This week in PR (25 September)

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.

@academyann Clouds reflected in Loch Ewe today. It's so still!
#Highlands #Scotland #scotlandisnow #scotspirit #LochEwe #Clouds
@academyann Clouds reflected in Loch Ewe today. It's so still! #Highlands #Scotland #scotlandisnow #scotspirit #LochEwe #Clouds


Covid-19 and comms

  • Amanda Coleman: ‘A marathon not a sprint’ (23 September)
    ‘For communicators who have been working flat out for so long, now is the time to make sure they can face the months ahead. For me there are six key steps to take.’
  • Claire Walker: It’s not OK to hibernate your mind – bringing back creativity for Autumn (22 September)
    ‘As we head into Autumn and the wintry days, we must not hibernate our minds, we must give ourselves time to think and expand our horizons. As comms professionals, we must be sensitive with our comms outreach and outbound campaigns, bearing in mind the rise in unemployment figures and the people on the furlough scheme.’
  • Christian Sharp: 2020: A Year of Thinking Slow (22 September)
    ‘During the pandemic, we’ve all had to think more slowly. Where do I need to wear a mask? How many people can I socialise with? Am I following the latest government guidelines? Am I more than two metres away from that dogwalker on the pavement? Do I have hand sanitiser with me? Is it safe to go to the cinema?’
  • Con Franklin: The COVID Vaccine and the Case for Responsible Communications (22 September)
    ‘This crisis has also offered an appealing opportunity for communicators working in different areas of big businesses to come together for a common challenge. Some of the more effective PR plans I’ve seen have started with a meeting between corporate, brand and medical comms teams, all contributing to a vision of the company talking consistently with one voice.’

Practice and professionalism

  • Phoebe-Jane Boyd with Jenni Field and Mandy Pearse: What makes a good CIPR president (22 September)
    ‘You need to have a passion for the profession to stand and you need to be prepared to campaign and have a clear vision. It can be challenging because there will be robust debate but that is good as long as it is conducted in a respectful manner.’
  • Kat Harrison-Dibbits: The art of communicating in a chaotic world (22 September)
    ‘Now is not the time to be clever-clever – information overload is real and people’s brains are too full to process too many words or some subtle but unclear artwork. Make it accessible in terms of language and visuals.’
  • Jon White and Shayoni Lynn: A Manifesto for the Future Development of Public Relations Practice (22 September)
    ‘Behaviourally informed communications and public relations programmes acknowledge that individuals may not be making rational decisions all the time; that they take a multitude of mental shortcuts to make decisions. This means that appealing to our audiences in a rational way many not necessarily get them to pay attention to our messages or act.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Simon Coughlin: Why tech marketers should plan for 2021 with confidence (23 September)
    The [Tech Nation] report found that, after healthcare, the digital sector is posting the highest number of vacancies. And it’s not just London that is home to these roles – in nine British cities, tech companies account for a fifth of all employment, while in Belfast and Cambridge, the sector employs 26% of the workforce.’
  • Sharon Brigden: What 20 years of agency life has shown me (22 September)
    ‘It is okay to sack a client. I know this splits opinion but unless you are desperate for the money (and we’ve all been there) you sometimes just have to accept it’s a bad agency/client fit.
  • Son Pham: One story away (21 September)
    ‘I went to the last interview with them after two initial rounds. They gave me their word they would get back to me. They never did. Even after I sent a follow-up email.’
  • Tony Langham: Leadership is getting the big calls right and sending the right signals (no date)
    ‘This is a time for collaborative senior leadership teams and judicious use of external advisers. It is not a time for reclusive managers taking decisions in private.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Julian Obubo: Our approach to improving diversity and inclusion is broken (19 September)
    ‘How can diversity in the PR industry be in decline when it seems to be a so called ‘hot topic’ in the industry? How does an industry remain 92% white in 2020 when so many initiatives, panels, forums and pledges have been made by agencies and leaders over the last few years?’
  • Ella Minty: “People Like Us”​ Are Seldom Good For Business (18 September)
    ‘I’ve never let my colour, religion or gender, let alone the cultural stereotypes I’ve been brought up with or the society has tried to inoculate into my mind and behaviour, stop my curiosity and desire to understand “the other” – wherever that “other” may be, whatever skin colour s/he may have or whatever god or deity or animal/plant s/he may bow to.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Stuart Thomson: Political parties change: Your public affairs thinking needs to change (22 September)
    ‘The [Labour] party has always seemed to shift between periods of ideological purity, generally when it is out of office, and a ‘betrayal’ of its values when it is in office (which isn’t very often). So, whether there is a ‘real’ single version of the Labour Party at all is highly doubtful.’

Campaigns and creativity

Internal communication

  • Martin Flegg: A stitch in time save nine (24 September)
    ‘As social distancing measures tighten again and many employees face another six months working on kitchen tables and in improvised home offices, what can internal communicators do to observe the UK governments new advice of a stitch in time saves nine?’
  • Rachel Miller: The continuation of chaos or time for a fresh start? (24 September)
    ‘Whenever you start out in crisis mode, the adrenaline and momentum kick in. We act fact, we respond with urgency and the surge carries us through. But what happens when the crash comes?’
  • Sue Dewhurst and Liam FitzPatrick: The highs and lows of communicating corporate purpose (no date)
    ‘Short-term profit focus is no longer enough in today’s business environment. More and more, people expect companies to address social challenges, work in environmentally sustainable ways and think long term.’
  • Matt Batten: What online church can teach IC (21 September)
    ‘To begin with it was just me writing blog posts about live streaming services and how to guides for hosting church meetings on Zoom. We also curated online church guides from the wonderful church comms community and shared webinars, podcasts and checklists to upskill our people.’
  • Laura House: Is digital white noise drowning out your communication? (18 September)
    ‘Are you conveying meaning, or creating something meaningful? You will get and keep people’s attention with communication that has a human element to it, that speaks to the values that your audience shares or that demonstrates a wider business purpose beyond profit.’

Technology, media and digital

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

Reminder: we’ll soon be starting a regular section highlighting some content creators from among current public relations students. By way of inspiration and encouragement, here’s a Tweet from a current student and a farewell LinkedIn post by someone who is about to end their time as a student.

  • Daisy Dunn: Ode to Leeds (20 September)
    ‘Leeds has welcomed me with open arms, and been a place I’ve been very proud to have called home over the last 7 years.’