This week in PR (23 February)

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.

#lifeatsage #prlife by Sally Moore (sally.bellwood on Instagram)
#lifeatsage #prlife by Sally Moore (sally.bellwood on Instagram)


News in brief

  • After a further week of negative headlines surrounding Oxfam, attention seems to be turning to other third sector organisations.
  • CIPR and PRCA are both supporting Career Ready, a charity that helps prepare young people from low income backgrounds for the world of work
  • The PRCA Council has established its priority for 2018: the social value and purpose of PR.
  • Carillion collapse: Rachel Reeves, who chairs the parliamentary business committee said: ‘Carillion’s annual reports were worthless as a guide to the true financial health of the company.’
  • IOIC president Suzanne Peck has been elected president of the pan-European internal communication association, FEIA. She takes up this role in April 2019.
  • The US-based Institute for Public Relations has published its summary of research insights from 2017 (pdf report)
  • NHS Digital has published data on its workforce demographics, including the gender pay gap


Our events calendar is now on a separate page.

Thought leaders: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week. Recommendations are welcome to or @pr_place

This is a large selection this week – so there’s plenty to pick from here if you’re interesting in internal communication, digital developments, professionalism or the business of public relations.

  • Rich Leigh and Angharad Welsh: A handy calendar of PR, marketing and social media chats (22 February)
    ‘Angharad went and created this, an incredibly helpful calendar of Twitter chats!’
  • Ella Minty: What do networking and sex have in common? (22 February)
    ‘Networking is a two-way street: you must give something to get something.’
  • Jude Tipper: 10 reflections on improving internal comms (22 February)
    ‘Our 4500 incredible staff are spread across 50+ sites in a huge patch of beautiful Yorkshire. Many are out in communities all day. Yet because we began with insight and truly understanding their challenges – and therefore ours – we were able to make rapid improvements.’
  • Mark Pack: Astroturfing’s historic roots back in 4th Century BC (21 Febtuary)
    ‘Greek playwrights hired bands of helpers to laugh at their comedies in order to influence the judges.’
  • Sue Palfrey: Want a job in internal communications? (21 February)
    Communication roles are gaining more importance in a world where protecting reputation is critical and where people want to know more than ever before about what’s going on in their organisation. So how can you make your application stand out against the others?
  • Nikki Roberts: How a charity is preparing for GDPR (21 February)
    ‘We wanted GDPR to be remembered for all the right reasons, so we invented a new member of staff – data protection Daphne.’
  • Kevin Ruck: PR as a strategic management function (21 February)
    ‘Essentially, being strategic entails taking an evidence based approach to ensure that creativity in content creation is relevant and meaningful.’
  • Agatha Chapman-Poole: My Take On: The stigma around freelancers has gone, and it’s time for PR agencies to catch up (20 February)
    ‘No longer the ‘back room boy’ (yes, I worked in an agency where freelance consultants were called this), freelancers are the fastest growing segment of the self-employed workforce, contributing £119 billion to the UK economy.’
  • Holly Gifkins: How can organisations communicate change? (20 February)
    ‘I’m asking Communications and HR professionals to take part in a short survey about building a culture of resilience, agility and readiness for change within an organisation.’
  • Chris Lee: Podcast: Influencer Relations – The State of Play [podcast] (20 February)
    ‘I sat down with fellow independent consultants, Scott Guthrie and Ste Davies, and in this – our first of three episodes on influencers – we discuss where we are at the moment’
  • Alan VanderMolen: Making Issues The Issue (20 February)
    ‘We need to make the issues ‘the issue’ and to stop making media-genic statistics the headlines. We need to put substance at the core, not shock-and-awe amplification of unvetted numbers.’
  • Emma Leech: Going for Gold – how to create, plan and deliver award-winning work (20 February)
    ‘There are a range of reasons for submitting awards but the key reasons we enter is to help benchmark and improve our work to help us continuously improve.’
  • Elizabeth Bananuka: There’s something about Mary… (19 February)
    ‘What I always loved about Women in PR was how empowering it was. By women for women. I wanted to create something similar. Something that would empower and celebrate BME talent.’
  • Peter Holt: 25 year commitment to professional learning (19 February)
    ‘I had consistently sought to develop my skills, knowledge and experience throughout my career, but it was only into my 40s that I earned a degree, studying Law with the Open University alongside holding down a full-time job.’
  • Scott Guthrie: How to spot fake followers on social media (no date)
    ‘Initially chuffed to be getting several retweets for one of my stories I clicked through to one of the sharers to thank them. The account for Ella Sibiski was not fully completed. There was no header image, no bio. She had a following of just 30 and had only tweeted 35 times. All of these tweets were retweets.’
  • Andrew Bruce Smith: Should you pay to amplify earned media coverage? The implications for PR, social media and SEO (19 February)
    ‘The idea of paying for visibility is usually anathema to PR practitioners. But before dismissing it out of hand, it might be worth examining how people actually discover online editorial content in the first place.’
  • Darren Caveney: 5 big dollops of social media learning (18 February)
    ‘Comms professionals have said that their organisations are still gripped by the fear of saying the wrong thing on social media and things going bad for them.’
  • Sarah Hall and Stephen Waddington: #FutureProof podcast: How was half term for you? [podcast] (18 February)
    [Waddington on Twitter] ‘It’s a place I’ve found increasingly uncomfortable this year because it’s just so unpleasant.’ Hall: ‘Just because you have an opinion doesn’t make you an expert.’
  • Arianne Williams: How to make the most of 4 billion internet users (18 January)
    ‘Facebook and YouTube hands down boast the most active social media users, with what I would have expected to be some of the key players – like Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn – much further down the list.’
  • Amanda Coleman: More that unites (18 February)
    Despite all these differences the [PRCA] Council meeting proved that we have more that unites us than we realise.’
  • Jo-Ann Robertson: Listen up to be a great leader (16 February)
    ‘Want to become a better leader? Stop talking and start listening.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

