This week in PR (27 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.

Reflections on the Teign (@MandyPearse)
Reflections on the Teign (@MandyPearse)

Behind the headlines

  • Fake news: UK Government has a Rapid Rebuttal Unit to address fake news (Press Gazette); law firm Carter Ruck has produced a report on Fake News.
  • Birmingham, Manchester/Salford and Leeds are in the running to host Channel 4 when it establishes a new headquarters and creative hub outside London.
  • The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has published a report on purpose, which it defines as ‘an organisation’s meaningful and enduring reason to exist that aligns with long-term financial performance, provides a clear context for daily decision making, and unifies and motivates relevant stakeholders.’ (Via CIPR)
  • Campaign Deus has produced an Influencer Index Report
  • Hopper has produced an Instagram Rich List 2018. The top 20 is dominated by (female) celebrities and (male) sports stars. Then come the YouTubers and fitness models.
  • Here’s the shortlist for the PR Week Awards 2018.
  • IABC is seeking speaker proposals for its regional conference in Bahrain, 11-12 February 2019.


Our calendar of events now appears on a separate page

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 [email protected] or @pr_place

Public affairs

  • Emily Wallace: In Defence of the APPC (23 July)
    ‘The PRCA and the APPC have different roles, and they provide different services and value to members. I believe the industry needs both strong self-regulation and strong representation. I believe this is best served through an improved independent APPC and a more effective PRCA.’
  • George McGregor: A rebuttal of “In Defence of the APPC” (24 July)
    There will be an extraordinary general meeting in the autumn and members will be able to fully participate in the conversation on our future and take the final decision.’

Business / profession

  • Nigel Sarbutts: Opinion: Freelance PRs are a strategic resource, not a stopgap (26 July)
    ‘The industry needs better ways of finding freelance talent than posting requests on social media and asking around. It’s laborious and isn’t a strategic response to the opportunities of a new way of working.’
  • Frank Ovaitt and Toni Muzi Falconi: How big is public relations (and why does it matter)? (July 2018)
    ‘Following the presentation [at Bledcom] and the discussion that emerged the two authors have decided to post all comments received sofar and to warmly invite visitors to share, comment, criticise in order to take this work one step forward.’
  • Aedhmar Hynes: Wall Street Is Broken: Purpose Can Help (23 July)
    Purpose is about people. It’s about humanity. Critically, it’s about business. Good business.’
  • Angie Moxham: Four tips for true comms integration (23 July)
    ‘A big challenge to integration is when you have to battle through internal silos. This usually occurs with big brands with complicated internal structures. Another challenge you can encounter is insecure or inflated egos… You have to rise above it all and leave egos and the usual budget buckets at the door.’
  • Dan Slee: DODGING HIPPOS: How to say ‘no’ to the highest paid person in the room without actually saying ‘no’ (21 July)
    ‘The HIPPO is the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. The HIPPO in the room can flatten your idea simply because they are the ones with the large salary and the job title.’
  • David Phillips: Grandpa, what was PR like in the last century? (20 July)
    ‘Everything we did had some sort of measure and results were shared with all the directors as a matter of PR policy. As a consequence, the Public Relations department was the internal and external eyes and ears of the company and helped guide a network of people in their role as ambassadors.’

Public and third sector

  • Ben Capper: The return of the clip art police (26 July)
    ‘Crap comms is a multi-headed hydra. Just as you chop one horror off – another one grows, and attempts to strangle your time and creativity; and taking your focus away from what really matters.’
  • Darren Caveney: Your ‘cut out and send’ letter to a boss who doesn’t get Comms Unplugged (26 July)
    ‘A day ticket is just £70. Seventy. Or you can stay for a night or two with the top priced ticket just £150. That includes accommodation AND food. That is pretty good value, I think you’d agree?’
  • Daniel Cattanach: 10 years awake as a poacher turned gamekeeper (22 July)
    ‘So looking back over the last decade (and comparing it with eight years in national and local journalism), I honestly believe that the real buzz comes from comms.’
  • Adam Pearson: We’re nothing without you… thank you from an outsider to comms people (20 July)
    ‘My background and passion is research… But a survey without responses is pretty useless. Insightful analysis is a waste without an audience and purpose. I think you comms folk get that more than any other department. You’re the reality check when everyone else is getting bogged down in detail and can’t see the wood for the trees.’
  • Jon Ware: Failure to launch: five reasons why good strategies fail (20 July)
    I’ve written up five states of failure that can derail any strategy during the implementation process.’

