This week in PR (26 July)

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.

Team GB Tokyo 2020 hopefuls mark one year to go to the Olympic Games. Credit: Department for International Trade.
Team GB Tokyo 2020 hopefuls mark one year to go to the Olympic Games. Credit: Department for International Trade.

In the news

Education, research and academic 

  • Paul Simpson: What exactly is PR? (19 July)
    ‘It is crucial that the public relations world does more to explain what it does, and makes itself more accessible as a career option to young people in schools, sixth forms and FE colleges.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Back to school: student engagement as a means of professional development (19 July)
    ‘If you ever get the opportunity to participate in a workshop or guest lecture I cannot recommend it enough. You’ll benefit as much as the students you’re teaching.’

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

The professional project

  • Ella Minty: Why Do Journalists Get the Highest Profile Jobs in PR and Comms? (25 July)
    ‘I never thought I would ask this question, but are we approaching the tipping point of Public Relations standing, one where journalism is the fastest path to better jobs, career progression and professional credibility in PR and Comms?’
  • Claire Simpson: Should PR be regulated? (21 July)
    ‘An emerging solution is self regulation. The development of a best practice community through a culture of continuous learning in the drive towards chartership is a movement I wholly support. And both the CIPR and PRCA offer a fantastic range of events and online resources to support practitioners.’

Consulting, careers and skills

  • Tom Denford: If you were in any doubt. Accenture is now an agency. (24 July)
    ‘The Accenture Interactive unit – the bit that most resembles an agency – now boasts revenues of $8.5bn and recent acquisitions of leading agency businesses like Droga5 (thought to have been purchased for around $400m) highlight the company’s intent to compete head-to-head with WPP, Omnicom, Publicis and the rest.’
  • Jennifer Robson: What does success look like? (24 July)
    ‘Quite simply, for me, success is doing what I love and loving what I do.’
  • Helen Collingborn: Generation Z are no mugs, so tread carefully (23 July)
    ‘This is the first generation that doesn’t have its own magazine, no NME, Melody Maker or Loaded, and they consume virtually no live media. So how where do we reach them?’
  • Victoria Tomlinson: What next for Theresa May – and Luke Johnson … and you? (22 July)
    ‘While Theresa May and Luke Johnson are at the extreme end of having a spectacular and very public fall after successful careers, there are lessons that can be drawn for anyone looking at what next after a long career.’
  • Arianne Smart: Are all your eggs in one basket? (19 July)
    ‘Asana went down earlier this week and I had no idea what I was meant to be doing.’
  • Jessica Ballinger: How to adopt a growth mindset (19 July)
    ‘Not everything is always going to go to plan. We don’t win every pitch and sometimes a story doesn’t land the way we had hoped. The important part is to talk about our failures and learn from them. If we always stayed in a safe zone, we’d never achieve anything amazing.’

Politics and public affairs

  • Jason MacKenzie: A tale of two parties: why some crash and burn, and others soar (22 July)
    ‘Books will be written contrasting these two fledgling movements. But my quick take should illustrate the importance of developing a clear strategy, agreeing defined objectives and deploying precise tactical execution as the keys to organisational success.’

Public and third sectors

  • Darren Caveney: 3 things I learned this week – volume 09 (26 July)
    ‘Your average local councillor certainly isn’t in it for the cash or the glamour – they are usually good eggs who care about their local patch and want to put something back in. And they absolutely don’t deserve to be dealing with death threats on Facebook on a Tuesday evening.’
  • David Holdstock: Introducing the #futurecomms self-assessment tool: improving your communications (23 July)
    ‘We’ve launched our #FutureComms Self-Assessment Tool. This is a simple tool which will give you an honest appraisal of the communications work you’re delivering at your council.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

Brands and influence

  • Joanna Goodwin: How to build your emotive brand (25 July)
    ‘A logo is not your brand. What people think or feel about you is your brand. It is how you are experienced and how others talk about you that defines your brand.’ 
  • Scott Guthrie: Why Instagram is really hiding likes (22 July)
    ‘Hiding likes will benefit influencer marketing. Anyone basing ROI on the vanity metrics of these digital grunts might do better to find an alternative career. Better metrics are the quality of the engagement, the level of interaction, the number of direct messages received by the creator resulting from a post, the number of ‘swipeups’, the number of times the post is saved.’
  • Alan Oram: Brand authenticity: Real views or fake news? (19 July)
    ‘If a business stands any chance of longevity, they won’t be able to fake it for long. People talk and thanks to social media, they now have even more opportunity to make their unhappiness known.’

Trust, crisis and reputation

Internal communication

Campaigns and creativity

  • Simon Minton: Do you believe in magic? (19 July)
    ‘It turns out that digital has the power to create those same magic moments — when suddenly a well executed idea catches you off guard and triggers that moment where you lose the question in the joy of the answer.’

Measurement and evaluation

  • Andy West: Why an 80’s Rock Anthem Got Me Thinking (25 July)
    ‘As an industry we do amazing work. Across the profession there are a plethora of case studies that show the incredible impact of the work do. Let’s normalise this and push PR to where it needs to be as a professional service.’

Technology and AI

Media and digital

    • Charlie Sharpe: Doubling down: Facebook reveals its latest numbers and plans for the future (25 July)
      ‘The numbers are impressive. 2.7 billion people around the world now use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or messenger each month, with 2.1 billion using at least one each day. ‘
    • Sarah Evans: Things we learned making a podcast (25 July)
      ‘Taking an audience-first approach, we understood that many of our target users were on a mission for self-improvement, learning and increasingly professional development… but they were also very time poor. B2B podcasts seem to be booming because a lot of professionals feel this way.’
    • Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz: FIR 185: Hey Google, play me some content marketing [podcast] (23 July)
      ‘There are now more than 700,000 podcasts. Have we hit peak podcast? asks the New York Times. ‘Like the blogs of yore, podcasts are today’s de rigeur medium, seemingly adopted by every entrepreneur, freelancer, self-proclaimed marketing guru and even corporations’.’