Here’s are two useful resources for PR students:

And here’s our pick of the best posts by those studying public relations and/or aspiring to work in PR.

Now you see them… Conor McGrath with students at the Ulster University formal

  • Amy Greer (Ulster): Putting the PR in Pregnancy (22 February)
    ‘What do you do to boost your image and get people to talk about you? Create news. And this is exactly what the Kardashian/Jenner PR machine is talented at.’
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): #PlacementYear: Month Seven (21 February)
    ‘During the month of January I managed to see five West End shows and The Greatest Showman three times. Yes, I went to the cinema three times to see the same movie.’
  • Emma Catney (Ulster): Living Abroad; to Move or Not to Move? (21 February)
    ‘You will get days where you hate everything about that country. We called them ‘China Days’. Sometimes it’s the culture difference that gets you or the work culture, or the simple fact you can’t communicate that you want a Fanta, not an orange juice.’
  • Jessica Pardoe (Liverpool John Moores): KFC Demonstrates why Crisis Management is so Important (21 February)
    ‘A chicken restaurant that runs out of chicken due to a supply issue doesn’t exactly sound like a recipe for success now, does it? But what does a company do in this situation?’
  • Kathryn Bigger (Ulster): Blogger Brunchin & Insta Launchin’ (20 February)
    ‘As Student Ambassador for CIPR NI, attending the brunch enabled me to network with bloggers, online influencers and PR professionals.  It was surreal meeting bloggers that I follow on Instagram.’
  • Catriona McAllister (Greenwich): What is reality? (19 February)
    ‘After realising the true power of social media, I decided to have a ‘detox’ on a long weekend away.’
  • Jessica Patterson (Ulster): Choose PR (19 February)
    ‘Sometimes it just takes you to look twice at something to comprehend what it’s trying to say.’
  • Katya Hamilton-Smith (LCC/UAL): My top-tips for getting organised at university (19 February)
    ‘Being able to manage your time is a vital skill in most jobs so you might as well get good at it now!’