Careers and skills

  • Jackie Le Fevre: Who am I? (24 July)
    ‘Our values are that internal framework by which we evaluate a given course of action, response or decision for how much ‘like’ us or ‘not like’ us it feels. If something feels utterly ‘unlike’ us we will walk away even if that is not what everyone else is expecting.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: How to Make the Most of Your Placement Year (24 July)
    ‘The shit jobs may be shit, but someone’s got to do them. Whether it be unboxing stock, tidying up the work area, counting stock, printing hundreds of press releases, packing bag after bag – it has to be done. Every person that has worked in PR has started off doing the exact same jobs and you won’t be any different.’
  • Dr Heather Yaxley and Ann Pilkington: The art of smart thinking in public relations (24 July)
    ‘Graduates feel their knowledge is undervalued – their employers think they are overqualified. Lists of required knowledge, skills and competencies to work in PR get longer and longer, yet anyone can make a career shift into PR – even to head up a department in a major firm or government body.’
  • David Levin: Things I’ve Learnt From 18 Years Of Working My Arse Off in London (22 July)
    ‘It’s worth remembering that, in an industry like the media (even more so in social media), the intern you were just a dick to will probably be the Global Marketing Director at Facebook in a few months. So tip two: don’t be a dick.’
  • Claire Simpson: Three lessons from an honorary graduate (23 July)
    ‘Far from Instagram or Facebook, Sharaff explained meaningful relationships are made face to face… Don’t be afraid to reach out and help others where you can, it’s amazing how many will help you in return.’
  • Lorna Branton: New me, old brain – making perception match the reality (23 July)
    ‘360 feedback is something I actively avoided for at least a decade. I finally did it when forced. Guess what? It wasn’t so bad.’

Research and analysis

Campaigns and creativity

  • Gabriela Lungu: Being A PR Creative Judge Is Not A Representation Role (25 July)
    ‘In the past, our PR industry had a good excuse: agencies didn’t have formal creative leaders, creative directors, or creative specialists. So the people sent to judge were the agency leaders. But there is no excuse today.’
  • Yana Miladinova: How are you creative? (26 July)
    ‘Last evening, I attended the PRCA event with Mark Simmonds, founder of Creative Creatures, to learn more about the creative archetypes and the fundamental behaviours critical to the creative process.’
  • Amanda Coleman: A new dawn for campaigns (21 July)
    ‘We need a fundamental rethink about how we develop, design and implement PR campaigns.’

Internal communication

  • Catherine Bissell: A life lesson in breaking your own rules (26 July)
    ‘So perhaps, whether you’re a contractor or a permanent employee – challenge your own rules when it comes to new roles, and new (or old) organisations – you might just surprise yourself, and they may surprise you!’
  • Adrian Stirrup and guests: Talking comms podcast episode 5 (26 July)
    Annique Simpson: ‘Is there a diversity issue within the IC profession? And how does that impact the communications we put out?’
  • Saskia Jones: Let’s get personal: 5 ways senior leaders can become more visible (and how internal comms professionals can help) (25 July)
    ‘Ask your senior leaders to surprise a colleague with a personal call, card or email. An easy way to do this is to appreciate and congratulate good work.’
  • Abbie Sampson: How to communicate an office move effectively (25 July)
    ‘We have held a number of all-staff meetings and smaller workshops and conducted an all-staff survey seeking views on everything from the sort of facilities people value in a workplace to the potential impact four shortlisted areas on travel times and work/life balance.’
  • Ethan McCarty with Vern Oakley: Faking authenticity: Can you do it? (23 July)
    ‘It used to be that the first public that an organization had to deal with was its customers, but I really think of the employees of any organization as the first public. And I don’t think most organizations are geared to maximize that reality.’

Media and digital

  • Chris Lee: How to grow a social media community (no date)
    ‘Here’s how to grow and maintain a loyal and engaged social media following.’
  • Scott Guthrie: How to vet influencers: an influencer marketing checklist (25 July)
    ‘Here is a checklist of 19 points to consider when choosing the most appropriate influencer for your programme.’
  • Stuart Bruce: Digital now rivals traditional media as driver of major investment decisions (24 July)
    ‘Consumer PR and marketing people have long since grasped the importance of digital and social media, yet too often corporate affairs professionals lag behind. In corporate affairs, investor relations and public affairs personal relationships matter a lot.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Flawed news (22 July)
    ‘Prince Philip trended in the UK, and was spotted by journalists. But instead of rebutting the story, mainstream media spotted the opportunity to gain search traffic.
  • Linleigh Marie Master: 12 questions with Farhad Koodoruth [podcast] (20 July)
    ‘My favourite recent campaign is NIke’s ‘how to be a Londoner’…If you want to cut through, great creative is the answer.’