This week in PR (20 January)

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.

It happened this week

Edelman Trust Barometer

  • As the World Economic Forum convenes in Davos, so it’s time for the annual Edelman Trust Barometer which this year focuses on polarisation. Richard Edelman writes: ‘We are living through a period of huge systemic change in a multi-polar world, with divisive forces fanning economic grievance. Left untended, the consequence will be further polarization, slowing economic growth, deeper discrimination and an inherent inability to solve problems. Business needs to play a leading role, restoring economic optimism by creating jobs. This will give Government time to recover its footing while the social fabric is mended from the rifts caused by the pandemic.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Edelman and the business of trust (18 January)
    ‘Data collection and insight is a critical part of modern public relations practice and yet Edelman stands out for its investment in a research programme that informs practice. It’s a marketing and thought leadership exercise for the consultancy, of course, but it also has an impact in raising the profile of public relations among the business community.’

Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Kate Fergusson with Gihan Hyde, Ivano Iannelli and Alex Malouf: CIPR Engage Podcast E10: ESG (no date)
    ‘Doing business responsibly is everyone’s responsibility within an organisation. It’s not an add-on.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Brendon Craigie: Navigating economic and political headwinds to help drive change (19 January)
    ‘It’s at difficult times like these that the stories we tell on behalf of change makers and disruptors are needed most. For it’s the momentum and positive glow that we create through our storytelling that provides the optimum environment for innovators to flourish.’
  • Ben Smith with Greg Jones: How to Futureproof your PR agency [podcast] 19 January
    ‘The evolution of PR is very much reflected in the evolution of Smarts as an agency. There are agencies that have grasped the opportunities with both hands, and there are those who have been left behind… Influencer marketing capabiliity within a PR agency for me is fundamental for driving growth.’
  • Rich Leigh: Number of UK PR and marketing job ads at lowest point since February 2021 (18 January)
    ‘Marketing, advertising and PR is fifth on the list of job categories with the fewest job ads in the market right now. This means that, with an index of 79.6, there are 20.4% fewer jobs in the marketing, advertising and PR category that there were in February 2020.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

Public and third sectors

  • Dan Slee: NEWS AGENTS: How to get local media coverage in 2023 (19 January)
    ‘I started in newspapers when they were print-led and the main show in town. In 2023, they have truly evolved. No longer calling themselves ‘newspapers’ they are news brands who have a print offering but also are online and available via a website, email, Facebook and TikTok.’
  • Meg Rowley: What being on maternity leave has taught me about work (17 January)
    ‘A survey by TENA found that out of 1,000 working mums, 27% were excited about going back to work, 52% were worried and 27% were dreading it. 31% found it harder than they expected when they returned. It’s not good, but it’s sort of darkly reassuring.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Tom Haynes: Is it Levelling Up, Stepping Up, Gauging Up… or Times Up? (19 January)
    ‘This is second of three funding rounds, and so when we look at the scheme as a whole, it is worth stressing that London and the South East won the lowest amount per capita across the whole country. Furthermore, Wales was the highest earning region per capita, a nation which has only 13 Conservative MPs and is run by a Labour devolved government.’
  • Will Neale: Scottish and UK governments set for new clash over gender recognition reforms (17 January)
    ‘The UK Government sparked an unprecedented row with the Scottish Parliament yesterday after moving to block the Gender Recognition Reform Bill passed by MSPs in Holyrood last month.’
  • George Esmond and Hugh Matthews: #TradeTuesday: Britain’s economic future – and credibility as trading partner – will be up for debate at Davos (17 January)
    ‘A country such as Britain, with low savings rates and continuous stagnant productivity growth, requires a healthy flow of foreign capital from strong global trade arrangements to provide investment opportunities.’
  • Amanda Coleman: The long road ahead (17 January)
    ‘More than a decade ago I remember having conversations about the problems of officers abusing the power that they had. It is disappointing that many years on and despite work that was put in place this is still a problem. There is no easy answer but it has to start with the recruitment. Who is recruited to the police and how the process works to identify anyone of concern is the starting point.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

  • Andy Green: The true story about the Blue Monday (16 January)
    ‘Even though the original idea had commercial motives behind its conception there is now data since 2005 of the Blue Monday meme growing over the last 17 years in media coverage, conversations and a top Twitter trend. We have unwittingly uncovered a hidden, latent, social phenomenon.’

Research, data, measurement and evaluation

Crisis, risk and reputation

  • PRovoke Media: Crisis Review: The Top 21 Crises Of 2022 (Part 1 Of 3) (16 January) (Part 2 Of 3) (18 January)
    ‘Public relations professionals are pretty much unanimous in their verdict on Musk’s tenure as chief executive of Twitter.’

Behaviour and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: Tough Times for TikTok in 2023 (19 January)
    ‘Whilst creators, consumers and advertisers have embraced TikTok there’s also a nervous tension about the app as regulators tighten their grip on the Chinese-owned platform.’
  • Emma Drake: Deep Dive with Shayoni Lynn, Part One: Behavioural Science and PR [podcast]
    ‘There was a gap in the market for the robust application of behavioural science to public relations. I went head in and started teaching myself and getting involved in the behavioural science community.’

Internal communication

  • Dan Holden: How coaching and mentoring can help internal communicators (19 January)
    ‘In 2020, I was thinking about my next career move and whether to go freelance but was unsure whether it was the right decision for me. So I decided to give mentoring a try. Having the opportunity to talk with someone independent of work and home circumstances, bringing a new perspective to a particular situation, was a great help.’
  • Rachel Miller: How companies are supporting menopausal employees (18 January)
    ‘Did you know according to the Government Equalities Office “menopausal women are the fastest growing demographic in the workforce, increasing as retirement age does, with 3 out of 4 experiencing symptoms which could have an impact on their work.” 
  • Andrew Hesselden: UX design meets internal communications (18 January)
    ‘What if we could lessen the burden of consuming communication to improve the experience of employees at work? That’s what led me to start a mission to reduce and simplify comms in organisations.’
  • Ann Pilkington: Culture and change (13 January)
    ‘The other thing that Martin and I discuss in the podcast, is the importance of understanding culture when delivering change. We were both in agreement that a change network is one of the most valuable things to set up when delivering change because eyes and ears on the ground can help ensure change and comms activities are best suited to the local culture and circumstances.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Sam Horsley: 5 social media trends to think about in 2023 (19 January)
    ‘Is it time for brands on LinkedIn to shift their strategy to engage and promote themselves in new ways? Using your teams’ personal profiles helps to spread the brand message organically – and it doesn’t get more cost effective than that.’
  • Andrew Bruce Smith: ChatGPT: A Double-Edged Sword For The PR Industry? (13 January)
    ‘Given that writing is still one of the most prevalent required skills for any PR professional of any level of seniority or experience, it isn’t hard to see how ChatGPT can help create written PR content of any kind, such as press releases, email pitches and messaging documents. Simply feed in a prompt and you’ll get a response back in seconds.’

Academic, education and training

  • Robert Minton-Taylor: 50 YEARS IN PR – my thanks to the students who mentored me (19 January)
    ‘My biggest learning period – apart from learning how to ask awkward questions and crafting stories in my first career as a journalist – wasn’t during my years in consultancy, or in-house or as a freelance, but what I learnt from the students that I had the honour to teach.’

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