This week in PR (2 February)

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.

Suffragette lanterns (@BristolUni)
Suffragette lanterns (@BristolUni)

News in brief

  • Following the Channel 4 Dispatches/Sunday Times revelations about politicians’ willingness to trade Brexit insights for a fee, CIPR and PRCA have both warned about conflicts of interest and the need for standards in public life. Stuart Bruce, chair of the CIPR’s Policy and Campaigns Committee said: ‘People in public life must abide by the Nolan principles and this is not compatible with providing lobbying services. That is why public affairs professionals, regulated by a code of conduct, are an essential element of a healthy democracy.’
  • PR Week reports a restructuring at British Airways leading to the elimination of Paul Marston’s communications director role and the moving of internal comms into its people and legal department. Internal comms head Amanda Poole is also leaving.
  • Hotwire’s head of engagement John Brown has left the company to set up Don’t Cry Wolf (via Holmes Report).
  • Professor Colin Coulson-Thomas FCIPR has been appointed President of the Institute of Management Services, a body that promotes performance improvement and quality.
  • PRCA, PR Week and Women in PR are exploring the extent of sexual harassment in public relations (survey closes 19 February).
  • The most widely cited public relations textbook is now available in PDF format: Grunig and Hunt’s Managing Public Relations published in 1984.


Our calendar of events for public relations practitioners and academics is now on a separate page.

Thought leaders: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week. Recommendations are welcome to or @pr_place

  • Ellie Buckingham: Diary of a freelancer – one month in… (2 February)
    ‘Is it really for me? I’m a planner. A worrier. And I’m far too prudent for my own good.’
  • Arianne Williams: The minefield of social media: Influence Live (1 February)
    ‘It’s certainly not all good news for celebrities. Some casting directors look at social media channels when choosing their actors – less followers or less profiles means less ‘free publicity’.
  • Sarah Stimson: Diversity Initiatives for PR Employers (no date)
    ‘In the last 12 months I’ve seen a definite upswing in senior management who are taking diversity in all forms very seriously indeed.’
  • Ste Davies: How Much Traffic Does A Sponsored Post From Chris Pratt Get You? (no date)
    ‘Bitly provides tracking data such as link clicks, referrals and geographical info. It also makes this data public.’
  • H&H: 27 internal comms professionals reveal their hopes and predictions for the industry in 2018 (31 January)
    ‘Senior leaders are struggling to inspire and engage their employees in the organisation’s mission.‘
  • John Brown: Still afraid to talk? (31 January)
    ‘Campaigns with social at the heart are launched with the objective of generating ‘engagement’ but without so much as a passing glance given to how the company should act if, indeed, people started to engage.’
  • Paul Sutton: How voice recognition is impacting PR & comms [podcast] (30 January)
    ‘In this episode of the Digital Download podcast, I talk to co-founders of marketing communications agency Threepipe, Jim Hawker and Tony Thomas, about how the communications industry has to adapt.’
  • Stephen Waddington: So what’s your purpose? (29 January)
    ‘Purpose has long been conflated with marketing and corporate social responsibility. It isn’t a veneer that can be applied to an organisation, instead it must be rooted in its values and its engagement with stakeholders.’
  • Amanda Coleman: Reflections on the value of resilience (29 January)
    ‘Two years ago I said communicators needed to get training and support to build resilience. Today it is probably even more important and yet we are still not talking about it. It has to change.’
  • Arun Sudhaman: Davos 2018: 5 Communications Themes From A Revived World Economic Forum (29 January)
    ‘Here are five themes that are likely to play a significant role when it comes to your corporate engagement agenda this year.’
  • Anna Rawcliffe: National Trust’s approach to Twitter (29 January)
    ‘Social advocates can help get a brand’s content out there, but they’ll only be your advocates if they’re engaged with what you do.’
  • Emma Leech: The office for whom? (28 January)
    ‘In PR terms, the Office for Students has got off to a bad start. It will need to beef up its marketing if it really wants to reach those it purports to serve.’
  • Kerry Sheehan: Deeper Change – using behavioural insight to tackle issues (28 January)
    ‘With behaviour change, it’s not about how much money you spend or how loudly you communicate your message. It’s about small, well-considered nudges.’
  • Rachel Miller: How to be a Communication Consultant: getting paid (27 January)
    ‘If you set the bar too low due to your lack of confidence, it makes raising your rate to what it should be a lot harder in future.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

Here’s a very useful resource for PR students and graduates:

And here’s our pick of the best posts by those studying public relations and/or aspiring to work in PR. As we celebrate the centenary of (some) women gaining the right to vote, here’s an all-women selection with some insights into the challenges that remain.

  • Georgia McAlmont (Ulster, 4): Life as a student and a mum of two… If I can do it, so can you. (2 February)
    ‘I will not sugar coat it, it was hell on earth. A two-year old, a six-week old and a s**t load of catching up to do.’
  • Rebecca Reid (Ulster, 4): What next? How to survive final year (31 January)
    ‘Up until this point in our lives, we have not really had to think about what lies ahead or what to do in the following year. Our lives have essentially been mapped out for us, we have drifted through year by year progressing in education.’
  • Jessica Mckenzie (Greenwich, 3): Why I am a feminist #1: sexual harassment (30 January)
    ‘Countless times in a club has a stranger grabbed my ass and sporadically men attempt to grope my chest. I have been followed, shouted at and some men go as far as to grab me by the arm or stand in my path in an attempt to make me see them.’
  • Claire Stinton (Ulster, 4): Tips for Picking a Successful Dissertation Topic (30 January)
    ‘It is good to get worked up about any type of university work, because at least you know you care, but try not to spend all your time panicking and turn some of that anxious energy in to productive energy.’
  • Rosa O’Farrell (Ulster, 4): An Open Letter to a Prospective Student of PR (30 January)
    ‘PR is a specialist field that requires dedication, creativity, solid relationships and knowing your audience well enough that you are able to communicate to them in a very specific manner.’
  • Niamh Webb (Ulster, 4): Tips to Dealing with Dyslexia at University (29 January)
    ‘Leaving myself adequate time to proof-read and correct my work makes a big difference to the quality.’

Plus one bonus post from the US (because it’s an interesting educational approach that PR students and their lecturers might consider)