This week in PR (26 August)

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.


  • Richard Edelman: Truth Will Out: Or Will It (24 August)
    Here is a fact to remember; Stalin’s Russia intentionally starved Ukraine, requisitioning grain from peasants, with 3.3 million Ukrainians dying of starvation and hunger-related diseases in 1932-1933. As we enter the fall with rising prices and risk of recession, it is essential to remind ourselves that we are indeed in a competition with autocracies that may require each of us to sacrifice for the common good.’


Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Gihan Hyde: Striking a green balance (24 August)
    ‘Green hushing is when a brand or company deliberately underreports their sustainable practices, something I see all the time in the fintech sector. Many businesses are hesitant to share their sustainability initiatives for fear of being accused of not doing enough or that their initiatives are seen as not being enough by customers, leading to backlash from consumers.’
  • Laura Sutherland: Don’t forget the ‘G’ in ESG (24 August)
    ‘This is a misconception about sustainability, that it only focuses on environment. It’s one I try and address head on in the presentation by explaining sustainability is about people, communities, the economy and the planet.’

Consulting, skills and careers

Public and third sectors

  • Ann Wright: Charity PR: Story of a BBC exclusive (22 August)
    ‘I pitched the story to BBC TV as an exclusive via their social affairs correspondent.  The hope was that the story could potentially be broadcast on BBC Breakfast and as many BBC channels as possible. Pitching three weeks before the report was due to be published was essential to give the BBC time to consider the story and decide if they wanted to film a report.’
  • Abigail Britten: Running a behaviour change campaign for learner drivers (20 August)
    ‘The pass rate for the [driving] test is low – in January to March 2022 it dropped to 47.1%. This shows that many learners are risking taking the test before they are ready. This results in them failing, losing on average £112 (£62 for the test and 2 lessons at £25 each) and paying to retake it.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Drew Aspinwall: Is it time for simplified planning for local energy projects? (25 August)
    ‘In rural districts it seems to me that it would make sense for local authorities to work on agreeing in principle some development rights up front, which would enable some green energy projects to be brought forward more swiftly.’
  • Ben Monteith: The nation’s favourite high street can’t catch a break (23 August)
    ‘Retail property on Oxford Street ranks as some of the most expensive in the UK, if not the world. While that means rents can be high, a big concern for retailers in the area is business rates.’
  • Charlie Rattigan: Energy revolt (23 August)
    ‘With the cost of living crisis deepening, pressure is certainly growing on the government and Ofgem from opposition parties to protect UK households and ensure that any rises are kept to a bare minimum.’
  • Max Sugarman: Restore trust in politics (no date)
    What has been lacking in the Leadership Contest has been any serious discussion about the ethics and professionalism of those in politics, and how we can restore the growing levels of distrust that our political system is facing. And we should be concerned.’
  • Paul MacKenzie-Cummins: The Tory leadership contest: Why beating (up) the competition can lose you the vote (and customers) (21 August)
    ‘What we have witnessed over the last few weeks in terms of how each of the contenders has pitted themselves against their leadership rivals is a warning to all business leaders (MDs, CEOs, CMOs) on how they should and should not speak about their competition in the public domain.’
  • Amy Fisher: “Après moi, le déluge” (19 August)
    Barring something derailing the Truss juggernaut, Liz will thus be installed in No10 by the beginning of next month. Either way, as one former minister put it to me this week, ‘I’m not sure I care which one of them wins any more, I just want it to be over’. 

Brands, content, community and creativity

  • Ana Mendoza: 6 tips to humanise your brand (25 August)
    ‘Humanising the brand means creating a connection with our audience and the community that we want to generate around our brand. It is telling it through an emotional story that reaches the audience we want. By doing this, we will be closer to them, we will be able to identify them, and they will be able to identify and differentiate us better than the competition.’

Research, measurement and evaluation

  • Emma Drake: Summer Hacks Series (part two) Act with purpose – how to reflect on your comms success. [podcast] (25 August)
    ‘It’s important to act with purpose. Tracking your activity is part of this. You want to be using all of the data you’ve collected to inform your future activity. Plus you can make the case internally for more budget.’
  • Stella Bayles with Dan Flanagan: How one PR report is helping gain funding to connect Dads with soul [podcast] (24 August)
    ‘A social impact report is primarily prepared for the people who fund you [as a charity or non-profit organisation]. We need to show that for every intervention – whether that’s a blog post, a podcast, or one of our live events – a change happens. The data is there, but this is really about the human story.’

Crisis, risk and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: What do you really mean? (23 August)
    ‘Mixed messages are one of the ways that a crisis response can be undermined. If people cannot understand the situation and what they need to do then you are impacting on everything else that takes place.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Adam Millar: We go live to the fibre race (no date)
    ‘Improving digital and social inclusion is one of the pillars of levelling up the UK, and while the Project Gigabit has made steady progress, builds have focused on dense urban areas and new housing developments.’