This week in PR (22 October)

About the author

Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

Wow - what an incredible and most unexpected night of wins for @taylorherringuk at the PR Week Awards - we won Agency Of The Year - plus Best Travel/Leisure campaign, Best Financial Services, Best Crisis Comms and Best Event for our work with Notting Hill Carnival plus highly commended for strategy and planning.

Brilliant, amazing work from our awesome team over a tough year and huge thanks to our client partners for their faith in us.
@itsjamesherring on Insagram
Wow - what an incredible and most unexpected night of wins for @taylorherringuk at the PR Week Awards - we won Agency Of The Year - plus Best Travel/Leisure campaign, Best Financial Services, Best Crisis Comms and Best Event for our work with Notting Hill Carnival plus highly commended for strategy and planning. Brilliant, amazing work from our awesome team over a tough year and huge thanks to our client partners for their faith in us. @itsjamesherring on Insagram

It happened this week

  • Engine MHP + Mischief and Taylor Herring were the big winners with five awards each at the PRWeek UK Awards 2021 on 20 October.’ PR Week awards winners 2021.
  • SEC Newgate global ESG monitor findings were presented and discussed yesterday: Environmental issues dominate, but questions remain about the consistency of ESG ratings, and about the range of issues covered. ‘What is being measured, and what problems are we trying to solve?’ Download the report here.
  • ‘We’ve had more communication out of Newcastle United in the last 10 days than in the last 14 years – and that has to be a good thing.’ Former player Alan Shearer.

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Matt Carter: COP26 and corporate messaging: Five simple insights that will help you get it right (21 October)
    ‘There’s a significant risk for businesses that major headline-grabbing commitments will be seen as more lofty ambitions with no substance, so alongside any big targets, your messaging needs to be focused on tangible, practical steps that are already underway to cut emissions, reduce waste and protect nature.’
  • Tom Parker: ESG has come of age (20 October)
    ‘Today around $100 trillion of global finance is managed in funds with an ESG focus and in [a few] days’ time we see the start of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference which will lead to renewed focus on the role of corporates in driving progress towards a greener, fairer, more equitable world.’
  • Gareth Jones: Can Corporates Be Trusted To Deliver Net Zero And Social Impact? (15 October)
    ‘Action on net zero is a crucial example of how ESG works in practice. It is an aspect of ESG with a clear objective, which is measurable and subject to a high level of media, policy and regulatory scrutiny.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Stephen Waddington: Addressing the Working Class inequality gap in the creative industries (21 October)
    ‘Those from privileged backgrounds are twice as likely to land a job in a creative occupation. They dominate key creative roles in the sector, shaping what goes on culture, media, and television. Class intersects with gender, race, disability, skills and place. This creates double disadvantage.’

Consulting, teams and careers


Celine Beirne: 7 things I wish I knew moving from B2C to B2B public relations (no date)
‘Business audiences don’t want to know if their software is in this season. They want the facts and figures that will rationalise their decision-making. You have to make it make sense.’

Public and third sectors

  • Stuart Bruce: Communication is changing fast says new GCS head Simon Baugh (20 October)
    The Government Communication Service has always been an excellent source of ideas and best practice as it publishes and shares many of its guides, plans, playbooks and templates. Simon Baugh’s statement shows he intends not only to continue this work, but to give it even greater focus and emphasis.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Sian Jones: 55 years on, Aberfan still casts a shadow (21 October)
    ‘The count – when it came – was horrific. 116 children and 28 adults had lost their lives – drowned, crushed, and suffocated by the 150,000 tonnes of coal waste that had descended onto the town.’
  • Will McMyn: Lukewarm: the Heat and Buildings Strategy lacks ambition (19 October)
    ‘The heating of our homes and buildings is responsible for over 20% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing these emissions is one of the knottiest of our decarbonisation challenges and meeting it is going to take a bold vision, a carefully thought out and long-term plan, and a lot of money.’

Content, storytelling and influence

Planning, insight, measurement and evaluation

  • Paul Sutton with Richard Benson: The most popular metrics in PR in 2021 [podcast] (20 October)
    ‘There’s some low-hanging fruit in terms of KPIs that everyone’s using, but as you get towards the outcome/impact side of things, even though that’s the bit that everyone is focusing on, it’s the hardest bit. That’s the bit where we struggle to find a lot of data.’ 

Internal communication

  • Trudy Lewis, Advita Patel and Jenni Field: How technology is making us less human [podcast] (15 October)
    ‘There is a place we need to get to: technology is not going away, so how do we behave so that we’re not alienating people? It takes courage to be genuine online.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Ian Hood: So, you want your tech story in the mainstream media… (21 October)
    ‘You may have an incredibly important story but unless it can be explained simply, it isn’t going anywhere. Journalists want stories that will appeal to a significant proportion of their audience. At Babel we call this the ‘grandparent test’ – can you explain it in such a way that your grandparents would grasp it?’
  • Kara Alaimo: Facebook, don’t change your name — change your CEO (20 October)
    ‘For all the family photos shared or funny videos consumed that the company has made possible, “Facebook” is now also a name associated in recent years with misinformation, privacy violations, the spread of hate and autocracy.’
  • Ana Mendoza: How to deal with negative comments on social media (no date)
    ‘You may think that the easiest solution is to delete the negative comment. It minimises the damage and prevents you from having to face that situation publicly. But don’t do it.’
  • Jennifer Brennan: With a billion users on TikTok, B2B needs to get on board (18 October)
    ‘For B2B brands with a relatively modest following on other social platforms, TikTok is the way forward for boosting your brand awareness, humanising your brand and getting yourself out there in fun and creative ways.’
  • Harriet Small and Rebecca Roberts: Sliding Doors with Sam Hodges and James MacLeod [podcast] (15 October)
    ‘I have a theory about PR: it can be, at its worst, the most vacuous of careers.’

#prstudent #CreatorAwards22

For students

By students

    • Jasmine Denike (UAL):
@jazzdenikebad grad student energy ✨ ##ual ##fyp ##lcc ##ualstudent ##minivlog ##dayinmylife ##prstudent ##londontok ##london ##canadianinlondon ##londonfood ##nottinghill♬ CRAFT – OFEKNIV
  • Ellie Jones (Liverpool John Moores): Dealing with change (20 October)
    ‘Last year in January 2020 I made the decision to drop out of uni. This was honestly the lowest I have ever felt in all my life. I felt like a failure and that nothing else was going to come of my life. I then spoke to a career advisor at my university (she honestly could not have helped me anymore) and I decided to make the change to Business and PR.’ 
  • Martin Agunwa (Leeds Beckett): #ENDSARS: A Metaphor For An Emerging Online Public Sphere And Social Media Activism In Nigeria (20 October)
    ‘The October, 2020 #EndSARS protest staged across major cities in Nigeria is perhaps the most recent classic example of how social media can be effective for citizen mobilization and socio-political agitation.’
  • Bethany Gough (Solent): Cambridge Analytica: Genius marketing strategy or Unethical scandal? (20 October)
    ‘It is hard to develop regulation and laws due to the internet being free to use to anyone worldwide. Therefore, it can perhaps we should rely on a code of ethics to keep online regulated.’