This week in PR (22 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.

It happened this week

  • CIPR AGM: This year’s president Rachel Roberts made a plea for members to put themselves forward for election to the CIPR Council and presidency. ‘You don’t have to be polished: look at me!’ Next year’s president Steve Shepperson-Smith looked ahead to the institute’s 75th anniversary and on towards its centenary: ‘PR at its best has an opportunity to impact society in a positive way; it’s not just a subset of marketing.’
  • PRovoke Media has published its annual list of the 100 most influential in-house communicators. The list is 57% female and people of colour make up 30%.

Purpose and ESG

  • Claire Foster: Think differently (20 July)
    ‘Gender reporting has become an established element of corporate ESG activity since gender pay gap reporting regulations were introduced in 2017.’
  • Sheena Thomson: Greenwashing – eliminating the spin cycle (20 July)
    ‘The PR profession has a responsibility to help raise public awareness and influence public opinion on climate change through client work. Yet it also has clients who are keen to extol their virtues in terms of what they’re doing to mitigate the risks and impact of climate change.’
  • Paul Sutton with Laura Sutherland: Climate crisis – what are communicators’ moral obligations? [podcast] (20 July)
    ‘We’re getting more confident at challenging and offering a different approach to greenwashing.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Layla Hendricks: Work Experience At Milk & Honey PR (no date)
    ‘Milk & Honey has really helped me develop my knowledge and understanding of PR. There was always someone around to help me with any questions I had, and everyone was so generous with their time.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Steve Richards: Sunak V Truss- A Defining Contest For The Modern Conservative Party (21 July)
    ‘In this topsy turvy contest, Truss is running as the ‘change’ candidate even though she is the longest-serving minister in the cabinet. During a remarkable interview on the Today programme this morning, she argued that there had been a misplaced economic consensus for twenty years, thereby distancing herself from the policies of the Conservative governments since 2010.’
  • Kat Harrison-Dibbits: Can your comms be ‘too slick’? (19 July)
    ‘Boris’s blundering buffoon act might be as carefully crafted as any comms campaign you’ve ever seen, but to people who don’t spend all day, every day, thinking about perceptions, reputations, and the myriad ways narratives can be crafted, it reduced the gap between the ‘privileged elite’ and the ordinary voter.’
  • Sian Jones: Conservative leadership contest ignites as UK sizzles (19 July)
    ‘This has been a historically diverse contest, with the Conservative Party now certain to give the nation either its third female Prime Minister, or its first BAME Prime Minister.’
  • Donna Castle: The state of public affairs in 2022 (19 July)
    ‘The main challenges public affairs practitioners think the PR profession will face in the next 12 months are mental health problems among practitioners (highlighting the importance of the Heard Mentality campaign), fake news/disinformation and the under-representation of practitioners at Board level.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Every word matters, all the time [podcast] (19 July)
    ‘Every public comment from an organisation can have an impact on reputation, positive or negative, so that means being careful about every single word, all the time.’
  • Amy Fisher: Descent into the fire (18 July)
    ‘How on earth did none of the advisers spot that each candidate being able ask another a question, as per last night, was going to going to be anything other than mutually assured carnage? The truth is that a lot of them are inexperienced and untested in either/both policy formation and/or campaigning. It did make for great TV though.’
  • Rachel Groves: Why can’t Britain’s railways take the heat? (19 July)
    ‘Each country’s railway is set up to cope with a set temperature range, a range that is considered likely to be seen in its climate. In the UK this is roughly between minus 10 and 35 degrees Celsius – ‘the design limit’.’
  • Angus Hill: Maintaining the Net Zero consensus: will the next Prime Minister bring change or continuity? (15 July)
    The new PM will have approximately two years ahead of the next election. Their focus will be on developing the narrative and agenda which will allow the Conservative’s to win an historic fifth term in office.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

Internal communication

  • Dan Holden: What internal communicators need to know about ethics (20 July)
    ‘The new guidance from the IoIC sets out clearly what ethical communication is, the core principles when it comes to content and a handy checklist that I can see been of great value to many communicators.’
  • Jenni Field: How can I help my leaders tackle difficult conversations? (19 July)
    ‘In any leadership role, difficult conversations are both inevitable and necessary. Without difficult face-to-face conversations, we’ll never get to the root cause of issues, communicate effectively, or move forward.’
  • Mike Pounsford: Pictures are more memorable (18 July)
    ‘Our brains are better at remembering information that has been delivered using visuals as opposed to text or verbal communication. The Picture Superiority Effect is well established in psychology and refers to the likelihood that people will remember pictures and images better than words.’
  • Rachel Miller: When to start using internal communication (15 July)
    ‘Internal communication creates a shared understanding and meaning of the organisation – who we are and how we work – so employees can align their effort and energies.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Abi Smith: MHP Mischief Media Network: The Daily Mirror’s Graham Hiscott on what he wants in a story (no date)
    ‘Pictures can make or break a business story. If a story comes with great images, you will have two people pushing for it in an editorial meeting (Graham and the picture editor), so it will always have a much better chance of making the final cut.’
  • Medha Pal: A beginner’s overview of Web3 (no date)
    ‘Web3 is powered by blockchain technology, reinventing the way data is stored and managed, as well as incorporating concepts of decentralisation and token-based economics.’
  • Fred Campbell: Instagram’s Reel big update (19 July)
    ‘Meta, Instagram’s parent company, has been in a bit of an arms race with its main competitor, TikTok for a while now. So, it came as no surprise that they’d extended the maximum allowed runtime of users’ vids after TikTok extended its max runtime to 10 mins.’

Academic and education

  • Dr Jon White: What’s your worldview? (15 July)
    ‘A worldview is a set of images and assumptions about the world. As individuals, we develop our views of the world growing up in a particular society and culture, through education and experience, and use worldviews as a way of making sense of new information that comes to us.’