This week in PR (21 April)

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.

This week

Profession: history and ethics

  • Claire Munro: Book Review: A Century of Spin (19 April)
    ‘The book is a critique of capitalism, seen here as a system gamed in favour of big corporations, which has undermined government independence and responsiveness to the needs of citizens. The authors argue that the public relations industry has evolved purely to facilitate this and describe how they watched it develop during the 20th century.’

Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Andrew Adie: Why Earth Day matters and what you could do about it… (20 April)
    ‘Saturday is Earth Day (or the UN International Mother Earth Day to give it its full title). It’s tempting to greet this news with a weary sigh and wonder what the point of it all is.’
  • Maja Pawinska Sims with Chris Pratt and Matthew Phillips: Podcast: What Comms Pros Need To Know About Climate Lobbying (17 April)
    ‘We want corporations to understand how they align their policy and lobbying practices with the Paris agreement and with what the climate science is telling us.’
  • Sarah Browning: A simple technique for finding purpose (18 April)
    ‘I use a really simple technique called ‘the 5 whys’. Basically, you channel your inner toddler and ask yourself (or your colleague) ‘why’, 5 times. This approach for getting to the root of something was originally developed by the Japanese company, Toyota.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Emma Drake: Making it count; are you getting value from your event strategy? [podcast] (20 April)
    ‘Today I run through some simple strategies you can use to maximise your event experience, and a quick list of takeaways.’
  • Frankie Oliver with Jen Jamie and Alex Doorey: What clients want from agencies [podcast] (19 April)
    ‘The voice of the communications leader has become more influential. I’ve seen that at Google, but I suspect it’s true across the sector. We have one core agency, Ogilvy; then we have some specialists as well for some very specific jobs – and some measurement agencies as well.’
  • Paul Holmes: Hope&Glory Has The Most Attractive Employer Brand In The UK (17 April)
    The strongest employee brands in the UK public relations business belong to independent public relations firms with strong creative reputations, not to giant multinationals with offices all over the world.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Malini Parkash: How companies can stop losing diverse leaders (no date)
    Making DEI a priority and breaking down barriers should be the goal of every company. I have felt the most empowered and engaged when I am in an environment where everyone’s contributions count.’

Public and third sectors

  • Sadie Burgess: Automation beats determination (20 April)
    ‘There will never be a shortage of technology and solutions for communications professionals to try, but the focus should always be on the outcome that communications technology can deliver rather than the technology itself.’
  • Dan Slee: BALLOT TOX: In praise of a council smashing the election TikToks (19 April)
    ‘TikTok is not one-and-done. It’s not make one video and you’ve magically communicated with everyone. It can take time and a list of content. It’s also using the trends available and repurposing the language of the platform.’
  • Lucy Harris and Gerard Gineika: GUEST POST: Lights, camera action: North Somerset Council and film locations (19 April)
    ‘Before 2020, the council’s corporate communications team handled all filming requests, regardless of whether commercial or news. Commercial filming requests were moved into the council’s economy team as they were seen a potential form of inward investment and visitor economy. Indeed, filming generated over £500,000 in value to the North Somerset economy in 2021-22.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Stuart Thomson: How To Deliver Effective Public Affairs In A Small Team (19 April)
    ‘The reality is that effective public affairs is the same whatever size of team you work in. But smaller teams should not feel that they are disadvantaged. Smaller teams have potential advantages, such as the ability to move quickly and make decisions more efficiently, but they need to leverage these strengths to achieve success in public affairs.’
  • Natasha Egan-Sjodin: The next phase of Open Banking? (14 April)
    Fin Tech week 2023 has kicked off with HM Treasury’s long-awaited recommendations for the next phase of Open Banking in the UK.’

Research, data, measurement and evaluation

Internal communication

  • Liam Fitzpatrick: Communicators know there is no unicorn (18 April)
    ‘I have consistently offered the idea that most communications solve one of five problems – making people stick around, helping them collaborate, explaining rules and roles in an engaging way, enabling advocacy and supporting transformation.’
  • Calm Edged Rebels: Season Seven Trailer (14 April)
    ‘Jenni is the Calm, Trudy is the Edged and Advita is the Rebel of Calm Edged Rebels!’

Media, digital and technology


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  • Matt Redley: The SEC Newgate AI Weekly (20 April)
    ‘Elon Musk announced that he was developing plans to launch a new artificial intelligence start-up to compete with Chat GPT-maker Open AI, titled X.AI.’
  • Neville Hobson: A Nostalgic Journey through the Rise and Demise of the Blogroll (16 April)
    Blogrolls helped form the foundation of early online communities. Through them, bloggers could connect to other bloggers and their content to engage in meaningful conversations and debates, ultimately broadening their horizons. Blogrolls were not just lists of links; they were the original social networks that laid the groundwork for an attractive social media landscape to develop.’
  • Ben Smith with Maya Koleva, Rosie Bannister and Paul Wooding: How will generative AI change PR? [podcast] (13 April)
    ‘Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence which effectively creates content; it is trained on vast amounts of data –  this can be text, this can be images; it’s called a large language model – and it uses this knowledge to predict what should come next whether it’s creating a new sentence or a new image.’

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