This week in PR (25 January)

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.

Doing what I love best. #cars #shoot #work #grancanaria @charlottelph
Doing what I love best. #cars #shoot #work #grancanaria @charlottelph

In the news

  • Here, in time for the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, is the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer. ‘Globally, 75 percent of people trust “my employer” to do what is right, significantly more than NGOs (57 percent), business (56 percent) and media (47 percent).’
  • Interesting reverse move; interesting job title. Vikki Willimott has returned to H+K Strategies as head of content and publishing after a year with Conde Nast (Holmes Report).
  • Women in PR has welcomed three new committee members: Kate Clark, Kat McGettigan and Davnet Doran.


  • Ulrik Haagerup: Academic who defined news principles says journalists are too negative (18 January)
    ‘Johan Galtung, a Norwegian professor who wrote a key scientific paper more than 50 years ago that listed a series of factors including conflict and immediacy as the hallmarks of news reporting, said his work was intended as a warning, not a guide.’

Insights and opinions: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week (UK focused, but with a global outlook). Recommendations are welcome to or @pr_place

Purpose and professionalism

  • Sarah Hall: Best Practice in Public Relations Procurement (25 January)
    ‘I always recommend looking for candidates who are members of a professional body like the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (I’m its immediate past president) or the PRCA.’
  • Alan VanderMolen: What about the other 360 days? (24 January)
    ‘Project 360, hosted jointly on portals owned by the WEF, by delegate companies and by their agencies would then give daily voice to the struggles and the incremental successes of the world’s poorest and disadvantaged on their journey to a sustainable and inclusive future.’
  • Padraig McKeon: Providing leadership in the Irish PR industry (18 January)
    ‘We have to acknowledge that the practice of Public Relations and the world around it is greatly strained with constant change, the need to support purpose, harness technology, embrace disruption, respect privacy and behave with honour.’

 Careers and skills

  • Ross WighamCan I have a comms strategy with that? Lessons from a business classic (24 January)
    ‘Good strategy/bad strategy by Richard Rumelt has been described as a milestone in theory and a business classic, taking a grand sweep of history through topics as diverse as the Iraq war, the launch of the iPhone, the first moon landings and many detailed corporate case studies.’
  • At the sauce: There’s no typical day in food PR with Pam Lloyd [podcast] (20 January)
    ‘What came first, was it the food or the PR?’ ‘I got a job as a chef working in a commercial kitchen. I lasted three months and quit in the middle of service at the Almeida Theatre.’

 Public sector

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

Brands and influence

  • Meg Edwards: Marks & Spencer is head over heels for influencers (24 January)
    ‘This is an example of a brand working with an influencer in a different way. It’s no longer about an influencer reviewing a product for a fee. It’s about them being a part of the creation process.’
  • Scott Guthrie: 16 top influencers sign watchdog pledge for clarity on ads (22 January)
    ‘16 celebrities with large online audiences have agreed to improve the way they label their social media advertisements. The influencer pledge follows an investigation by the CMA into advertising compliance launched last August.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fyre: Instagram or Insta-scam? (21 January)
    ‘Kendall Jenner has had enough blunders working with Pepsi and Fyre Festival, if I was her I would stick to her day job. Whatever that is…’

Mental health

Crisis and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: Heroes and villains (24 January)
    ‘Our communication needs to consider how the information will be interpreted and reused as well as being forwarded on. It must understand the public mood and where the organisation may be positioned.’
  • Jonathan Hemus: Actions speak louder than words in reputation repair (24 January)
    ‘The scale and scope of the global backlash against Huawei makes this more than a typical corporate issues management challenge: it goes beyond business, with politics at play too.’
  • Chris Measures: A Royal PR car crash? (23 January)
    ‘It feels like the Royal Household thought this was a minor story that would blow over quickly. I think they also counted on public sympathy for Philip – he’s had health problems over the last year, and being independent enough to drive himself around at 97 is quite a feat. What they didn’t understand is that the news agenda was waiting for this type of storm in a teacup story.’
  • Charlie Pownall: Book review: Rethinking Reputational Risk, by Anthony Fitzsimmons & Derek Atkins (22 January)
    ‘The authors rightly argue that reputation risk is first and foremost a leadership responsibility, and too often it is at Board level that things fall down.’

Internal communication

  • Penny Brazier: 10 things I’ve learned working in HE comms (25 January)
    ‘Essentially, [students are] customers. Your challenge is to develop these customers into a listening community.’
  • Claire Walker: Are your employees masters of seduction? (23 January)
    ‘In the hiring game, we’re increasingly in a candidate-led market, where employees can pick and choose where they want to work, and the onus is on the company to woo the candidate before a competitor does.’
  • Rachel Miller: My employer tops the Edelman Trust Barometer (22 January)
    ‘Why is “My Employer” emerging as the most trusted entity? Because the relationships that are closest to us feel more controllable.’
  • Richard Edelman: Trust at work (21 January)
    ‘Overwhelmingly, our employee respondents expect their employers to be their partners in change. Employees’ expectation that prospective employers will join them in taking action on societal issues (67 percent) is nearly as high as their expectations of personal empowerment (74 percent) and job opportunity (80 percent).’
  • Martin Flegg: Don’t feel bad if you can’t measure everything (20 January)
    ‘I think it’s time for us to take a more pragmatic view of measurement in internal communications. We need to take a step back and be selective and realistic about how much of our work we can and should measure. For many of us, measuring everything just isn’t practical or appropriate and we shouldn’t feel bad about it if we can’t do that.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Darren Caveney: Be fierce and never mediocre: 28 lessons from a top creative agency (20 January)
    ‘ROI must be demonstrable to a Finance director who won’t be interested in video view stats.’
  • Marcel Klebba: Simplicity (20 January)
    ‘Keeping it simple, especially when dealing with complex ideas, will certainly be challenging. But the outcome will cut through the noise and convoluted arguments.’

Technology and AI

Media and digital

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

PR Careers: 2019: 150 PR internships and graduate schemes

  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Why did Azealia Banks call me “ugly”? (24 January)
    ‘Maybe this was just another little PR stunt to keep her in the public eye, or maybe she is just a header. Who knows?’
  • Lauren Thomas (South Wales): FAO Avon: Dimples are always cute (24 January)
    ‘I can’t believe we’re not even a month through 2019 and there’s already a body shaming ad floating about from the global beauty company, Avon.’
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): Is It Such A Bad Thing to Be A ‘PR Girl’? (23 January)
    ‘I cringe when I see a #PRGirl post or even an account solely dedicated to the term on Instagram. Are we belittling ourselves by using that term? Do we want to be seen as everything cliché that comes along with that label?’
  • Lucy Hayball (Bournemouth): BU student enjoys the challenge of a placement at L’Oréal (23 January)
    ‘I have had dinner with high profile influencers and press from titles I’ve read for years – I never thought during an internship I would be in the same room as Vogue, Grazia and more.’
  • Holly Rees (South Wales): The importance of Plain English (22 January)
    ‘All too often, I find blog posts, articles and journals to be so difficult to read that I give up halfway through. And I’m sure you’re the same.’
  • Rory McAllister (Ulster): 5 ways to improve your mental health (22 January)
    ‘If you ever feel like you’re going through a hard time, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Expressing your feelings when you’re feeling low is seen by many as a strength rather than a weakness.’
  • Anna Stewart (Ulster): How a vegan sausage roll became the first PR triumph of 2019 (21 January)
    ‘Veganism is widely thought of of being an expensive way to live, so this new vegan alternative to the much loved £1 sausage roll from Greggs was set to throw a massive spanner in the works. And it has.’