This week in PR (25 October)

About the author

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

Morning London (@rich_millington on Instagram)
Morning London (@rich_millington on Instagram)

News in brief

    • Good news or bad news? The PRCA has made headlines by criticising Ruth Davidson’s role with a public affairs firm while still an MSP. (Financial Times).
    • Roland Rudd: ‘Top City PR quits People’s Vote campaign amid blistering boardroom row’ (City AM)
    • The CIPR is creating an Influencer Relations Panel co-chaired by Deb Sharratt and Anne-Marie Lacey to ‘collaborate with other industry bodies and regulators to not only define and build awareness of the importance of best practice, but also educate, encourage and support members and the industry in adopting this best practice as professional practitioners.’
    • A European academic Trust in Communicators 2019 study has revealed that journalists and public relations practitioners both enjoy a relatively low level of trust (between 8% and 17%, depending on the country). But distrust is relatively high with 34% of adults in Italy distrusting journalists and 42% of Germans distrusting PR practitioners. So who is trusted? The study suggest independent experts such as academics and consultants.

Academic and education

  • Orlagh Shanks: How I Wrote My Dissertation in Three Weeks (23 October)
    ‘How do I decide on my topic? What will my question be? When do I start? Where do I start? Can someone please tell me what a dissertation is?? – These are just a sample of the questions that were running though my mind during the first ten minutes of my first dissertation class this time last year.’
  • Chloe Burroughs: 5 top tips for returning to study (22 October)
    ‘Making the decision to hit the books again is a big one, so here’s five tips you can use to get the results you need (and perhaps even enjoy it!)’

Purpose and professionalism

  • Tim Williams: The Challenge of Running a Purposeful Organisation (23 October)
    ‘It’s entirely possible that organisations that have the time and resources to develop their purpose are likely to be larger, leaner and potentially more successful firms.’
  • Kevin Taylor: Whistles: to blow or not to blow? It’s a question of ethics (22 October)
    ‘I’d like to believe that the lack of PR whistleblowing is a sign that all is healthy and well within the world of our members and the professional PR they practice… But I do also wonder whether there is a lack of awareness of the process for reporting unethical behaviour, and the fact that – initially at least – the process and advice is confidential.’
  • Adam Driver: A moment of clarity (22 October)
    ‘Don’t relinquish your ethics, do something you love, if you’re not happy, don’t moan – change it up, add value, help others out, surround yourself with good people, and be a good person… you get the idea.’
  • Jenni Field: What will 2020 bring for CIPR? (20 October)
    ‘I don’t want to talk about whether we are a profession, a craft or an industry. I want to talk about our professional conduct and make sure that our members have everything they need to demonstrate high levels of skill, knowledge, competence and standards of practise and professional conduct.’
  • Claire Munro: The End of Marketing: an opportunity for PR? (20 October)
    ‘It’s all about people, stories and relationships. And good PR is about all of those. Those who see lines blurring between comms functions will find plenty of evidence here. Could it be there’s a leadership opportunity for PRs here in designing people-led campaigns that can be successful across the digital landscape?’
  • Peter Holt: How affordable is it to join a professional body for someone just starting out in their career? (18 October)
    ‘Just to be clear what I am comparing here: not the annual fee for full membership (which varies a good amount, and on which the CIPR is far from the highest), but how much is actually required in the very first payment to join.  Some are higher because (like the CIPR) they include a one-off joining fee in the order of £55.’

Careers and consultancy

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Hel Reynolds: Comms and PR stress, and the workload dilemma (24 October)
    ‘Brace yourself perfectionists, you’re going to hate this next bit. To use our talents effectively, we can’t do it ALL to our best ability. So decide to do just a few things brilliantly. Prioritise. Be known for something you did that was truly excellent.’

Politics and public affairs

  • Stuart Bruce: PRCA Public Affairs Census – Top 10 takeaways (21 October)
    ‘Some forward-thinking PA leaders are also starting to recognise that the public affairs professionals need to seriously improve their understanding and use of data, analytics, insight, planning, measurement and evaluation.’

Public sector

  • Dan Slee: ICED JOY: 27 things I learned at commscampnorth in Bradford (24 October)
    ‘Bright people are leaving the public sector to do more things in the public sector. The trend towards the gig economy that started a few years ago is increasing. I get that.’
  • Rachel Royall: CIPR Health Group – a year in review (23 October)
    ‘In January this year we re-launched the CIPR Health Group to support people who are working in PR and communication roles in healthcare to have access to the best learning, education and skills to impact on society.’
  • Ross Wigham: Reunions, happy endings & the power of stories (18 October)
    ‘Despite all the huge changes in the way we communicate and engage with each other the hero model of storytelling from Ancient Greece still seems to strike a chord. We all need heroes and happy endings.’

