This week in PR (2 October)

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.

@sparklypinchy In London today. I’ll never get tired of this beautiful city, stumbling on through these very strange times. ❤️
@sparklypinchy In London today. I’ll never get tired of this beautiful city, stumbling on through these very strange times. ❤️

Covid-19 and comms

  • Kat Harrison-Dibbits: Coronavirus and the Government’s persistent reputation gap (30 September)
    ‘It’s a PR pro’s job to manage their organisation’s relationships, and like all relationships these are based on trust. That’s why the first and most simple rule is to make sure that what you say and what you do are the same.’
  • Stephen Waddington: PR industry resilient but COVID-19 leaves significant human cost (29 September)
    ‘The impact of COVID-19 on the health of public relations practitioners is underreported by trade media. 20.2% of respondents report that at least one team member has contracted COVID-19 and recovered. A further 4.8% say they have employees experiencing long-tail COVID-19. Sadly 2.9% have lost a member of staff or have a member of staff who has lost someone in their family.’

Practice and professionalism

  • Nick Helsby: Changes in the corporate affairs landscape and the organisation of the function. (1 October)
    ‘COVID has focused the minds of most business leaders on their broader societal contribution and it has become clear that if they don’t identify the contribution their company can make, and the purpose they can carve out for themselves, then they will find it increasingly hard to prosper and to retain and attract talent.’
  • Jenni Field: September CIPR President update

    (29 September)
    ‘I’m delighted that this month we’ve launched the #CIPRemployability hub.’

  • Andy Rowlands: Nature or nurture: the making of a thought leader (28 September)
    ‘To have a following means you need to be sought out for your views and thoughts. People want to hear from you, will ask for your input and advice.  If no-one is listening, nor taking an interest, then you may as well be talking to yourself. You’re not a thought leader.’

Consulting, teams and careers

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Jenni Field, Advita Patel and Trudy Lewis: Imposter syndrome [podcast] (30 September)
    ‘It does exist. It’s when you think you’re a fraud, just winging it. Every day you get this feeling that you’re going to get found out.’
  • Jennifer Ogunleye and Julian Obubo: From the guest editors: Let’s make PR anti-racist (30 September)
    ‘Our focus here is on prejudice and discrimination faced by non-white professionals, but of course the industry still has work to do in combatting all forms of prejudice.’
  • Daniel Cattanach: Feels on wheels (30 September)
    ‘I’m taking part in the Ride for Mental Health, in aid of the charity Rethink Mental Illness. As well as raising money, I’m hoping to raise awareness – by sharing one piece of mental health advice per day throughout the month via social media – except for Sundays; when I take a break from the screen (there’s a tip for you already).’
  • Hassan Raja: Lessons from a ‘virtual’ internship in social media (29 September)
    ‘As a student from both a BAME and working class background, pursuing a career in the creative sector felt like venturing off the beaten track.’
  • Katie Austin: It’s time to address the gender confidence gap (no date)
    The gender pay gap is still a depressing reality. In the UK, it currently lies at 8.9%. But the issues runs deeper than disparities in pay. There is a gender confidence gap too.’

Public and third sectors

  • Kate Vogelsang: How personality of place helps the public sector produce great communications (29 September)
    For the public sector, and particularly local authorities across England, place-based branding – or, to put it another way, personality of place – is really important. Places, just like each of us as people, often have unique characteristics that give them identifiable personalities.’
  • Ross Wigham: Five comms reflections as we head into winter (28 September)
    ‘As we move into the second wave and a local lockdown where I am, here are some reflections on a few things that I think feel important.’

Politics, public affairs and the public sphere

  • Katy Murray: What policy experts can learn from conspiracy theories (30 September)
    ‘Conspiracy theories offer tidy explanations for the messy, complex world around us – that ‘this explains everything!’ dopamine hit. It’s like reading a really good definition of a complex idea: the feeling of a difficult thing made easier to hold.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Mark Borkowski: Burger King and the cultural appropriation of a working class town (30 September)
    ‘The advert patronises us by drawling ‘you haven’t heard of Stevenage Football Club… well nor had we’. The same could have been said for the campaign until the PR. Now it has all the various blokey bibles raving about its genius.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

Internal communication

  • Tom Abbott with Rob Sloan: Beyond IC podcast Episode 2 (no date)
    ‘In the digital world, you have to engage people quickly. It’s the same in the theatre. A great story has to grab the audience.’
  • Katie Macaulay with Steve Crescenzo: How to do less, but do it better [podcast] (30 September)
    ‘We’ve got to bring really dull subjects to life, and the best way to do that is writing about people. People are interesting; corporations are filled with people, and there are stories everywhere. Write about important topics, but focus on the people.’
  • Andrea Greenhous and Mike Klein: IC BEYOND: Onboarding goes remote – changing the game substantially (29 September)
    ‘One of the reasons working remotely had not been widely accepted before the outbreak of COVID-19 is the challenge it presents with respect to managing people, fostering collaboration, and communicating.’
  • Dawn Robinson: Pandemic positivity: 10 things that helped TUI keep its smile through COVID-19 (28 September)
    ‘A real positive for me has been the way in which we’ve been able to pull forward on our plans for digital transformation. We’ve suddenly seen markets that didn’t really use cards at all going cashless – Germany’s a great example of that.’
  • Shelby Loasby and Dan Holden: Get the best start in internal communication [podcast] (26 September)
    ‘If you are in your early days as an internal comms professional or it’s something you’re considering as a career choice, you’ll absolutely love this episode.’
  • Naomi Goodman: Why ‘comms MOT’ should move up your to-do list (25 September)
    ‘Our ability to actively listen is what makes us IC pros great. But, is it even possible to do that effectively via a screen, en masse? Probably not. And a phone call here and there with your network is time consuming; and isn’t representative. Which means if you want to continue to influence your senior stakeholders, more data and insight is needed.’ 

Technology, media and digital

  • Kinda Jackson: Why LinkedIn is a must for B2B marketing (1 October)
    ‘We are slightly biased as they are our client, but when it comes to B2B communications and advertising, LinkedIn is in a league of its own.’
  • Paul Sutton with Wendy James: Social media, scandal and selling records [podcast] (30 September)
    ‘Anyone can do this stuff sial[social media]. You don’t get to be famous and successful  without a coordinated campaign of press and radio – radio’s still really important. Certainly now you need to feed the beast more regularly.’

Academic, education and training

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