This week in PR (27 November)

About the author

Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

It gets dark awfully early here but I love the way the lights reflect off the canal when everyone’s being gezellig at home. @sharonodea on Twitter
It gets dark awfully early here but I love the way the lights reflect off the canal when everyone’s being gezellig at home. @sharonodea on Twitter

News in brief

Covid-19 and comms

  • Tony Langham: Love is the thing. Hate isn’t. (no date)
    ‘I hope this makes a contribution to our industry by giving a structure to think about the future.’
  • Rachel Royall: The power of broadcast to tell the vaccine story (20 November)
    ‘Broadcast media will be critical to the Government and the healthcare system in conveying operational messaging to the public and patients about how to access the vaccine and how it will be distributed.’

Purpose and professionalism

  • Maja Pawinska Sims: Podcast: W Communications CEO Rachel Friend  (24 November)~
    ‘On taking on the PRCA chairman role: ‘Our industry is important. We can make a huge difference to society. It’s important that we come together and are represented well. I believe that we can affect change by coming together more than by working individually.’
  • Jan Gooding: The perfect marketer in 2025 will be a responsible one (24 November)
    ‘The imperative of addressing the grotesque over consumption in the world now particularly sits with those of us in marketing. We are part of a system that is destroying our world.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Charlie Spargo: A Week in My Life: Jasmine Headley-Craik, Co-owner, Content Soup (23 November)
    Finish the day prepping for our first virtual pitch tomorrow before heading home, having dinner and then logging back online to do my weekly virtual knitting class. Everybody will be getting hand knitted jumpers from me this Christmas.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Nik Govier: I’m not stupid, or lazy; I’m dyslexic, and we need more neurodiversity in PR (26 November)
    ‘Greta Thunberg has shown us what someone with autism is capable of, and I believe that my dyslexia is a gift.’
  • Andrew Kirby: Why am I doing Movember this year (no date)
    ‘I work in comms. I’m a storyteller by trade: I’ve authored eight novels, countless short stories and four non-fiction books (about the good old days for my football team). And yet I’ve never been able to set down the right words about how I’m feeling, neither on a page or in the spoken word.’

Public and third sectors

  • Ross Wigham: A postcard on covid comms vol2 (25 November)
    ‘As we look to a reintroduction of the tier system I asked people across the network to offer up their tips and biggest lessons from last time when it comes to good public sector communications.’
  • Amy Johnson: TikTok for charities (24 November)
    ‘A common misconception about TikTok is that it’s just full of teenagers dancing. While there’s certainly a popular – and now wealthy – hoard of young dancing influencers, that’s just one of the app’s many ‘sides’…’
  • Darren Caveney: They’re a celebrity – get me out of here! your favourite brushes with celebs… (23 November)
    ‘Most of us have an anecdote about a time we’ve worked with a celeb. They’re often quite an ‘experience’ Here’s a crowd-sourced fun blog post sharing the experiences of over 30 comms pros.’
  • Amanda Coleman: The brain drain (21 November)
    ‘When I heard the news about a potential freeze on public sector pay it made me think of only one thing – the loss of more talented communication professionals from key teams.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Stuart Thomson: Be ready for the radical: What the government relaunch really means (24 November)
    ‘If the Government is committed to a national [road] charging scheme then it will need to sell its benefits and be prepared for a long and hard political fight. If there is to be a fight then it has to know that [it] has friends who are prepared to stand up for it.’
  • Danny Rogers: The Portland Communications story shows that public affairs firms can’t afford more scandals (22 November)
    ‘Last week the Sunday Times broke a story that created concern, however. It alleged that the chairman of Portland Communications, one of the UK’s biggest public affairs firms, had secretly served as an adviser to a health minister for six months, before sending sensitive information on lockdown policy to paying clients.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

Brands, storytelling, and influence 

  • Belle Lawrence: Brand Personality Power [podcast] (no date)
    ‘Voice is essentially the way you describe the brand personality in adjective form – for example, it could be lively, professional, bold or factual. By setting these out, you’re describing the mission for what you want the brand to be seen as…. Now tone is a subset of your brand’s voice.’
  • Jen Derrick: How to stop writing in technical jargon (25 November)
    ‘Storytelling is at the heart of good communications and is what prompts customers to engage and take action. When we overuse jargon, we stop ourselves from being able to tell a story in a compelling way, as the complex terminology clouds all the good stuff. Jargon essentially makes it hard for your audience to grasp the essence of what you’re trying to say.’
  • Mary Keane-Dawson: Why Wickes launched the home improvement industry’s first campaign on TikTok (25 November)
    ‘The #MyWickesMyWay campaign involved seven content creators each producing a video on the social media platform.’

