This week in PR (21 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.

‘I love how this lockdown has made everyone appreciate quite how beautiful the UK countryside can be. I hope we dont forget this when cheap flights come back.’ Coral Beach, Isle of Skye by @AdamTuckwell on Twitter
‘I love how this lockdown has made everyone appreciate quite how beautiful the UK countryside can be. I hope we dont forget this when cheap flights come back.’ Coral Beach, Isle of Skye by @AdamTuckwell on Twitter

News in brief

  • ‘Qatar has kicked off a global PR search for agencies to support the 2022 FIFA World Cup, issuing a string of multi-market RFPs’ (via PRovoke Media).
  • Management consultancy McKinsey was awarded a £560,000 project to define the ‘vision, purpose and narrative’ of the new National Institute for Health Protection (via Civil Service World).
  • PRCA has created an Analyst Relations Group to provide a forum for PR, AR and communications professionals to come together and share best practice, insights and trends. (via PRCA newsroom).

Covid-19 comms

  • Tom Hindle: Delivering comms during Covid-19 (18 August)
    ‘The thing is though, Covid-19 also posed the question of what, for us as PR professionals, is our main objective. While it might be tempting to score swathes of “easy” coverage (short-term win for client), our role should surely be to expand knowledge and awareness for our reader (long-term win for client).’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Kate O’Sullivan: Creating opportunities for the next generation: Recruitment in the new normal (20 August)
    ‘As we move from full crisis mode to an acceptance of the new normal, very few businesses can afford to stand still. Building a winning workforce with a digital focus will be paramount to the evolution of your business and getting the right skills in place is going to be essential.’
  • Adam Driver: Four free project management tools to check out (20 August)
    ‘Whether you’re managing an in-house team at a not-for-profit, local gov or sector specific area, an agency working across multiple clients, disciplines and spinning plates, or a freelancer collaborating with others, these tools can be the extra organisational kick you may need.
  • Laura Sutherland: How would AI impact entry-level roles in the PR industry? (20 August)
    ‘The advent of AI in Public Relations has raised immediate concerns related to its impact on entry-level roles. So, what would young practitioners do in the comms industry?’
  • Paul Sutton with John Brown, Carrie Rose and Darryl Sparey: The disruptors: Take control of your own destiny [podcast] (19 August)
    ‘I think the industry massively underinvests in two key areas: tools and training. Agencies typically have an army of junior people doing tasks that could be automated.’
  • Stephen Waddington: In defence of argument and debate (19 August)
    ‘Healthy, constructive debate results in better creative and organisational performance. People that are prepared to challenge the status quo should be celebrated.’
  • Amanda Coleman: Taking stock before setting out on the road ahead (19 August)
    ‘Be clear what motivates you. Working for yourself is a real challenge so you need to be sure that it is what you want. A lot of soul searching is needed before you take the leap and there is no shame if you decide that it is not for you.’
  • Charlie Spargo with Rick Guttridge: What I’ve learnt: Rick Guttridge, MD Smoking Gun (19 August)
    ‘My best failure? Getting the business lean, more agile and mentally trained for dealing with adversity – the first real time in the business’s history – meant we recovered at the end of the year and were able to act swiftly and decisively when COVID struck thanks to lessons learned.’
  • Advita Patel: Five tips to help build connections remotely (no date)
    ‘With video fatigue being real and with people feeling a bit exhausted with everything that’s going on, how do you bring these side chitchats into the virtual world?
  • Darryl Sparey: How to sell in a pandemic (17 August)
    ‘There are thousands of agencies out there, and as many freelancers. It’s a buyers’ market. So your proposition needs to be genuinely differentiated. You need to have a unique selling point which is of benefit to your prospective client, and defensible externally. And ‘we’ve got great people’ or ‘we’ve won awards’ does not cut the mustard, because everyone else is saying that.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Harriet Small: I am not a swan (no date)
    ‘The conversation around mental health has come a long way, but running an agency or heading up a comms team means that you take on the weight of the situation before your own wellbeing especially in a time like now when recovery is the focus.’

Public and third sectors

  • Paul Morris: Case study: Writing a new chapter for the Thames Estuary (16 August)
    ‘Since Christmas, I’ve been working on a new narrative for the Thames Estuary, a region with blurred boundaries taking in parts of North Kent, South Essex, East London and the River itself.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Az Chowdhury: Your reputation creates your reality (19 August)
    ‘At the root of reputation is behaviour. What a client says and does will shape how they are perceived. We’re not in the business of creating charades or smokescreens. We simply help clients make the most of who they are – their knowledge, skills, personality and networks.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

Internal communication

  • Institute of Internal Communication: Get to know our Fellows: Michala Griffin (no date)
    ‘I would say it’s been the huge team achievement of keeping our 5,000 colleagues engaged, educated and informed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. I can safely say that it’s been one of the most fast-paced crisis communications situations that I have ever worked on in my career.’
  • Martin Flegg: Paradise Lost (17 August)
    ‘It would be nice to think that the pandemic might universally disrupt workplace cultures for the better, but for some organisations and their leaders it will be a disruption too far and they will not be able to stomach the consequences of it.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Katy Howell: Twitter replies: putting a limit on your conversation (14 August)
    ‘Twitter is rolling out new settings that will allow all users to control who can reply to Tweets. It’s a feature they tested earlier in the year, but now we’ll all be able to start limiting who replies to our content.’