This week in PR (21 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.

The full moon reflected in the Thames by the Woolwich Clipper pier. Quite magical. @academyann on Instagram
The full moon reflected in the Thames by the Woolwich Clipper pier. Quite magical. @academyann on Instagram

It happened this week

  • Businessman Lord Myners has died aged 73. Among his roles, he was chairman of Edelman UK.
  • Edelman has been studying trust for over 20 years, and the 2022 Trust Barometer finds that in a world of declining trust, businesses emerge as more trusted than governments, NGOs and the media. Among these, ‘my employer’ remains highly trusted.
  • One year on from his death, author, trainer and crisis expert Michael Bland was remembered at a memorial lecture this week and some free educational resources have been published around what’s being called Bland’s Law (‘in every crisis an opportunity’).

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Amelia Beale: What impact does a company’s ESG policy have on attracting new talent? (20 January)
    ‘It becomes a lot harder to jump out of bed on a Monday morning when you don’t agree with the core values you work within. Or alternatively, being unable to see a future in a company that is failing to grow sustainably or being left behind by the cohort of companies championing for change.’
  • Dina Hudson: The door to competition claims in the UK is open (20 January)
    ‘General Counsels should always consider not just the legal exposure to class actions, but the significant reputational and commercial challenges that could potentially follow.’
  • Andrew Adie: Larry Fink’s letter hints at a subtle reset on ESG (18 January)
    ‘For me, the most interesting element of Larry Fink’s letter is his views on the role of communications and stakeholder engagement as businesses look to balance purpose and profit.’
  • Gareth Jones: Brexit and the City: Where do we go from here? (18 January)
    ‘Despite the increased barriers to trade, London remains Europe’s dominant financial hub – and will do for the foreseeable future.’
  • Steffan Williams: Analysis Paralysis (no date)
    ‘You’ve probably been told – or at least read – that you need to provide stakeholders with various top-line figures.  Your emission-reduction goals.  The amount you plan to spend to remediate any environmental ills.  Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions.‘

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Ben Smith with Jo-Ann Robertson and Janita Lakhanpal: How to build a diverse PR agency [podcast] (19 January)
    ‘I grew up in a council estate in the west of Scotland and was the first in my family to go to university. There aren’t many people like me in public relations.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere 

  • Aidan Muller: How policy experts can use language to set the agenda (20 January)
    ‘Owning the vocabulary of the policy debate will help us create the outcomes we desire. It will also have the associated benefit of making our impact easier to prove. If we’ve shaped the language of the debate, we can lay a good claim to having set the agenda – and in a measurable way.’
  • Tom Haynes: New Labour 2.0 (20 January)
    ‘At the start of the month, Sir Keir set out his blueprint for Government – the Contract with the British People – and today Rachel Reeves delivered a timely intervention in Bury South – the now Labour-held seat of Christian Wakeford.’
  • Nick Barron: Why Boris will have to go (19 January)
    ‘A scandal only becomes a crisis when it strikes an emotional chord. This one has. Boris is not magic, he is finished.’
  • Jaber Mohamed: The JVT train leaves the station: Why was Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam an excellent communicator? (no date)
    ‘I was lucky enough to work with JVT during my time as Chief Press Officer at DHSC and I got to see first-hand why he is one of the most celebrated scientists and communicators in the UK today.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Change at the top? How the PM’s woes impact on public affairs (18 January)
    ‘There is a danger that important and long-standing policy papers, such as the Levelling Up White Paper, could be delayed again. It may be the total priority of Michael Gove and his officials, but the sign-off process could be a total nightmare in the current political climate.’
  • Robert Thomas: On the charge: government plans to stimulate the uptake of electric vehicles (17 January)
    ‘WA will shortly be launching consumer polling looking into the priorities of the public in relation to EVs, focusing on the barriers to greater uptake and on charging infrastructure in particular.’
  • Lizzy Cryar: NHS outsourcing to the independent sector: politicians vs the public (14 January)
    A new deal with the independent sector has been struck, triggered in part by extremely high staff absences in the NHS, combined with a growing number of non-Covid patients now seeking treatment. The three-month agreement will see independent healthcare organisations put staff and facilities put on standby to support the NHS should Covid-19 lead to unsustainable levels of hospitalisations or staff absences.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Rebecca Roberts: Let me tell you something about the youth of today (19 January)
    ‘Aside from the media hyperbole about the differences between generations, there are some genuine issues that young people in particular are facing, both now and in terms of their future prospects.’
  • Steph Brown: What is it like to work in PR and Communications? (19 January)
    ‘Very few people begin their career journeys expecting to land in PR, it’s usually something that people fall into by pure accident or grow into from work experiences or placements. It’s a sector which employs an amazing spectrum of people, all of whom hold a range of interests and abilities.’ 
  • Emma Drake: What are the essential comms skills needed in 2022 and beyond? [podcast] (20 January)
    ‘This is a really exciting time to be in communications. 2022 and the next five years will bring a new set of challenges and opportunities.’

