This week in PR (24 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.

Multi tasking 🦑 @sophie_ogg on Instagram
Multi tasking 🦑 @sophie_ogg on Instagram

News in brief

  • The PRCA has established a Race and Ethnicity Equity Board chaired by Barbara Phillips (via PRovoke News); in a further initiative to promote diversity in the profession, the PRCA is reinvigorating its schools outreach programme, launched just before lockdown.
  • The timetable has been announced for elections to the CIPR Council and President-Elect. The CIPR has also released its financial accounts from 2019 showing that a fall in membership income last year was offset by savings from the move away from Russell Square. We can anticipate a further loss of members in 2020, and further savings in office costs.
  • Deborah Oliver is Master-Elect of London livery company The Company of Communicators (via Company of Communicators)
  • Political Insight is a new public affairs practice formed by several former Brexit Party and Conservative Party politicians offering their ‘brexpertise’. (via PR Week). 

Covid-19 comms

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Elizabeth Bananuka: Pros We Love: Naomi MG Smith, Account Executive, Westco Communications (21 July)
    ‘Naomi is a member of the CIPR and is actively involved with the institute. She is a member of the Local Public Services Committee, Vice Chair of the Knowledge Panel and became an Accredited PR Practitioner in less than eight months.’
  • Harriet Small: Is your job decription the barrier? (19 July)
    ‘I am dyslexic and struggle with writing. I miss words, commas and am hopeless at spelling. Despite this, I love to write, even have a blog and do a job that requires me to write for 8 hours a day.’

Purpose and professionalism

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Stephen Waddington: COVID-19 opportunities: Where is the money? (21 July)
    ‘Agencies exist to provide specialist skills or scale. As we emerge from the crisis here is where I have spotted opportunities for growth.’
  • John Harrington with Gemma Moroney, Darryl Sparey, Kamiqua Pearce and Mike Robb: What’s it like launching an agency in lockdown? [podcast] (20 July)
    ‘We didn’t plan to launch during a crisis. But we clearly saw an opportunity pre-pandemic. Clients want better value, a more agile approach, better delivery.’
  • Nigel Sarbutts: Should you become a freelance PR? (no date)
    ‘There are three main sources of new client work for PR Freelancers. There’s Word of Mouth which will always be your primary source of clients. You can influence this only slightly, simply by being bloody good at what you do; so good that people are happy to recommend you.’

Public and third sectors

  • Lyndsey Collumbell: Social media content for membership organisations (23 July)
    ‘Whether you are about to embark on the social media journey for your membership organisation, or have been around the block a few times and are out of ideas, I have 50 suggestions of the types of content to engage your audiences.’
  • Adam Driver: Four ‘non-brand’ Twitter accounts full of personality (21 July)
    ‘The social media manager, content team, creative director, graphic designer and customer service hats are usually worn by one or two people.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Carys Davis: Celebrating positive politics (22 July)
    ‘From ‘remoaners’ to ‘gammon’, we seem to have delighted in doubling down on our tribalism while slinging mud at the ‘enemy’.’
  • Stuart Thomson: The realities of virtual party conferences (21 July)
    ‘The cancellation of the ‘in-person’ conferences does not mean that the conferences are not going ahead.  Instead, the parties are planning for virtual conferences. The shape of these has yet to be fully decided but there are some immediate consequences of moving online – the lack of a captive audience, less of an attention span, the loss of networking opportunities, and the inability to bump into people for a catch-up.’
  • Eva Groeneveld: Let’s not squander this opportunity to re-think our public spaces (21 July)
    ‘The proposals to close roads in the town centre, widen pavements and build pop-up cycle lanes are not about shutting economic activity down, they are about using limited space differently.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Claire Walker: By order of the King: A lesson in reputation from Henry II and eBay (no date)
    ‘Being a chief communications officer or CEO in today’s world is a role which requires impeccably high standards and ethical decision making. You need to take responsibility for building and upholding a culture of trust, honesty, and transparency.’
  • Dan Gerrella: What’s the difference between issues and crisis communications? (22 July)
    ‘An issue is something that often takes time to build, is heavily influenced by what is happening in the real world and is usually known to organisations. It is likely to be an emotive subject and reflective of a wider issue in society.’
  • Amanda Coleman: Why they were the hardest words (19 July)
    ‘Dealing with [the Manchester Arena] attack, and developing a response that was focused on people first, made me determined to encourage others to build humanity and empathy into their crisis plans. It was the reason I wrote the book, and is why I set up my crisis communication consultancy.’

Campaigns and creativity

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Orlagh Shanks: Influencer Marketing Vs Network Marketing (22 July)
    ‘To be a network marketer, you need to have influence both in your social life and on social media. In some ways, to be a network marketer you also need to be your own influencer marketer.’
  • Gemma Storey: Why storytelling is more than a buzzword (21 July)
    ‘Storytelling is about using creativity and emotion to make the reader feel closer to the subject. It helps to create and reinforce empathy.’
  • Chris Lee with Michelle Goodall and Scott Guthrie: Podcast: Influencer marketing in 2020 (no date)
    ‘Influencer relations is something everyone does in comms, whether you’re senior or junior. Where does influencer relations start and media relations stop?’
  • Sam Knowles: On black holes, blackjack, and data storytelling (20 July)
    ‘Last week, it was my pleasure to be one of three panellists on a webinar titled “Thrive & Survive”, run by the University of Sussex’s innovation centre. Our topic – very much a topic du jour, particularly for businesses looking for bouncebackability in the wake of coronavirus – was data storytelling.’

Planning and evaluation

Internal communication

  • Susan Kinnear: Book review: What I’m reading now... (24 July)
    ‘In addition to the rationale for informed employee voice, Exploring Internal Communication outlines practical frameworks and approaches for achieving strategic internal communication, highlighting relevant theories and models to underpin practice.’
  • Danny Rogers: “The workplace is becoming the workplace”. Growing employee activism can create challenges (23 July)
    ‘It used to be that we were only responsible for our employees once they walked into the office. But now there is a sense that people should bring their whole selves to work. They expect their employer to take a view on big societal issues, to actively facilitate change.’
  • Sharon O’Dea: Home working is here to stay (22 July)
    ‘There’s still much to learn. Remote teams need tools to enable asynchronous work, and the coming years will see an explosion in startups in this space. But more important still is the need for training in the skill of collaboration itself. Remote working demands we communicate our work explicitly, clearly and concisely – and those are skills we need to learn (or re-learn).’

Technology, media and digital

  • Paul Sutton with Gini Dietrich: PR Won’t Survive the Pandemic [podcast] (22 July)
    ‘What the [USC Annenberg] study shows year after year is that marketing owns every channel except earned. Unless something drastic changes, we will be a tactic under marketing. The [PR] industry is in trouble.’
  • Lauren Fletcher: How to Optimise Hashtags (17 July)
    ‘In your list you should have a good mix of heavily used hashtags and lesser used hashtags.’