Measurement and evaluation

AI, data and automation

  • Maja Pawinska Sims with André Labadie: Podcast: Bringing Artificial Intelligence Stories to Life (18 October)
    ‘The AI space is evolving really quickly. There’s a huge interest among brands trying to tell their AI stories, but there’s also fear and concern among employees and the general public.’ 

Brands and influence

Campaigns and creativity

  • Louisa Bartoszek: The power of music as a catalyst for change (22 October)
    ‘Great songs about big issues focus minds, capture the zeitgeist and can change lives. Pure, triumphant sounding, unadulterated anthems which are rebellious, provocative and challenge the establishment.’

Internal communication

  • Helen Deverell: The reality gap (22 October)
    ‘There’s plenty of research about the state of internal communications, and it’s made for grim reading. Not enough of us have strategies, measurement is still a dark art and membership of professional bodies is embarrassingly low.’
  • Emer Beirne: Aligning IT and IC functions – Paloma Redondo, GSK (21 October)
    ‘Lack of collaboration between IC and IT is why many digital platforms fail. There is a tendency to open the champagne when something is installed, not when it’s fit for purpose – but installation is simply the beginning of the journey.’
  • Katie Austin: Why measuring employee engagement is not the same as engaging (18 October)
    ‘Just lately I’ve been hearing this …people are tired of engagement; ‘it promised so much but delivered so little’.’

Media and digital

  • Luke Webb: Let’s talk all about the news (24 October)
    ‘There is an interesting lesson for any would-be PR here. In essence, it is being prepared to feel a bit awkward when trying to understand all sides of the news.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Emma Rogers (Solent): Trolling & Cyberbullying: Out of Control? (24 October)
    ‘The words that are said over social media stay with you forever, and I believe more needs to be done to prevent cyberbullying and raise awareness of what affect trolling can have on people.’
  • Rachel Mole (Solent): Do You Really Understand the PR Industry? (24 October)
    ‘If you’re still confused about what PR is and what PR isn’t, here is a basic summary of what I believe PR to be.’
  • Noirin O’Neill (Ulster): #PRStudentScribbles: Crisis Communications (24 October)
    ‘One exciting development from a mature student point of view is the rise of Podcast Shows as a rich source of information. Podcasts help me to connect the dots between the theory, research and practice of PR and Communications.’
  • Emma Street (Lincoln): 5 reasons to do work experience (23 October)
    ‘I left my placements feeling so much more confident, not only in myself, but in the course that I was doing and the job I wanted to pursue.’
  • Danielle McElhinney (Ulster): Rewrite My Story (23 October)
    ‘Time can be a gracious gift that allows us to get to know ourselves better. I am grateful for the last 20 years of marriage, kids, a variety of work experiences and even feeling frustrated and having to ask myself hard questions about my identity and purpose.’
  • Hannah Chambers (Ulster): Is ‘The Circle’ Just a Sad Satire for the Realities of Life on Social Media? (22 October)
    ‘On the surface the shows is an enjoyable watch and is something never before seen on TV. (Fun Fact: I was actually interviewed to be on Season 1 of the show, but didn’t get to the next stage).’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Do it “for the CV” (22 October)
    ‘The “CV” is that lil carrot of bait that teachers, lecturers, parents and employers dangle in front of students’ noses when they think we should or want us to do something. And it works.’
  • Abi Kitcher (Solent): ITV uncover the importance of interactive campaigns with “I’m A Celeb…” (22 October)
    ‘The storytelling aspect is essential in consumer engagement as this makes consumers feel like they are a part of something that they can easily follow.’
  • Siobhan McKerr (Ulster): One Month into Final Year (22 October)
    ‘I feel that the expectations from me are much higher, not only in terms of the standard of the work I produce, but also in my general knowledge about the PR industry. I sometimes panic that I don’t know much about the industry due to having no actual work experience in the field and I often panic about what I am going to do once I graduate.’
  • Kayleigh Tinney (Ulster): Is sustainability merely a PR stunt? Or are business running against the clock? (22 October)
    ‘My small changes may not make a difference but there are a lot of global companies out there that have the power to do so.’