This week in PR (19 March)

About the author

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

Lovely sunshine this morning @MandyPearse on Twitter
Lovely sunshine this morning @MandyPearse on Twitter

It happened this week

Virtual events

Please check out our PR Calendar and send us links to your events.

  • Stephen Waddington: WaddsCon: February wrap-up, March topics and speakers (15 March)
    ‘The inaugural Lockdown Unconference exceeded expectations. Four inspiring speakers led conversations on race, talent, PR dashboards and the dark side of social media. More than 150 people turned up and engaged in the conversation.’

Covid-19 and comms

Ethics, sustainability and professionalism 

  • Fiona Gildea: COP26: Why PR Needs To Connect Environment With Equality (16 March)
    ‘If last year was about questioning our contributions to discrimination and systemic racism, perhaps 2021 is asking all of us to rethink how we are representing marginalised voices in the climate debate and supporting our clients and partners to find climate-just solutions.’
  • Keith Smith: Fuel podcast with Francis Ingham (13 March)
    ‘There are some positives about this period. There’s an obvious sense of community within the industry.’

Corporate and financial

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Jill Spurr: You are what you speak (14 March)
    ‘It’s well-documented that recording gratitudes each day improves mental health and optimism. But when you change how you view and describe yourself, you change how you view and describe other people. It becomes natural to build someone up, while tearing them down feels alien and uncomfortable.’
  • Arun Sudhaman: A Tale of Two MBOs (12 March)
    ‘London’s consumer PR market is as cut-throat as they come, often to the benefit of the latest hot shop. Back at the turn of the new millennium, that was Frank; it is to the firm’s credit that it remains relevant in 2021, even as so many of its erstwhile competitors have fallen by the wayside.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Conor Head: Avoiding ‘rinse and repeat’ when it comes to disability representation (no date)
    ‘As someone who lives with Tourette’s and works in healthcare communications, I am all too aware of misrepresentations which at best are crass and at worst very damaging.’
  • Karl Connor: Sellafield storyteller turns whistleblower: “toxic materials and toxic culture” (17 March)
    ‘I was apprehensive when the BBC asked to interview me about my experiences of working at Sellafield. They were investigating what other whistleblowers had told them was a “toxic culture.”
  • Claire Barratt: Reflections on the past year as a working parent (15 March)
    ‘While I am not sure I have managed to get my daughter to fully understand what I do for my work, I am glad to have exposed her more to the working world and I am grateful that I have had more of an insight into her school day and what inspires her.’
  • Nafisa Shafiq: Everyone has the ability to be an ally (15 March)
    ‘Allyship is not just about intent. It requires proactive action. It demands that we move from conversation to action. It is a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with underrepresented individuals and/or groups.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Tiffany Burrows, Sabine Tyldesley and Nick Jessup: The name’s Britain. Global Britain. (16 March)
    ‘The UK Government’s three main priorities set out in this “guide to action” are sovereignty, security, and prosperity. The UK will be using its platforms as the President of the G7 and the host of COP26 to put these principles into practice.’
  • Christine Quigley: On the buses (16 March)
    ‘Bus Back Better puts transport decarbonisation at the heart of the Government’s bus strategy.’
  • Laura Griffiths: More questions than answers from the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (16 March)
    ‘This Bill has a large remit, covering issues from unauthorised encampment and community sentencing, to stronger legislation relating to protests and life-long sentencing for the murdering of children.’
  • Harry Brown: The rise of £1m homes out of London: A pandemic keeper? (16 March)
    ‘Accountancy firm PwC reports that for the first time in 30 years, 2020 saw London’s population decline by 300,000 as the impact of Covid began to resonate with Londoners. In particular, wealthy Londoners.’
  • Tim Le Couilliard: The Clapham Common vigil and policing in the pandemic (15 March)
    ‘YouGov this morning revealed its snap polling on all matters relating to Saturday’s Clapham Common vigil. The topline findings are that 40% say that the vigil should have gone ahead, unopposed, with a similar number (43%) saying that it should have been cancelled.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Maja Pawinska Sims: Rough Justice: Met Fails Ultimate Public Relations Test (17 March)
    ‘The optics of the incident were appalling. The messaging and statements throughout the past week from the Met Police and police commissioner Cressida Dick have struck the wrong tone and have been seriously lacking in empathy.’
  • Amanda Coleman: Another way: reflections on the past 24 hours
    ‘After more than 20 years working in the police I have seen behind the scenes of what happens in the days before a mass gathering. Days of discussion, planning, thought about approaches and negotiation with organisers.’

Campaigns and creativity 

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: Repeat offenders blight influencer industry (18 March)
    ‘Brands are held equally responsible as influencers for failing to adequately disclose advertising content. Advertisers, influencers and the agents who work on their behalf – the influencer marketing agencies and talent agencies – need to work together to ensure consumers aren’t hoodwinked into thinking advertorial is editorial.’
  • Simon Brooke: Why so much ‘storytelling’ is just telling (16 March)
    ‘We know that storytelling fires up more areas of the brain than simply giving facts. As they say, ‘facts tell, stories sell’. We also know that narrative can put an argument or a difficult decision into context and make it sound more convincing.’

Planning, insight, measurement and evaluation

  • Richard Bagnall: 25 years ago today… (14 March)
    ‘My career change into PR measurement was the best decision I ever made. 25 years ago of course I had no idea that this was to lead to a lifetime’s work. A career that has been challenging, hard work, rewarding, educational and above all great fun.’

Internal communication

  • Jenni Field: Why you need to invest in your communication skills to stay focused and productive (16 March)
    ‘Being productive and focused is synonymous with impactful communication skills. Managing your time links to managing relationships and setting boundaries with those at work. Sometimes these conversations are difficult to have, but if we continue to avoid them it makes work a very challenging place.’
  • Rachel Miller: How to plan your IC channels [podcast] (14 March)
    ‘You may have a whole suite of channels to communicate within your organisation. Or you may just have email.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Natalie Allen: 6 tips for pitching in the ‘new normal’ (18 March)
    ‘There’s been no shortage of bad news over the past year and securing coverage for clients has been more challenging than ever. Having something positive to say, or pitching a feel-good story, however, provides a great opportunity to get feedback and stand out from the crowd. Even if it doesn’t result in coverage, it can often open up a new channel of communication, and puts you in a stronger position for future pitches.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Megan Laura Harris (Liverpool John Moores): #EndoTheStigma – MK’s story (18 March)
    ‘I have always had nightmare periods which were heavy and painful. I’d feel nauseated and have diarrhoea in conjunction. This just got worse and I had pelvic inflammation which was awful. I also had terrible period pain and, even when I wasn’t on my period, I would still have inflammatory pain.’
  • Piotr Boiwka (Newcastle): PR Graduate Jobs – How To Find One? Part 1 (18 March)
    ‘I heard it many times from people running agencies and those responsible for recruitment – be aware of what you are posting on social media. If you will be a promising candidate, they will check your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.’
  • Eloise Newman (Solent): Is it Ethical for Journalists to be Paid-Per-Click? (18 March)
    ‘In order to increase the number of clicks to an article, there may be a rise in ‘clickbait’ or misleading headlines, in order to generate a lot of attention.’