This week in PR (20 December)

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.

Last miles on the streets of London in 2020 — and this decade — done. @marcelkl
Last miles on the streets of London in 2020 — and this decade — done. @marcelkl

News in brief

  • ‘Who’s in and out of the Number 10 comms team following the election?’ (via PR Week)
  • Dr Jon White has been awarded an honorary fellowship of the CIPR, which also announced fellowships for Claire Foster, Shayoni Lynn and Rachel Royall (via CIPR).
  • PRCA has launched a B Corp group, chaired by John Brown of Don’t Cry Wolf. B Corps are ‘businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.’ (Via PRCA)
  • Longread: ‘Why WeWork went wrong’ (via The Guardian)
  • Two former Brass Agency employees – Lucy Baird and Kiran Watson – have started their own business and signed up six clients since the firm collapsed into administration three weeks ago. (Via Insider Media)

Ethics and professionalism

  • Ella Minty: Can We Really Compare a Lawyer with a PR Consultant? (19 December)
    ‘Public Relations practitioners are eons away from even coming close to claiming that ‘we are like a lawyer’ – we’re nowhere close to a lawyer and, while some of my friends and colleagues find great self-assurance in Lord Bell’s (RIP) infamous quote that everyone is entitled to protection in the Court of Public Opinion, I would argue that no, they are not.’
  • Paddy Blewer: The Honourable Mercenary Part 2: Do you have to believe to do be an effective PR advisor? (13 December)
    ‘What I actually believe is the comms advisor should be able to retain intellectual and emotional objectivity. We should be able to tell the client / colleague how they are viewed by any constituency without any concern that our internal bias has influenced our judgment.’


  • Heather Yaxley: Achieving (19 December)
    ‘Reflection allows for achievement to be measured in ways other than an absolute result. It encourages enjoyment of achieving – and recognition of the benefits we acquire along the way. Through reflective practice we are able to take a ‘what works’ approach, and realise that we – and our achievements – are more than good enough.’
  • Harriet Small: Alone Not Lonely (19 December)
    ‘Bouncing from one fancy café to another is the Instagram filtered version of a consultant or freelancers life, but there is more to working for yourself than meets the eye.’
  • Rosemary Davenport: Public relations, pregnancy and promotion (18 December)
    ‘I work in housing. I’m six months pregnant. And I’ve just been promoted. Shocked? You shouldn’t be.’
  • Iliyana Stareva: How I Started My Career in PR and Where it Got Me (17 December)
    ‘As you can see, my career has not been linear and I don’t think careers should be linear. What you really should focus on is finding what you’re truly passionate at and going after it with all your focus and strength, regardless of what you might have to lose out on. Because in the end, it’s worth it.’


  • Paul Holmes: 2019 Review: Top 10 Thought Leadership (15 December)
    ‘Thought leadership is probably the most effective form of marketing for most professional service firms, so it’s no surprise that the PR industry produced a wealth of surveys and studies in 2019.’

Public and third sectors

Politics and public affairs

  • Dan Julian: What next for Labour? (13 December)
    ‘The Labour Party has just experienced its fourth consecutive election defeat. Having started this decade in power they will end it in opposition, where they are likely to spend the first half of the next one as well.’

Crisis and reputation

  • Tony Langham: Repositioning our industry: time to call ourselves reputation managers (16 December)
    ‘We need to be clear that reputation can be managed and that the best companies have to be as good at managing reputation as they are at everything else. We need to be clear on how we build and protect reputation. We have to establish reputation management as a core management discipline, not a communications function. And we have to talk about restructuring all marketing services into two core functions: reputation management and marketing.’

Measurement and evaluation

  • Giles Peddy with Johna Burke: Q&A: AMEC and LEWIS (17 December)
    ‘In November we launched the Planning Primer, which will be the basis for the Global Planning Guide which we will launch at the 2020 AMEC Summit in Vienna, Austria; creating a comprehensive, cohesive toolkit for people who are looking to start their measurement journey.’

Brands, storytelling and influence

  • Jessica Pardoe: How Much Influence Should We Allow Influencers To Have? (19 December)
    ‘What’s scarier is the abhorrent lack of responsibility displayed by these so-called influencers who hold the trust of so many people.’
  • James Herring: Friendly advice: Stop reading trends reports (16 December)
    ‘If you’ve read something in a trends report it’s probably already in its moment OR everyone else is gonna being doing it and you could end up boarding a cheese submarine. So start 2020 as you mean to go on. Do something different, stand out from the crowd, break the rules, surprise, challenge, entertain or better still stand up for something that makes a real difference to people’s lives.’
  • Jon Evans with Alex Myers: How I made Brewdog famous [podcast] (16 December)
    ‘We started working with Brewdog in 2010. I’d never heard of Brewdog at the time – but then no one had. We’ve done just over 50 creative campaigns since then.’

Internal communication

  • Katie Macaulay with Keith Lewis: Advocacy in action [podcast] (18 December)
    ‘The great power that we’ve got in organisations is our people. A lot of what I do is trying to switch on and activate 4,500 people that work in Zurich in the UK and 50 odd thousand globally to help us out from a social perspective. The new thing is taking the people with us; they’re the best advocates we have.’
  • Rachel Miller: The word I’ve banned from every internal communication conversation (17 December)
    ‘To be strategic internal communication practitioners, we need to focus on outcomes, not outputs. This is such an important distinction to make and is how to shift your IC efforts up a gear.’

Media and digital

#prstudent #bestPRblogs resumes in January

Follow #ThisWeekinPR on Twitter to stay up to date

Follow on Twitter