This week in PR (24 September)

About the author

Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

Early sunshine on @TeignmouthPier @MandyPearse on Twitter
Early sunshine on @TeignmouthPier @MandyPearse on Twitter

It happened this week

Profession and ethics

  • Stuart Bruce: Top 10 tips on how to win a professional PR award (20 September)
    ‘I don’t have time to read every entry in depth. Has that shocked you? I start by looking at the objectives and then jump straight to the results. That’s how I create my shortlist. I deliberately don’t want to be swayed by a brilliant creative idea or stunt, if it didn’t actually work.’

Academic and education

  • Rob Williams: What is needed next for our education system? (23 September)
    ‘Over the last 18 months I have campaigned that the media, and our political elite, should stop talking about our students as being a “lost generation”. This isn’t fair or accurate. It comes from an obsession with the current assessment and qualification framework that measures young people’s success by a small number of grades for academic subjects on a certificate.’

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Devi Santosh: Countdown to COP26 (23 September)
    ‘While the focus is now on COP26, the flurry of activity is only going to intensify after COP26 when having a plan, implementing it and delivering impact will become the focus for the entire corporate world.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Shivani Lodhia: From higher education to the world of Öffentlichkeitsarbeit (PR) (23 September)
    ‘As I talked about why I felt PR was a match for me, I felt that it was the intersection of my degree: politics emphasises communication, but we learn languages to communicate with even more people. Writing has always been something I have really enjoyed.’
  • Rachel Roberts and Harriet Small: Oh the Glamorous and Music PR with Brenda Juliet [podcast] (23 September)
    ‘As a publicist for a beauty house, all you do is send out samples (in the early days). The pay is not brilliant, I’ll be honest. You can’t pay your gas bill in shoes!’
  • Stephen Waddington: PR talent is on the move but it’s an employee market (20 September)
    ‘Employers in the public relations sector haven’t caught up with how quickly and how far the market has shifted in favour of the employee.’
  • Alicia Squadrone: 10 minutes with a Rising Star (no date)
    ‘We’re traditionally a very homogeneous industry, made up of predominantly white British, middle class, heterosexual and able-bodied practitioners, so it’s very important that every company is taking active steps to change that.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: Wait, Am I A Marketer Now? (20 September)
    ‘Who knows what the next 40 years of my career have in store? Social media influencers weren’t around 10 years ago, so who knows what’s to come in another 10 years’ time?’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

Public and third sectors

  • Ross Wigham: Thoughts from NHS Communicate (23 September)
    ‘The crisis has demonstrated the huge importance of good comms in an almost life or death way and people working in the public sector have been tested like never before.’
  • Katie Sandey: GUEST POST: How to run an effective corporate public sector LinkedIn page (23 September)
    ‘According to the Local Government Association, there are 181 district councils in the UK and of these Cheltenham now has the second highest number of LinkedIn followers for its company page, which is a staggering achievement given our initial limited experience with the platform.’
  • Darren Caveney: Rate my meeting – a genius idea. but could it take off? (23 September)
    ‘Bruce Daisley was the Comms Unplugged keynote speaker and he talked about where good ideas come from. It turns out that meetings churned out a paltry 3% of them. That’s pretty sobering isn’t it.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Aimee Howard: The Prime Minister and Kermit fall out (23 September)
    ‘Whist he seeks to make an impression internationally, domestically the Prime Minister is blundering – his policy for insulating homes is severely delayed, as are his other proposals for financing transitioning to low carbon, farming and aviation.’
  • Simon Francis: Energy crisis shines a light on fuel poverty impacting millions of families (23 September)
    ‘Millions of people every year face the dilemma between heating their home and putting food on their tables. This is called fuel poverty in the UK and the numbers of families affected are drastically increasing.
  • Marc Woolfson: I love a reshuffle and, as a public affairs professional, so should you (23 September)
    ‘Ultimately, when the moment comes, it’s all hands on deck as each client needs to be simultaneously updated and advised as to how their specific set of interests is being affected – for good or bad – and what the best course of action is to ensure they emerge with their position strengthened and with a plan to capitalise swiftly.’
  • Sian Jones: Gas crisis? What crisis? (21 September)
    ‘The gas price rises hitting the headlines this week have been a gift for journalists keen to find the next crisis, now that pandemics and vaccines are slowly slipping down the news agenda.’
  • Ciaran Gill: A new Trade Secretary: what’s next? (21 September)
    ‘As part of Trevelyan’s many new responsibilities, she will also take up the role as President of the Board of Trade, which meets quarterly and seeks to promote regional points of view during the development of UK trade policy.’
  • Mark Borkowski: The return of Trump (21 September)
    ‘Bereft of a personal voice, Trump will latch on to the powerful and dark energies of the alt-right horde, playing to ‘culture war’ topics will further deepen the divide that is rivening America. As one Game of Thrones style meme, paid for by ‘The Donald Trump Election Defense Fund’ puts it, winter is coming.’
  • Stuart Thomson: A reshuffle and public affairs: the real story (21 September)
    ‘Stability is often lacking when it comes to some ministerial positions. Nadine Dorries is, for instance, the third culture secretary under Boris Johnson and the tenth in 10 years.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: Is your communication just wallpaper? (22 September)
    ‘I would go as far as saying that in some industries certain phrases should be banned from media statements. In policing I personally dislike the use of the phrase ‘isolated incident’ which adds little to the information that is being shared.’

