This week in PR (19 July)

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.

Lovely @iowtomatoes. They’re the best. ? @pamll0yd
Lovely @iowtomatoes. They’re the best. ? @pamll0yd

In the news

      • The annual Reginald Watts essay prize invites anyone aged 25 or under to submit 1000 word responses to the question: ‘How is today the best or worst of times for public relations and communications?’ Deadline Monday 19 August. (From PRCA).
      • The CIPR has awarded fellowships to: Mark Oliphant, Amanda Pearse, Kerry Sheehan and Andras Sztaniszlav.
      • A management reshuffle at Weber Shandwick in the US means that two of the three biggest global PR consultancy networks are now run by women: Gail Heimann at IPG’s Weber Shandwick and Donna Imperato at WPP’s BCW. The exception is Richard Edelman, who also heads the sole independent network in this trio.
      • The PRCA and PRWeek have announced the winners of the annual PR Internships and Apprenticeships Awards.

Education, research and academic

      • Orlagh Shanks: What It’s Really Like to Study PR (17 July)
        ‘If you are studying PR, thinking about studying PR or just in university, take advantage of all the free time you have – start a blog, start networking, get as much experience as you can and make something of yourself before you even graduate. It’s possible and it’s worth the time and energy.‘
      • Robert Minton-Taylor: My mission (17 July)
        ‘As a white middle-class public school educated male I am disappointed by the continued lack of diversity in the public relations industry.’
      • Ana Adi: Too much trust? (17 July)
        ‘This year’s [BledCom] symposium was marked by a shared sense of unease with how certain technological and political trends are taking us contrasted with a sense of quiet optimism that education, critical thinking and open discussion can provide a way out.’
      • Sandy Lindsay: Report into Apprenticeships in the UK (15 July)
        ‘Our aim is to use this report to put forward an evidence-based action plan for Government to address some of the current challenges that employers and apprentice providers are facing.’
      • Alastair McCapra: Challenging trust and reputation: BledCom19 (15 July)
        ‘The theme for 2019 was ‘Trust and Reputation’. I was surprised to find these ideas more strongly contested than I had expected – there were some real challenges to what we understand by these terms and how we apply them.’

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 

      • Here’s the link to this week’s #PowerAndInfluence Twitter chat: Should Public Relations Be Regulated? (17 July)
      • Anonymous: The battle for brand purpose: it is not CSR (16 July)
        ‘Purpose for me, has always been about a brand’s role in people’s lives. Purpose is not about pursuing audience approval by aligning with a fly-by-night morality that fits the zeitgeist. Purpose was never about changing the world; it was about changing the customer’s world.’

Consulting, careers and skills

      • Jennifer Robson: It’s gotta be the right fit (16 July)
        ‘You don’t have to like someone to do business with them but it sure does help! Rudeness, gossiping, back-stabbing are massive ‘no-noes’ in my book.’
      • Richard Edelman: Crippling the creative agency (12 July)
        ‘Holding companies are squeezing their ad agencies in order to pay for huge data marketing acquisitions.’
      • Ashley Carr: Three reasons why retainer PR is on the rise (15 July)
        ‘I believe that retainers are an integral part of a successful agency-client PR relationship. Here are three key reasons for organisations to make a commitment and see PR as part of their long-term strategy for growth.’
      • Stephen Waddington: Letter from Darlington: In praise of editors (14 July)
        ‘A good editor pushes you to improve and learn. They give you support and confidence. You need to listen to their feedback.’

Politics and public affairs

Public and third sectors

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

Brands and influence

      • Scott Guthrie: Influencer marketing: Why one-hit-wonders won’t work (15 July)
        ‘Finding the most appropriate influencers for a brand to work with requires third-party tools to do the heavy lifting and contextual intelligence from the influencer marketer to vet the influencer.’

Trust, crisis and reputation

      • Ella Minty: The Blame Game and the Corporate Crisis (18 July)
        ‘One of the most complex roles of any communicator finding themselves in the leadership structure of an organisation is to speak truth to power.’
      • Stuart Bruce: Five tips to manage a social media crisis (16 July)
        ‘The reality is that what many people think is a social media crisis isn’t actually a crisis at all. The long-term impact on the brand’s or company’s reputation, sales, share price etc is often minimal.’
      • Tony Langham with Claire Southeard and Brittany Golob: The power of content [podcast] (no date)
        ‘Content marketing is about using interesting, distinctive, relevant-to-your-audience content that engages customers or stakeholders with your brand story.’

Internal communication

      • Dan Holden: Mental wellbeing and the role of internal comms (18 July)
        ‘Internal communications have such a powerful role in helping to shape workplace culture around wellbeing, working hand in hand with managers and HR teams.’
      • Martin Flegg: What to do when leaders don’t listen (17 July)
        ‘One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to get leadership buy in for your ideas is to try and have a conversation about communications theory.’
      • Charong Chow: Top 15 Internal Communications Agencies (15 July)
        ‘Here are 15 top internal communications agencies and influencers (in alphabetical order).’
      • Sophie West: What is Internal Communication? A Beginner’s Perspective (12 July)
        ‘Effective internal communication within a company is important as it means the people inside the company work more efficiently to achieve their goals. In order to do this there should be a shared meaning and understanding within the company.’
      • Sam Boniface: How to equalise your parental leave benefits (14 July)
        ‘NHBC has agreed that all employees will be entitled to take up to a year’s leave, with the first 13 weeks at full pay. And this applies whether you are giving birth or adopting.’

Campaigns and creativity

      • Mark Pinsent: Creativity in PR: too focused on the big idea? (16 July)
        ‘I’ve nothing against the big idea, and the creative thinking that goes into it. But I do think too much focus is given to single creative ideas, as opposed to the ongoing need for creativity that forms the core of many (maybe most) PR and communications programmes.’
      • Danny Whatmough: The challenges (and opportunities) in professionalising creative in PR (no date)
        ‘In PR, our product is far greater than creativity alone, but I fear that we often fail to give creativity the time and focus it needs.’

Measurement and evaluation

      • Shalon Roth: The secret to generating PR metrics that matter (18 July)
        ‘According to David [Rockland], “You can’t measure if you don’t have good goals. So, when a client says ‘I want to measure and be better at measurement,’ the first thing is to get better at goal-setting.’

Technology and AI

Media and digital

      • Jessica PardoeTeach PR First, Link Building Second (18 July)
        ‘Link building is something that many try to master without having a proper understanding of the fundamentals of PR first. This is why so many fail, and is why we link-builders are a very rare breed. Breaking it down, link building requires outreach. Outreach is a tactic that is crucial in PR.’
      • Jimmy Leach: The End Of An Era For HuffPost UK, But The Start Of Something Very Exciting (16 July)
        ‘As the digital landscape shifts, so must our approach to opinion and news delivery. With that in mind, we’ve taken the decision to close HuffPost UK Blogs this week.’
      • Victoria Tomlinson: 7 inside secrets to making LinkedIn really work (15 July)
        ‘Just as in any area of business, you need to use social media in a focused way – what do you want to achieve?  The starting point is to build a target list of people who could help you with research, contacts and more.’