This week in PR (19 August)

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 happened this week (75 years ago)

Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Lucy Walton: Winds of change (no date)
    ‘The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) will be phased in between 2024-2028, making ESG reporting mandatory for more than 50,000 companies.‘

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Beth Nunnington: 4 things I’ve learned in 4 years at Journey Further (13 August)
    ‘Over the last few years, I’ve really seen the value of working on my personal brand and it’s really helped grow our team and make us famous. I have done a lot of talks on stage, BrightonSEO being a career highlight, webinars and created pre-recorded video content. I really enjoy marketing the business and I have learned lots about personal branding as a result.’
  • Mark Borkowski: Mark Borkowski says we should turn off tech and follow the example of his maverick acts (12 August)
    ‘In my 40 years as a publicist, I’ve become something of a magnet for mavericks; inventive, spontaneous, eccentric, with a slightly dangerous edge, they enhance our existence.’
  • Alex Malouf: Remembering Firdaus Shariff (12 August)
    Firdaus had worked in the industry for two decades, first at Cisco, then at SAP and finally at Schneider Electric. She was driven to excel, and she always pushed the team to do more. At the same time, she believed that marketing should be both creative and fun; she wanted us to enjoy what we were doing and let loose our imagination.’
  • IPRA: Alasdair Scott Sutherland In Memoriam (12 August)
    ‘Born in Ceylon and educated in England, Alasdair started his public relations career with Burson Marsteller in 1968, taking a break to be a London restaurateur in the early seventies.’

Public and third sectors

  • Jenny Gibson: UK City of Culture – it’s ok to be in it and not win it (16 August)
    ‘Bradford is beyond delighted to be chosen as UK City of Culture 2025 – but it’s the taking part, not just the winning, that counts.’
  • Helena Hornby: An experiment in hybrid unplugging (14 August)
    ‘We all know the pressure to be ‘always on’ as communications professionals. We also know that we should switch off sometimes, but that’s often easier said than done. This little camping adventure reminded me of the joy and power that comes from unplugging, being in the moment, and doing something a bit different.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

Brands, content, community and creativity

  • Jessica Pardoe: Why I’m Saying All Publicity Is NOT Good Publicity (18 August)
    ‘Though the initial sting of criticism certainly wasn’t good for the brand, the aftermath has really helped to elevate the publicity of the products and has caused plenty of positive reactions. ASDA is continuing to promote the range well on social media too, and because of the now instantly recognisable packaging, engagement is through the roof!’
  • Chris Lee: Another day, another reminder that – in marketing, as in life – humour is subjective (18 August)
    ‘I’ve been training brands on social media best practice since 2010. One of the perennial rules that has featured on my ‘Dos and Don’ts’ slide since the very beginning is ‘Remember, humour is subjective’.’
  • Elena Cotton: Rose Ayling-Ellis reveals first Barbie Doll with hearing aid (16 August)
    ‘Rose Ayling-Ellis revealed she ‘would draw hearing aids on to my Barbie dolls to make them look like me’. Ayling-Ellis continued to say ‘I am thrilled that Mattel is releasing more dolls that encourage kids to celebrate and embrace their differences’.

Crisis, risk and reputation

  • Mark Harris: Freefall (16 August)
    ‘This freefall situation takes me to a lifelong piece of guidance I received when being taught how to climb: always maintain three points of contact on the rockface. Of our four limbs, at least three had to be in contact, or the risk and likelihood of falling is far greater.’

Internal communication

  • Nyree Ambarchian: Why it’s never a good idea to confuse a business with a ship (18 August)
    ‘Following years of huge growth and success, in 2021 stories about bad working conditions at BrewDog began to surface. A group of former employees sent out an open letter which revealed a darker side to the company.’
  • Jenni Field: How to communicate effectively within a heavily matrixed global organisation (16 August)
    ‘Communicating effectively in a matrix structure is always going to be complex and challenging. A matrix structure is where someone reports to multiple people. This can sometimes happen in larger organisations where the internal communication manager reports to HR and also corporate communications.’
  • Katie Macaulay: Change communication: 8 lessons inspired by John Kotter (12 August)
    ‘On re-reading the book this summer, eight lessons emerged for how internal comms professionals can play their part in delivering change today – a time when, even before we introduce change, workplace stress is reportedly at an all-time high.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Ana Mendoza: How can your brand BeReal? (18 August)
    ‘BeReal, the new social media platform, is giving people something to talk about, and that’s all because it offers a new way of posting and sharing: it only allows one post per day, and the time to post is marked by the app itself.’
  • Alan Tovey and Keith Gladdis: Has silly season become extinct? (no date)
    ‘Another (exhausted) national journalist said: ‘I don’t think there’s been a real silly season since the Brexit vote’. What does it mean? It means stories need to be sharper to make the cut, even in August. There’s no break for the PR industry. The silly season has become serious.’

Academic, education and training

  • Dan Slee: RESULTS DAY: Universities nail A level results day comms (18 August)
    ‘It’s a UK industry that sees 2.5 million students studying at UK institutions and more than 20 per cent come from abroad with an income of £39 billion a year. You can see why in a crowded market comms is at the forefront.’