This week in PR (24 May)

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.


It happened this week

Profession and ethics

Purpose, climate and ESG


Consulting, skills and careers

  • Dee Cowburn: Looking to spread your wings and go freelance? (23 May)
    ‘There are many freelancers and very supportive people round who want to help. There is enough work for everyone and it is important to have a mindset of supportiveness (is that a word?), understanding and kindness. I could not have gotten this far without kindness shown to me by people like Amanda Coleman, Darren [Caveney], Emma Dukes, Nigel Sarbutts from PR Calvary, Simon from Westco, they all spared their time to chat to me and gave me sterling advice and wise words.’
  • Arun Sudhaman: 2024 Agency Rankings: Global PR Industry Growth Stalls Amid Challenging Conditions (20 May)
    While many firms recorded respectable growth in 2023, a significant proportion appear to have expanded via mergers and acquisitions — suggesting what growth there was came from rearranging market share rather than any topline increase in communications spending.’

Gender, diversity, health and wellbeing

  • Maja Pawinska Sims with Paul Nolan: ADHD and agency management [podcast] (22 May)
    ‘In a PR world where you’re being asked lots of questions in a short space of time, [ADHD] can be a blessing. But it’s a challenge to focus on longer-term projects.’
  • Khairat Shaaban: The importance of widening participation (20 May)
    During university, I was always keen to make the most of my leisure time and engage in societies, committees, and other extracurricular activities beyond the lecture halls and seminar rooms. It’s good practice for PR essentials – networking and media relations.’

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere


    • Simon Neville: Election 2024 (23 May)
      ‘Communications during an election is always important because for many voters it is the only time they truly engage in politics. They watch TV news each night to see what the two main candidates for PM have to say and follow the agenda more closely than ever, even preferring traditional media over the social kind. And because of that, we can expect to see the most tightly controlled messaging ever seen in an election.’
    • Matt Carter: The Three Election Campaigns (23 May)
      ‘I think there will be not one but three different election campaigns taking place over the next six weeks, each with its own objectives and distinct tactics.’
    • Harry Brown: Sunak gambles on snap election – what happens next? (23 May)
      ‘Following the local elections, the prevailing belief was that Sunak would bide his time, wait for the economy to improve, and hope that Labour might stumble. But now all early summer holidays are off, and for the first time since 1945, we are set for a July election.’
    • Jonathan Connolly: Managing Labour’s Balance of Power (22 May)
      ‘Now holding 11 out of 12 Metro Mayoral seats in the country, we can see more signs of Labour’s growing momentum.’

Research, data, measurement and evaluation


Brands, content and creativity

  • Dan Slee: EMOTIONAL STORY TELLING: Communications lessons from Jurgen Klopp (19 May)
    ‘He is an astonishingly good communicator but what makes him so good? I thought I’d look at two set pieces of communication that bookend his time at Anfield. His first press conference and the Instagram post he made before leaving.’

Crisis, risk and reputation


Internal communication 


  • Jenni Field: A masterclass guide: How to navigate mergers and acquisitions (21 May)
    A merger and an acquisition are very different things. We need to be clear which one we’re working with – are you merging with another organisation, being acquired or are you acquiring? They all need slightly different treatment because of the different balances in power that inevitably exist in each.’
  • Helen Ellis: Unleashing the power of innovation in internal comms (18 May)
    One of our clients worked with us to create a video game that tapped into the culture of the business, to inspire pride and remind employees why they enjoy working at the company. The success of the game took everyone by surprise.’
  • Katie Macaulay: 10 leadership beliefs to abandon today (17 May)
    Reflecting on my 34 years steering AB, and observing many leaders in action over the years, I’ve compiled a list of catastrophic dogmas. Here are my top 10 avoid-at-all-costs, deeply unhelpful leadership beliefs.’

Media, digital and technology


  • Tom Flynn: SEC Newgate AI Weekly (23 May)
    ‘With the UK general election now underway, a lesson from the US for any political strategists considering the use of deepfake content. The political consultant behind the Joe Biden deepfake robocall has been indicted.’
  • Matthew Healey: Is VR growing up? (22 May)
    Instead of thinking about VR headsets as personal accessories, maybe it’s time we start looking at them as a key workplace tool.’
  • Battenhall: Presenting: Battenhall’s Tech, Gaming, Social and Entertainment Review 2024 (22 May)
    Generative AI has emerged as a game-changer across social media platforms, revolutionising user experiences and content creation. This piece provides a comprehensive guide to how platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn are harnessing generative AI and offers insights into maximising its potential for brands and marketers.’
  • Keith Gladdis: Winners of the 30 To Watch: Journalism Awards, 2024 (22 May)
    For 13 years MHP Group has celebrated some of the best young talent in the media such as Sophy Ridge from Sky News, Marianna Spring from the BBC and Lewis Goodall from the News Agents podcast.’
  • Ian Silvera: Has the AI safety movement stalled? (21 May)
    These guidelines are naturally a step in the right direction. But they do raise an obvious question: who will enforce them? The voluntary nature of the agreement means it won’t be agents acting for nation states or international bodies.’

Academic, education and training