nik Govier: Why internal comms is as important as external in an age of purpose (14 October)
    ‘The power of an activated workforce not only affects the external perception of the brand but its business performance.’
  • Dan Holden: #ChangingTheConvo 2019 (13 October)
    ‘Leaders will only build credibility through their actions and colleagues will want to know ‘What’s going to happen after I’ve given my feedback?’ and we need to know the answer.’

Media and digital

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Rachel Mole (Solent):  Kicking off Third Year with a Positive Mental Attitude (17 October)
    ‘Four weeks ago, I started my third year of PR studies and I didn’t quite anticipate how fast I would need to get my head into gear. From dissertation meetings to choosing teams for upcoming assignments, my first week was overwhelming to say the least.’
  • Emma Rogers (Solent): God save the media? (17 October)
    ‘I believe that the couple have the utmost right to sue whoever they like. It is impossible to imagine the struggle and anxiety they go through whenever they witness press releasing information, whether it is true or simply fake news, just to make a few quid.’
  • Ellie-May Decourcey (Leeds Beckett): Can public relations be practiced ethically? (16 October)
    ‘The stigma attached to the PR profession… suggests most PR practitioners are spin doctors who are only skilled in bending the truth to manipulate the minds of society for their own advantage. So it is important that when practicing PR to always be truthful, knowledgeable and respectful in order to work ethically.’
  • Hannah Chambers (Ulster): 5 Tools You Should Be Using If You Want to Be a Digital Content Creator (16 October)
    ‘Here’s my run down of 5 great content creation tools you should be using.’
  • Abi Kitcher (Solent): How to choose the best topic for your assignment brief (16 October)
    ‘My Dad is perfect for this, whilst he’s more practical than academic, he’s pretty clued up on general topics so he discusses my topics with me and brings up relevant and interesting points.’
  • Siobhan McKerr (Ulster): Introducing Orlagh Shanks: An Interview With The UK’s Best PR Blogger 2018 & 2019 (15 October)
    ‘I was drawn into Orlagh’s blog when I was exploring the idea of studying a PR related course at university, and with Orlagh being from the same town as me and attending the same secondary school, I felt I could gain some well trusted guidance from her blog.’
  • Cassandra Roos (Solent): Work placement – 2 down 1 to go (15 October)
    ‘I worked on press releases, blog posts, case studies, social media posts, media outreach and administrative tasks. The administrative tasks definitely made me appreciate how important it is to keep every receipt when you buy things for clients and how much easier life is if they are flat.’
  • Susan Greer (Ulster): WAGatha Christie: What we can learn from wags at war. (14 October)
    ‘We should all now be aware that anything we put online is never fully private…we’ve sat through enough lectures to know this by now.’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Beans are beans – why buy brands? (14 October)
    ‘What’s the craic with people buying branded food? I don’t get why people pay so much more for a branded food item, when there are loads of cheaper options available.’