Planning, measurement and evaluation

Brands, content and creativity

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: Taking it slowly (21 January)
    ‘Communicating out of crisis and into recovery is not easy. It is why we should train and plan for this latter part of the crisis and not just test our ability to respond to the initial problem.’
  • Tim Toulmin: Three problems with the ‘Sue Gray defence’ – and what they can teach businesses (20 January)
    ‘A policy of silence can work well if your client is waiting to appear in court or tribunal, whether as a witness or defendant, or if they are in some way involved in or impacted by that legal process.A policy of silence can work well if your client is waiting to appear in court or tribunal, whether as a witness or defendant, or if they are in some way involved in or impacted by that legal process.’

Behaviour and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: UK regulators crackdown on crypto-asset ads (20 January)
    ‘KKW is not alone in promoting crypto currencies. Boxer Floyd Mayweather promoted Ethereum Max, and accepted the tokens as payment for his fight against the appalling Paul brother, Logan Paul. There are many other examples.’

Internal communication

  • Gemma Storey: The great… disengagement? (19 January)
    ‘Some of us can become too invested in work. We pour everything into it at the expense of our personal lives, hobbies and families. The pandemic has shifted priorities for many people – showing them that, in reality, other areas of their lives are at least equally as important as work.’
  • Stuart Sinclair: Internal Communication Trends for 2022: Six Shifts You Need to Know (18 January)
    ‘Internal communications professionals started to feel more valued in their role last year. This year, they’ve climbed even higher on the company priority list. While there has been a significant increase in the workload, IC professionals also report improved engagement with employees and a more substantial role in the leadership team.’
  • Rachel Miller: How to recruit an internal communicator [podcast] (15 January)
    ‘If you’re thinking of hiring an IC pro one of the best things you can do is indicate the salary and be really clear about the level of skill and knowledge expected.

Media, digital and technology

@louise_digitalpr “No I don’t know what my next tiktok is going to be about Emily” #digitalpr #creativity #tiktok #seo #linkbuilding ♬ got nothing in my brain – user10101010*•*

#prstudent #CreatorAwards22

Katie Coyne (Salford):


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A post shared by Katie Coyne (@prwithkatiecoyne)

    • Jasmine Denike (LCC/UAL):
@jazzdenike happy birthday to one of my faves #minivlog #dailyvlog #londonvlog #prstudent #uktiktok #ualstudent #londonstudent #londonvlogger #londonvlog #fyp ♬ TO THE MOON – Jnr Choi

  • Elena Niculescu (Solent): Child marriages – why do they exist? (20 January)
    ‘Between 2007 and 2017, 3,096 marriages involving children aged 16 and 17 were legally registered in England and Wales, according to the Office of National Statistics.’
  • Ellie Jones (Liverpool John Moores): Fighting imposter syndrome (17 January)
    ‘I did not know I suffered with it until I read up on it, however I found some steps that work for me to manage it.’
  • Bethany Gough (Solent): After Life benches (18 January)
    ‘Personally, I think that this partnership and subsequent campaign is an amazing move by Netflix to encourage the sense of community to continue post-covid.’