This week in PR (27 May)

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.

It happened this week

  • Nataliya Popovych is to receive an industry award today for her work battling Russian disinformation and for helping Ukraine to win the global public relations war (source: PRovoke Media)


Purpose and ESG

  • Joe Phillips: Communications’ climate culpability (26 May)
    ‘In order to ensure the advertising and communications industry is doing its bit to reduce its emissions output, organisations will have to ask themselves these questions and act on that information, otherwise the communication industry’s global emissions are likely to increase.’
  • John Brown: B Corp and Big Business (25 May)
    ‘These last few weeks, we’ve seen ‘uproar’ about Nespresso, Evian and others being B Corp certified. Not just from general business commentators, but a palpable sense of anger and injustice from some in the B Corp community.’
  • Steffan Williams: Progress Toward Parity (no date)
    ‘Corporate governance does make organisations move faster but not enough is being done to shift the S in ESG.’
  • Simon Neville: HSBC’s Stuart Kirk – Gerald Ratner or a canary in the mine? (24 May)
    ‘The FT, clearly enjoying the publicity, have uploaded the whole 15-minute speech to YouTube – the only speech it has made publicly available from the two-day event.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Ben Smith with Fenella Grey: The rise, the fall, and the rise of Porter Novelli [podcast] (26 May)
    ‘We’ve relied too heavily on the past equity of our brand. Our agency was founded on purpose fifty years ago. Our new positioning is built on purpose but is broader than purpose. We’re the comms partner for the stakeholder era.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

Public and third sectors

  • Anonymous: It wasn’t my party but I’ll cry if I want to (26 May)
    ‘As a comms professional supporting other hardworking public sector colleagues on the front line, I took immense pride in being part of the Covid-19 response by sharing the powerful comms messages with the public… But the disgusting details of “partygate” have now cast another shadow over the reputation of comms and PR.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere 

  • Emily Walther: The promise for women’s health in England (no date)
    ‘On Saturday 28 May, the International Day of Action for Women’s Health will demonstrate that #WomensHealthMatters.  This year, the theme is #ResistAndPersist amid crises and global uncertainty.’
  • Emily Chen: Sunak Speaks of a U-Turn at last (26 May)
    ‘With the World Economic Forum confirming that renewables are the world’s cheapest source of energy; it is likely that the new tax is only going to widen the cost disparity between conventional and renewable energy sources.’
  • Sian Jones: Elizabeth Line finally opens, but the Partygate saga rumbles on (24 May)
    ‘Many in Downing Street will have been hoping that this week was a chance to get back on the front foot. Instead, any good news has been overshadowed by yet more ‘Partygate’ revelations and renewed speculation about the Prime Minister’s future.’
  • Ben Monteith: Arriving very soon: all change as Crossrail opens (24 May)
    ‘The likes of Andy Burnham and Street are asking, “where’s our transport infrastructure?” There’s a very real argument to say that the demand for the government’s Levelling Up agenda is in no small part due to the vast sums poured into Crossrail catalysing a demand for the regions’ share of the infrastructure magic money tree.’
  • Stuart Thomson: How to lead the debate? (23 May)
    ‘There can often be a need to get ahead of an issue and to lead the debate. This can help secure stakeholder attention and contribute to becoming a trusted adviser. But, how can you do that?’

Brands, content, community and creativity

Research, measurement and evaluation

  • Alex Plumb: Is AI the future of market and social research? (25 May)
    ‘If you have a very large amount of customer data – perhaps online reviews or feedback emails – then the right AI tool will help you distil it down effectively into key themes and sentiments.’
  • Stephen Waddington: How do you solve a problem like proving the value of public relations to management? (24 May)
    ‘There is a limited understanding of the contribution or benefit of public relations to strategic planning and decision making in management. There is limited quantifiable analysis of the contribution of public relations to value creation whether that be financial, sustainability, or societal.’
  • Richard Benson: What are the most popular key performance indicators in PR? (23 May)
    ‘There’s still much to do in terms of Outcome and Impact evaluation. Reports shared with SMEs were most likely to include at least one Outcome or Impact based KPI, but even in this category only 16% of reports included such a metric.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • David Mugridge: International Strategy is a Chess Game: Lessons Identified from the German Gambit (26 May)
    ‘If Germany were a corporation, it would be a blue-chip stock: a consistent performer for pension funds and guaranteed returns. Yet, the Ukraine War shows even modern-day paragons can drop the ball, fail to see geo-political risks, and create a strategic shambles when crisis calls.’
  • Amanda Coleman: A report, a Prime Minister and an attempt to move on (25 May)
    ‘I winced with the use of ‘learning the lessons’ which is an overused phrase essentially meaning very little. Boris Johnson said he had ‘humility’ at a time when little was on show, and said he ‘took full responsibility’ before quickly pointing out he wasn’t there.’

Behaviour and influence

Internal communication

Media, digital and technology