This week in PR (21 July)

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.

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It happened this week



  • Alex Malouf: In Tribute: Brunswick’s Alex Blake-Milton and his support for PR in the Gulf (19 July)
    As one of the canniest operators around, Alex was always looking out for talent and smarts to join Brunswick (I do wish other agency heads would focus the same amount of energy and time on our universities and young people). But he was also a charming person, and felt a duty to help others enter the industry.’

Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Matt Peacock: If data is king, story is emperor (19 July)
    Storytelling – creative, provocative, harnessing the unusual and the unexpected to gain and hold attention will be just as important as analytics in the new sustainability data-driven corporate world.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Arun Sudhaman: Podcast: Andrew Bloch On Clients, New Business And Agency M&A (18 July)
    ‘Anyone who runs an agency knows it’s relentless, rewarding, frustrating, brilliant, terrible at the same time – but I wanted something different. Frank still feels like my baby but I don’t miss the agency life. Now I’m purely focused on doing what I love, doing what I’m good at.’
  • Lisa Jones: What does it take to make it in PR in 2023 and beyond? (18 July)
    ‘Many of the skills required for a career in PR are the same as they’ve always been. A love of storytelling, current affairs, understanding how the news agenda works [and] a curiosity – about people, products and businesses.’
  • Pauline Guénot with Ally Bayne: Getting a taste of PR (17 July)
    ‘I’m very proud to say that three of our brilliant interns recently joined our team permanently, while others returned to university, or took on roles in related disciplines, such as the worlds of fintech, public affairs and local government.’

Gender, diversity, health and wellbeing

Public and third sectors

  • Steve Watkins: Hey! Let’s just make **** up – creative motivation tips (20 July)
    ‘Our medical library at Northwick Park Hospital proved an unlikely source of inspiration with its assortment of curiously titled periodicals like Brain and Experimental Science. As a result, we made a series of tongue-in-cheek videos which were well received on social media receiving several thousand views.’
  • Jeni Harvey: Comms teams should help local journalists weather the storm (20 July)
    ‘In a world of increasing mis- and dis-information, local journalists can be our strongest allies in delivering fair and accurate reporting – so it’s crucial we work together to help them weather this latest storm.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Dr Stuart Thomson: The Ignored Transport Issue: The Urgency Of Road Pricing (19 July)
    The issue of pricing continues to be too difficult politically for national government but that is what makes the example of London and potentially Cambridge so important. Add the experience of Clean Air Zones around English cities and you can see how crucial local leadership is.’
  • Paul Kelly: Government seeks to speed up a positive nuclear reaction (18 July)
    ‘With a general election fast approaching, the government is keen to showcase that it has ambitious plans to address energy security, by employing home grown solutions, in an uncertain world.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

  • Sophie DiMauro: Stories are data with soul: the power of storytelling (20 July)
    ‘Data alone is not enough to convey a message. It is crucial that we are led by data and that it helps the story we want to tell. But if we want a message to really resonate, we need to appeal to the emotional side of the brain, as well as the rational. Blending stories and numbers together can be extremely powerful.’
  • Alli Milfull: Embracing Community Based Marketing with Michelle Goodall (20 July)
    ‘Michelle Goodall and Ashley Friedlein coined the term “Community Based Marketing” in 2020 to bridge the marketing and community management disciplines and encourage an approach which ensures that community and marketing teams deliver business value together.’
  • Sarah Browning: Time for a communications spring clean (19 July)
    ‘If you want to use the quieter summer period to review your content, I would recommend that you begin by making a list of all the channels you currently use to communicate with your various audience groups.’

