This week in PR (23 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.

Breakfast at brother's under the tree.
#cornwall #alfrescodining #summercooking #heatwave @academyann on Instagram
Breakfast at brother's under the tree. #cornwall #alfrescodining #summercooking #heatwave @academyann on Instagram

It happened this week

Purpose and professionalism

  • Jennifer Sanchis: Why Purpose and PR Measurement Must Work Hand-in-Hand (19 July)
    ‘What is the purpose of purpose? Why is it important for organisations to have a purpose if they already have a good reputation or revenues? How can we make sense of it and demonstrate it authentically?’
  • Margaret Quinn: Base camp on the B-Corp journey (20 July)
    ‘The first B-Corps were certified in 2007, but it’s been steadily expanding in recent years.  In the UK there were just 6 B-Corps in 2014, up to 217 in 2019  and 422 in 2021.  Globally, there are over 3,800 B-Corp companies now operating in 74 countries.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Future skills for public relations practitioners – World PR Day (16 July)
    ‘Organisational leaders turned to internal communication teams because they recognised the critical role of communication in engaging with staff. According to a poll by the IoIC two-thirds of internal communicators said that leaders looked to them for more guidance during the crisis.’


  • David Scane: A Dark Day Under the Wembley Arch (19 July)
    ‘Where does English football go from here? Thankfully, the actions of a mindless few will not detract from the hope and pride that Gareth Southgate and the boys gave the country this summer, but it will leave some awkward questions, particularly for the Football Association who pride themselves in advising other nations about how to manage crowds at their own grounds.’
  • Chris Lepkowski: GUEST POST: What was behind the England team’s Euro2020 comms success? (16 July)
    ‘How did we reach a point where the England manager and his players were so bloody nice?’

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Louise Nicolson: Offsetting Science (no date)
    ‘Before you consider carbon offsets, review well-documented problems with poor-quality schemes, adverse impacts and additionality.  Plus, the simple green fact is there is not enough land available to deliver the promised deal.’
  • Jamie Capp: FinTech needs to find its legs (21 July)
    ‘Major players in the sector are growing into serious outfits. Revolut is now the most valuable private tech company of all time, Wise is setting course on its next decade of business, and a suite of smaller firms being eyed up by investors.’
  • Justine Bourne: My journey to zero carbon (21 July)
    ‘The goal at Social Net Zero is to tell the stories of the innovative businesses in the UK – helping to educate, inform, make connections and be part of the drive to net zero.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Paul Mackenzie-Cummins: Catastrophic future predicted for tomorrow’s PR talent (21 July)
    ‘Before March 2020, two-thirds (67 per cent) of agency businesses ran such talent programs. But as the pandemic took hold, 4 in 10 (40 per cent) either paused indefinitely or cancelled them altogether. 28 per cent continued with their schemes but at reduced levels, while just 1 in 5 (22 per cent) agencies continued without interruption.’
  • Henry Young: 100 Days in PR: What I wish I had known (20 July)
    ‘Over the last 100 days I’ve learnt significantly more about my clients from the calls we have, the feedback they give, and the stories they’re interested in.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Jack Richards: Socially Mobile Launch: Time for PR to look up, and reach out. (22 July)
    ‘Socially Mobile will deliver training to those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, as well as under-represented and under-served groups including black, Asian and ethnic minority practitioners, women returners and those with disabilities.’

