This week in PR (24 March)

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.

Francis Ingham

  • David Gallagher: Remembering Francis Ingham (20 March)
    ‘Richard Houghton and I appointed him to run a truly fragile PRCA back in 2007. It’s not an overstatement to say that had Francis refused, I might well have presided as chair of a collapsed association, and from there the many milestones or achievements I have long celebrated as ‘mine’ would have never come to pass at all.’
  • Arun Sudhaman and Maja Pawinska Sims: Obituary: Francis Ingham, PRCA Director General (20 March)
    ‘His unique worldview — shaped, perhaps, by his earlier career in politics — meant that anyone he met could be friend, collaborator or enemy, sometimes all at the same time. By turns uproarious and insufferable, it is doubtful the PR world will ever see his like again.’
  • Alex Singleton: Francis Ingham, 1975-2023 (20 March)
    ‘The growth of the PRCA under Ingham’s 15 years in charge is all the more extraordinary when you consider that associations have struggled significantly since the 2000s as the internet has made them seem less relevant.’


Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Samar Khan: World Water Day: Adapting to a new reality.(22 March)
    ‘Since 1950, the world has experienced far more rain on average, but also more intense droughts… In other words, where some nations will suffer from water scarcity, others will suffer equally from extreme flooding. Not only are we suffocating ourselves, we’re drowning ourselves, too.’
  • Andrew Adie: Forget net zero by 2050; this week the world got a new target (21 March)
    ‘Companies that have made net zero commitments can now expect renewed focus on whether they have reached those goals (or indeed made any meaningful progress at all in reaching them).’
  • Paul Holmes: The PR Industry Needs To Defend Business Against Anti-‘Woke’ Ideologues (21 March)
    ‘Public relations professionals are now advising on stakeholder expectations, on defining and communicating purpose, on when organizations should engage with social and political issues, on internal policies that do not exclude large numbers of talented employees or potential customers, and even on whether companies should continue to do business in geopolitical hotspots.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Emma Drake: Are your case studies talked about? How to create the right ones that fly [podcast] (23 March)
    ‘To effectively incorporate case studies into our campaigns it’s essential to understand the impact they can create. Case studies provide the real life examples of how a product or service has addressed specific problems or challenges faced by customers.’
  • Eduvie Martin: You are in control (no date)
    ‘So many things are out of your control. A redundancy letter is most definitely not about you. Identify what you do well, define your why and make a choice. Real growth is measured not by your lateral moves in an organisation but by what you were able to do with what life threw at you.

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Cal Behrendt with Tony Bradley, Maria Chanmugam, and Eva Maclaine: Episode 11: Reflections on tech, diversity and entering the profession [podcast]
    ‘When I started, there was very little diversity. I mean, there’s still extremely little, but it wasn’t just diversity in terms of ethnicity, but also in terms of background. The company that I joined was exclusively public school and terribly well connected. Goodness, if you pronounced a word wrong then you were frowned upon and laughed at.’

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Fraser Raleigh: Boris and Brexit return: but has Westminster moved on? (23 March)
    ‘Whereas Johnson used to lead his MPs through the division lobbies, he now found himself surrounded in the opposite lobby to the government, with just 21 other Conservative MPs for company alongside the DUP.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Micro practices for public affairs (23 March)
    ‘By adopting such practices into our everyday working lives, we can establish a cycle of continuous improvement. That can only be a good thing for us, colleagues, and clients (internal or external).’
  • Joseph Stephens: “Practically Useless”, ERG and DUP slam the brakes on the Windsor Framework (21 March)
    ‘Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has stated the brake does not address their central concern, ‘the imposition of EU law’, and has called for greater clarity on how the mechanisms of the deal would function. Similarly, the European Research Group (ERG) has rejected the deal.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

  • Son Pham: Generational identities should be a thing of the past (21 March)
    ‘The marketing and advertising industry for so long has been obsessed with putting people into age demographics. But isn’t the very nature of humans complicated? The truth of the matter is generational identities and monoliths should be a thing of the past.’
  • Ben Smith with Kim Allain, Ottilie Ross and James Gordon-MacIntosh: The global creativity review for March [podcast] (21 March)
    ‘Is it something our consumers really care about? This campaign [the IKEA and Shelter collaboration highlighting temporary accommodation] is a good example. To see something so shocking makes an impact.’

Crisis, risk and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: On the eve of a reputational challenge (18 March)
    When a reputational crisis is happening, or is about to happen, you need to really consider what you are doing, and then saying, being fully aware of what it looks like from those outside of the business.’

Behaviour and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: TikTok new guidelines: virtual influencers must be tagged (22 March)
    ‘TikToks featuring realistic-looking virtual influencers such as Miquela, Shudu and Imma will have to be marked to show the creators are not humans under newly revamped community guidelines published this week by the video-sharing app.’

Internal communication

  • Jenni Field: New research: are you remotely interested? (20 March)
    ‘We’re looking for 15 companies to take part in the research. The type of workforce we’re looking at ranges from frontline workers, health care workers, and law enforcement, to drivers and delivery people, manufacturing workers, or hospitality professionals.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Matt Redley: Google launches Bard to lukewarm reception as tech titans grasp for AI dominance (23 March)
    ‘Generative AI describes algorithms that can be used to generate content, such as text, imagery, audio and computer code from written questions.’
  • Lee Benecke: Banning TikTok: A Major Shift or Just Political Tech-Tit-For-Tat? (20 March)
    ‘TikTok — like every other social media platform — holds infinite data points about its users. From seemingly innocuous data such as phone model, service carrier, and even keystroke patterns, through to potentially harmful data around geolocation and file names, and finally through to personally identifiable information aka juicy age, image, contact, and sensitive information.’

#prstudent #CreatorAwards23

  • Aileen Guing (Leeds Beckett): Ownership (22 March)
    ‘If I were a business owner, ownership would be the number one quality I’d be looking for in hire and here’s why you should also consider cultivating this mindset as early as possible.’
  • Lydia Cooper (Leeds Beckett): The Best of PR and Marketing on Race Week (Saudi Arabian GP) (20 March)
    ‘Not only have [Aston Martin] changed their performance, but they have also taken a different angle to their social media content. Instead of posting track times and grid positions, Aston Martin is giving us a deeper insight into what the mechanics are doing to the car and how it affects performance.
  • Kinga Markiewicz (Leeds Beckett): Best St Patrick’s Day Campaigns (17 March)
    ‘There is no St Patrick’s day without Guinness. The brand has become almost synonymous with the Irish holiday so much so that people await the company’s annual St Patrick’s advert.’