Sport

Brands, storytelling and influence

  • Emma Drake: Why customer service is your biggest PR tool [podcast] (23 September)
    ‘Public relations is about managing and protecting your reputation as a business, and how you handle customers is often overlooked. It can make or break a customer’s experience of your brand.’
  • Paige Hiley: Wait – it’s all been influencers all along? (21 September)
    ‘What we today call influencer marketing, then, is just the latest form of what communications has always pursued – and once we recognise that, it opens the influencer option to every brand.’

Internal communication

  • Jenni Field: Why employee engagement needs to be more than just campaigns and rewards (23 September)
    ‘To truly engage a workforce, we must understand them. And acknowledge that our brains haven’t really changed since we were cave people.’
  • Claudia Rule: Anxiety Opportunity (no date)
    ‘New workers are anxious about returning to the office with nearly half of university students feeling unprepared for employment.’
  • Katie Macaulay: Employee engagement: the origin story (17 September)
    ‘Clearly, Professor Kahn was ahead of his time. But before our interview, I re-read his 1990 paper. I realised he did not once refer to ‘employee engagement’, only ‘personal engagement’. Was this significant?’

Technology, media and digital

  • Dan Slee: NEWS LEAK: Local news in 2021 is still part of the mix… it’s online (23 September)
    ‘Comms teams have navigated away from the newsroom. The link between local journalism and the local council press office has substantially weakened. You can get a job in a comms team quite happily without ever having worked on a paper. Thirty years ago that was less common.’
  • Sarah Gullo: The secret to a great media interview: preparation (23 September)
    ‘When preparing for an interview, make sure you plan the three main points you want to get across. These key messages should be the answers you keep coming back to again and again during your interview.’
  • Jessica Pardoe: 10 Things We Took Away From BrightonSEO As Traditional PRs (21 September)
    ‘Any marketeer will know the content funnel, which is (or is some variation of): Discovery ➡️ Awareness ➡️ Consideration ➡️ Conversion. In an insightful talk on content strategy by Lucy Dodds, she revealed that we ought to ditch the discovery phase and stop focusing on traffic for traffic’s sake.’
  • Florie Lhuillier: Building brand awareness – channel & content tips for cybersecurity vendors (no date)
    ‘This week, we’ve officially launched our cybersecurity stream to help vendors in this space to use marketing & PR more effectively to sell their products and services.’
  • Ben Smith with Howard Kosky: What does modern broadcast PR content look like? [podcast] (21 September)
    ‘At the start of 2021, the 6.30 regional news bulletin on the BBC was the single most watched programme on daytime TV. Which just goes to show people’s appetite for information and news at a very local level.’
  • Calum McCloskey: Poaching Eggsperts: The best experts to have as a PR agency (20 September)
    ‘From the extensive research laboriously pored over by myself, I can confirm that the experts that receive the most requests from journalists are… drum roll please… psychologists. Whether it be a quote on mindfulness, how to love yourself, or why Boris Johnson is such a [redacted], psychologists are the hot property of the PR world.’

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