Research, data, measurement and evaluation

  • Stella Bayles: Save $2k of PR budget every month (with a small adjustment to workflow) (20 July)
    ‘It’s time to take action and make savings where possible. Reviewing work-flow and how PR fee time is spent is the quickest way to spot inefficiencies and make PR budget savings.’
  • Louise Thompson: Are you a comms leader worth listening to? (19 July)
    ‘So how can we, as corporate communications leaders prove the return on investment (ROI) of our activities in the boardroom? It’s a challenge that demands strategic thinking, data-driven insights, and a proactive approach to showcasing the true value of our work.’
  • Jenni Field: Chaos to calm: Using data to make decisions with Benjamin Ellis [podcast] (19 July)
    ‘The useful point about collecting data is to turn it into information that can become knowledge. What you’re trying to do with data is to build your understanding of the system (the organisation, customers) and how it works, how it responds to change. Otherwise it’s just numbers.’
  • Ella Minty: A Question of Perceived Communication Value (19 July)
    The safest approach is to make sure that you have an ironclad Partnership Agreement before you submit your “part”, a legally binding one, inclusive of day rates for your agency or bulk price for your work.’
  • Jodie Sparey: It’s time for PRs to put their money where their value is (18 July)
    Econometrics measures past activity, whether that’s trends on a micro or macro level, to provide an in-depth understanding of what influenced the results of a campaign. From the channels that resonate with audiences and the best time of the year to pitch, to the most powerful message – econometrics quantifies what matters, so campaigns have the greatest impact.’

Crisis, risk and reputation

  • Dr Dominic Heil: Reputation risk – protect, not defend. (20 July)
    ‘The risk management community has traditionally paid ‘lip service’ to reputation risks. This is because, unlike most other risks, reputation risks don’t lend themselves to being comprehensively transferred to an outside entity like an insurance company.’
  • Elisabeth Powell: Communicating with investors in a ‘post-truth’ world: The risks and considerations caused by generative AI (18 July)
    ‘Generative AI is set to turbocharge the spread of misinformation and disinformation, and by some estimates, AI-generated content could soon account for 99% or more of all new information on the internet. This context is certain to create an environment in which a plethora of new corporate risks and reputational weak spots can thrive.’
  • Amanda Coleman: 10 minutes with Trudy Lewis

    (18 July)
    ‘I know that for leaders it’s hard to be vulnerable and open. One of the nice things about getting a coach is that it’s a safe space.’

  • Emma Duke: Crisis Management in a Complex, Global Environment (no date)
    ‘In the years leading up to the pandemic we already lived in a VUCA world, where polarization torces countries in half, spontaneous protests shook continents, and the impact of global warming was already making inequalities starkly visible. But the pandemic took us from a complex environment, into chaos.’

Behaviour and influence

Internal communication

  • Joe Chick: History of Internal Communication podcast: Rachel Miller (20 July)
    ‘As a journalist I’d write stories but never really know what happened next once they had been published. One of the most fulfilling things about internal communication is you see the impact of your work in real time.’
  • Dr Kevin Ruck: IC 2023 Index underlines fundamentals (19 July)
    ‘Congratulations to IoIC and the Ipsos Karian and Box team for producing such a useful report. Key points will now be included in the internal communication qualifications that are delivered by PR Academy.’
  • Jen Sproul and Cat Barnard: The evolution of internal communication with Katie Macaulay [podcast] (19 July)
    ‘Unfortunately employees don’t owe you attention, even though you pay them. You’re going to have to earn it.’

Media, digital and technology

  • John Harrington: 900 journalists join PR pitching platform to curb email pitch overload (20 January)
    A number of journalists working for Reach Plc, publisher of the Mirror, The Express and Daily Star, have registered with PR pitching platform Synapse.’
  • Sharon O’Dea: A Lesson on Generative AI From the Book I Didn’t Write (18 July)
    ‘ChatGPT and its Google competitor, Bard, are like having infinite interns. Undoubtedly useful for legwork, first drafts and ideas, but the quality isn’t anywhere near good enough to put in front of a client.’
  • MHP Group: The brand guide to Threads (17 July)
    ‘In short: have fun with it for now but don’t immediately pivot completely away from Twitter.’
  • Dan Slee: LONG READ: What visual content works best when pitching to local news titles (15 July)
    ‘In print, pictures are dominated by submitted pictures with 80.2 per cent likely being sent into the editorial email. No wonder. Newsrooms have been stripped of photographers who could maybe produce a dozen pictures a day at full capacity.’
  • Neville Hobson: Digital PR: Recognising excellence (16 July)
    Judging entries to an event like this is itself a pleasure as you get to see every detail behind every campaign, from the measurable objectives, the target audiences, strategy, creativity, challenges and solutions, through to outcomes and results.’

Academic, education and training

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