This week in PR (2 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.

Another day back on the road and back to lovely Manchester for a new client meeting. @greyfoxcomms on Instagram
Another day back on the road and back to lovely Manchester for a new client meeting. @greyfoxcomms on Instagram

It happened this week

Academic and education

Purpose and professionalism

  • Jenni Field: Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed: A ‘must read’ for 2021 (28 June)
    ‘For the PR and communication professional, it has a whole chapter on echo chambers and information bubbles. It helps us understand why we are so polarised on social media and why diverse connections are easier to make in smaller communities.’


ESG, corporate and financial

  • Simon Pugh: Litigation communications: reinforcing your legal strategy (25 June)
    ‘Communications must reinforce the legal strategy. In the long build-up to a trial there will be many legal avenues being explored, and reputational pressure, if used well, can be deployed to support them. This is the art of litigation communications.’


Consulting, teams and careers

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Iain Anderson: UK can be beacon of hope for LGBT people everywhere (1 July)
    ‘Work is where most of us spend more of our waking hours. The National LGBT Survey showed that, on average, LGBT people face higher rates of bullying or harassment in the workplace. We need business to step up and ensure that everyone at work can be themselves. All the time. Every day.‘
  • Vassilena Valchanova: My two and a half burnouts – and the lessons along the way (no date)
    ‘The one big mistake you can make during a burnout is simply not telling anyone. Detachment and distancing are very common side-effects of stress and burnout. I just thought I didn’t have time for friends and ended up severing connections that took tons of time to recover. Or, if I look deeper, I felt nobody cared.’
  • Emma Drake: How accessible is our comms? [podcast] (1 July)
    There are some basics that we should probably be getting right. Nearly 15 million people in the UK have problems with their sight or with their hearing.’

Public and third sectors

  • Frances Bonney: Communicating through a pandemic: an Oxford University Hospitals story (no date)
    ‘As a Communications Officer in the Trust during this period, I feel I have been a part of history. I admit to a certain adrenaline rush that comes with being involved in such an important national effort. But there is a cost too, and while my friends in other industries have also struggled with changed roles, lockdown, uncertainty and fear, they have focused on their work as a way to forget, briefly, about the pandemic. They have not ‘lived’ the virus all day, every working day.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Laura Griffiths: Blood donation – the long road to change (1 July)
    ‘Not only was June Pride month, it became a historic first for many of the LGBTQ+ community. Following campaigns which span multiple decades of hard work, the rule change on blood donation finally was put into practice.’
  • Christine Quigley: Maternity leave for MPs needs reform (1 July)
    ‘This week, Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy has threatened legal action against the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), the body responsible for paying MPs and staff, over their refusal to provide her with funding for a locum to cover her maternity leave.’
  • Naomi Harris: What we can expect from the Heat and Buildings Strategy (29 June)
    ‘The imminent publication of the much delayed and highly anticipated Heat and Buildings Strategy is expected to have significant consequences for the fabric and the fuel source of our nation’s homes.’
  • Andrew Adie: Sometimes we need to be offended (29 June)
    ‘While protest isn’t new, the ability to protest and to collect likeminded individuals together to shut down debate and discussions that doesn’t align with your world view is new in the sense of the scale, speed and ease with which it can be done. Social media is often the organizing channel for this.’
  • Tim Le Couilliard: All cameras on the new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid (28 June)
    ‘Bringing back Javid from the backbenches avoided the need for a wider reshuffle that moving people already in government would have caused.’
  • Thomas Borwick: Five years post-referendum: ‘The digital campaign revolution continues  (28 June)
    ‘As campaigners, we are always trying to work out the target audience for a political campaign, figuring out how to segment these messages and address who will support each.’
  • Stuart Thomson: There is still much to teach government about the private sector (28 June)
    ‘Governments always talk as if they know and understand everything about how business works. But that isn’t the case. The process of educating them remains a key job of public affairs.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: When the matter is not closed (26 June)
    ‘With the resignation of Matt Hancock we have seen the matter was far from closed for people. Anyone who has been unable to see family and friends, who has struggled to pay the bills, or who has lost loved ones during the pandemic may feel there was more to say on the matter. This has been a lesson in how not to do crisis communication.’

Campaigns, creativity and behaviour

  • Arun Sudhaman with Claire Bridges and Lesley Backus: Podcast: Creativity In PR 2021 (30 June)
    ‘Cannes put a focus on the PR industry with questions about how we measure up against other parts of the marketing mix.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Simon Gentry: Brands and celebrity – Has the game changed? (28 June)
    ‘Kim Kardashian may have ushered in the age of the social media ‘influencer’, but it’s a fair guess that she didn’t foresee just how powerful it would end up being.’

Internal communication

  • Rachel Miller and Daisy Payne: How can you make your Comms grow successfully? (1 July)
    ‘This adventure has certainly taught me – and this is important because so many of us have self-doubt – that even if it scares you, say “yes” and you’ll find a way to do it. Pressure is good.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Victoria Newton: How the Sun got its Matt Hancock scoop (30 June)
    ‘We agreed this wasn’t an old fashioned “kiss and tell” from a bygone era. This was a serious piece of responsible journalism about a cabinet minister potentially breaking the law, and behaving with extraordinary hypocrisy.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Voice moves from awareness to application (30 June)
    ‘A third of UK consumers use voice assistants daily. It is easy to forget that the technology is more than a decade old. Apple’s Siri launched in 2011, Google’s Voice Search in 2012, and Amazon’s Alexa in 2013.’
  • Crispin Thorold: Top tips for TikTok communication in universities (28 June)
    ‘TikTok started as the home of lip-synching, choreography and dance. While it is now about so much more, never forget that it is trends that drive traffic and provide the best chance of landing a viral video.’
  • Jessica Pardoe: Mistakes I Made As A Digital PR (28 June)
    ‘I learned pretty quickly that while connections are important, it’s the story that counts. You can beg a journalist until the cows come home to cover your piece, but if the content is naff then they’re just not going to.’

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