Public and third sectors

  • Will Mapplebeck: It’s time to ‘nerd-up’ (21 July)
    ‘My point is that if you’re going to communicate well, you have to know not just the basics but the killer facts beneath. You have to get your hands on the reports – exec summaries save a lot of time – and read behind the headlines to grasp the scale of the problem and the issues your organisation and others are grappling with.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Joe Cooper: Government hopes for clean Bill of health (22 July)
    ‘In many ways, the Bill’s attempts to join up NHS and local government services run contrary to previous Conservative governments’ attempts to reform healthcare. The Lansley Reforms to healthcare enshrined in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 represent perhaps the most clear example of an administration looking to move power away from centralised structures.’
  • Perry Miller: UNESCO walk alone (22 July)
    ‘Liverpool today is a vibrant, multi-cultural city that isn’t ready to be frozen in aspic. It’s forging a brilliant new identity for itself, one that recognises its heritage but isn’t in awe of it to the point of paralysis.’  
  • George Esmond: Is continued Quantitative Easing stoking the inflationary fire? (21 July)
    ‘The level of inflation has surged from 0.5 per cent in March to 2.5 per cent recorded last month, significantly above the Bank of England’s two per cent forecast, as the coronavirus restrictions ease and pent-up spending causes retail and wholesale prices to continue to rise.’
  • Christine Quigley: Talking about talking: renegotiating the Northern Ireland Protocol (21 July)
    ‘The fudging of the border issue through the Protocol has raised tensions in Northern Ireland and called into question the future of the Union with Britain. The effective trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK has added to perceptions that Northern Ireland isn’t quite an equal partner with the other nations of the UK and led to anger from sections of the unionist and loyalist community about being left behind or forgotten by Westminster.’
  • Robert Taylor: Dominic Cummings should keep himself away from the cameras (21 July)
    ‘He came across as entitled, scheming and even sinister. Yes, we received his main message (that Boris Johnson is unfit for office), but we also got the message that Cummings himself is a bundle of contradictions and complexes, and not a man to trust.’
  • Stuart Thomson: What makes a good public affairs consultant? (20 July)
    ‘My list includes: policy navigator; strategy developer; communications expert; political entrepreneur; audience engager; risk analyser; campaigner; networker; partnership developer.’
  • Fraser Raleigh: Panic at the disco? (20 July)
    ‘The government’s policy on nightclubs was thrown into confusion yesterday, as less than 24 hours after opening them without restrictions, the Prime Minister said that vaccine passports would be required from September.’
  • Andrew Adie: Will ‘freedom day’ imprison businesses in a governance nightmare? (19 July)
    ‘For many businesses and individuals, the net effect of ‘freedom day’ is the shifting of responsibilities away from the government and onto them. With the lifting of restrictions taking place at a time of rising cases, many business and employers now face a dilemma about their plans to return staff to their workplaces.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Stuart Bruce: Crisis communications master class by Marcus Rashford (22 July)
    ‘Rashford’s offensive play appears to have won this match as the story is conspicuously absent in this week’s The Spectator which has been published today. I imagine The Spectator editor Fraser Nelson is feeling as sick as a parrot.’
  • Amanda Coleman: Humanity in disaster response: book review and interview with author (20 July)
    ‘The book does much more than just document many of the humanitarian disasters and emergencies from recent years. It gives a thought provoking insight into the impact of crises on people including the bereaved, survivors and the first responders.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: TikTok Boom: book review (22 July)
    ‘Is TikTok the ultimate Zuck slayer? Yes, says TikTok Boom. Will that crown the app as global winner? The answer is less clear with competition coming from long-form video a la YouTube in the West and Chinese short-form video apps including Kuaishou, coming from the East.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: Boosting your new influencer business (19 July)
    ‘You are your brand, so think about how you are going to put yourself out there if you want to make this a real success.’

Internal communication

  • Emma Bridger: Why using science can help to make your change efforts more successful (21 July)
    ‘I think we can all agree that companies that are good at change survive and thrive. So how do you get good at organisational change?’
  • Rachel Miller: How to upskill your leaders in Corporate Digital Responsibility (16 July)
    ‘CDR risk issues have emerged as a critical risk issue for boards in light of high profile failures in data and digital governance, regulatory issues and data breaches. These include failures of systems, including the Post Office Horizon scandal, and the misuse of personal data like the facial recognition system removed from London’s King’s Cross in 2019 amid protests from the public and privacy campaigners.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Simon Gentry: As GB News flames out, will we become our own TV news producers? (21 July)
    ‘Andrew Neil promised it would be the alternative, but it turned out to be the same, albeit in a different hue – a view of the world from only one perspective. He’s now retreated, and GB News seems to be turning into a televised version of LBC rather than the serious news channel that many thought had been promised.’
  • Jonny Atter: Staycation surge: how social data helped find the hot spots (21 July)
    ‘With so many Britons deciding to holiday in the UK this year we decided to summon our social listening expertise to reveal where UK residents are spending their staycation, and what conversations they’re having.’
  • Claire Hall: How to run a successful media event (20 July)
    ‘Whether you are launching a new product, have an important announcement or want to introduce your business, the key to running a successful press day is planning.’