Measurement and evaluation

Internal communication

  • Advita Patel, Trudy Lewis and Jenni Field: The Importance of Understanding Business Acumen [podcast]
    ‘If you’re not measuring your outputs and outcomes effectively, I don’t know how you can demonstrate your value. Measurement is step one to understanding the business.’
  • Belinda Gannaway: Employee experience: why it matters now more than ever (24 November)
    ‘In our new book we take a look at 20-year-old empirical research that was among the first to make the link between employee attitudes and organizational performance.’
  • Alyson Davis: Internal Comms and the challenges of COVID-19 (24 November)
    ‘At the end of October my role as Internal Communications Manager at Boots UK was made redundant due to COVID-19. I’ve spoken to many IC practitioners over the last four weeks who are in the same position as me.’
  • Laura House: Leading through a screen (part two) (24 November)
    ‘As remote and hybrid-working becomes the norm, senior execs are increasingly forced towards digital channels to engage their workforce, or risk loss of focus and performance drift from their teams – and it’s our job to help them to do that.’
  • Martin Flegg: Wild West (22 November)
    ‘There are no clear universal benchmarks for what an internal communicator is, or does. No agreed levels of competence or typical tasks and responsibilities for junior, mid-senior, senior and director level roles. No clear guidance for job titles, meaning it’s difficult to judge where a job role sits on the seniority scale. No clear benchmarks for reward and recognition, or cross cutting standards for qualifications or accreditations.’
  • Lia Crooks: Black History Month: a comms and inclusion case study (22 November)
    ‘Black History Month (BHM) needs to feel meaningful and one of the biggest challenges at the outset was how to celebrate BHM remotely when most of us are suffering from the dreaded Zoom fatigue.’
  • Simon Monger: What baking cakes and IKEA tell us about change management (20 November)
    ‘And it’s not just cake mix and IKEA furniture. This applies to many aspects of daily life. Think about Build-A-Bear Workshop, cocktail masterclasses, cookery classes and so on. We place a much higher value on things in which we have invested time and effort.’

Technology, media and digital

Academic, education and training

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Megan Laura Harris (Liverpool John Moores): Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert – The Criticism and Support (26 November)
    ‘Even though there was criticism, I was really pleased to see all the support that the advert generated. Even companies such as Marks and Spencer reached out to show their support (shown below).’
  • Eloise Newman (Solent): Black Friday: A Chance to Find a Good Deal or An Opportunity to Tackle Sustainability Issues? (26 November)
    ‘Black Friday could be seen as an event which encourages a lot of panic-buying and impulse-buying due to large crowds and glaring, red reduced stickers. However, this blog aims to examine the ways in which Black Friday is perhaps being reclaimed by sustainable brands.’
  • Holly McAllister (Ulster): Brands Building a Sustainable Future (26 November)
    ‘As a society we need to make changes to how we purchase, what we purchase and where we purchase from. These decisions may not seem like they are making big changes now, however over time they will have drastic effects.’
  • Rachael Thompson (Sunderland): A conversation with… Ali King (25 November)
    ‘Being an introvert, I love working from home on my own all day, but there are times I miss the office gossip! Once the Covid situation has (hopefully) passed, I’m looking forward to trying out some coworking spaces so I can get the best of both worlds, or at least organising some coffee dates with friends, old colleagues and work contacts.’
  • Babett Kürschner (LCC/UAL): Technology Design: How to prevent biases from determining your business decisions (24 November)
    ‘Our brain stores acquired knowledge as mental shortcuts, so called “building blocks”. This enables us to make decisions relatively quickly instead of having to rely on our brain’s processing power to ponder on every single action too long. This can be useful in everyday situations, like shopping for groceries for example.’