This week in PR (20 August)

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.

Good morning everyone @RossWigham on Twitter
Good morning everyone @RossWigham on Twitter

It happened this week

  • The Times revealed the identity of the Taliban’s media spokesperson in a front page story on Wednesday. Catherin Philp wrote: ‘For a man who has spent his life hiding from the public gaze, Zabihullah Majahid was remarkably calm. The Taliban’s spokesman stepped out from the shadows at a press conference yesterday to present a friendly new face of the religious fundamentalists to the world: Taliban 2.0.’


  • Mike Love: Communications is a backstage skill (19 August)
    ‘The best communications work does not win awards. It is the work that we never hear about. CEOs, politicians, and celebrities may be lucky enough to be known as “good communicators” or unlucky enough to be remembered as bad ones. However, the people who write their words, coach them on how and when to use them and design the strategies for their communication should be unsung heroes.’

Academic and education

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Andy Green with Matt Appleby, Ben Caspersz and Shannon Walker: Episode 4: Inspiring Social Purpose [podcast] (no date)
    ‘Purpose is a development on CSR. It’s threaded through the vital functions of an organisation, across marketing, across HR and all these different areas.’
  • Louise Nicolson: Carrot or Stick? (no date)
    ‘We’re already seeing companies ‘self-regulate’ by setting and owning environmental standards before regulators have the chance to draft and distribute policy.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Emma Drake: Ep 26. ‘summer hacks’ series: Building B2B relationships [podcast] (19 August)
    ‘Building strong relationships can also help you in a crisis – you need people on your side when things go wrong. By nurturing existing relationships with customers, being helpful and showing you care, you build up an army of supporters who can also fight your corner when you need them.’
  • Joe Glover: What’s it like being inside an agency who have grown to 100 people in two years: Rise at Seven (no date)
    ‘A productive behaviour I observed is very little small talk at the beginning of meetings. Instead, people got right down to business. Even if a meeting was scheduled for 30 mins, if it was done in 12 minutes – then it was done and people got on with their work.’
  • Daisy Snowball: The how or the what? (16 August)
    ‘I’ve worked in corporate communications for more than 20 years and in lots of different sectors, in-house and agency, public and private sector. I’m a strategic communications specialist, not a tech or financial comms specialist or a travel or beauty PR professional. My expertise is in developing outcome-focused communications, and in knowing how to determine the best use of comms messages and media for specific audiences and objectives.’
  • Annie Hayes: How to attract PR talent in a candidate-driven market (no date)
    ‘When candidates can pick and choose who to work for, it’s essential that the hiring systems are transparent, open, consistent and fair. No-one trusts an employer who fails to communicate effectively about the process or is seen to screen candidates in varying ways.’
  • Jessica Pardoe: Why I Moved To Traditional PR (14 August)
    ‘The main thing that influenced me to move to more of a traditional agency with a mixed bag of skills, is because I feel like that’s what PR is all about.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

Public and third sectors

  • Dave Worsell: Can citx revolutionise tenant surveys? (16 August)
    ‘While paper-based and telephone surveys clearly have a vitally important role to play, especially amongst the digitally excluded audience, CitX gives you a far more strategic approach to data collection, channel optimisation, data analytics and exception handling.’
  • Amy Bell: Why we all need to become better listeners (13 August)
    ‘This month marks the Samaritans yearly campaign ‘Talk to us’ which explores why we should try to become better listeners.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Ciaran Gill: Green international trade: an oxymoron? (19 August)
    ‘With COP26 just 75 days away, all eyes over the next few months will be on the UK Government to see whether it can step up and provide the global climate leadership that will be necessary to make this vital conference a success.’
  • Amanda Coleman: When words are not enough (19 August)
    ‘Words are just not enough for the people in Haiti and Afghanistan. They need action. I hope that governments around the world will step in and do as much as possible to help.’
  • Will McMyn: Better late than never: “the start of the UK’s hydrogen revolution” (17 August)
    ‘The Hydrogen Strategy was launched with a grandiose assertion from the Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, that “today marks the start of the UK’s hydrogen revolution.”

Campaigns, creativity and behaviour

Brands, storytelling and influence

  • Emily Davies: I’ve got a text! Why more brands are calling on influencers (19 August)
    ‘Influencers are subject to a somewhat unfair reputation. Echoes of doubts of credibility, reports of irresponsible behaviour and often negative perceptions of these entrepreneurs are often reported in the news.’
  • Hayley Coleby: The Love Island influencer world is a women’s game (19 August)
    ‘My prediction is that the female winner will be this year’s influencer royalty and she will have her pick of fashion brand collaborations, in the same way that Molly Mae did.’
  • Paul Mackenzie-Cummins: How to earn consumer trust and establish credibility (18 August)
    ‘How do you demonstrate that you understand how their needs and those of similar businesses you have worked with changed over the last 18 months? What full or partial solutions have you implemented for your other customers that have enabled them to overcome some of the challenges they face?’

Internal communication

Technology, media and digital