This week in PR (28 June)

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.

Nice piece of social/street trolling by the @museumofbrands - round the corner from @taylorherringuk HQ @itsjamesherring
Nice piece of social/street trolling by the @museumofbrands - round the corner from @taylorherringuk HQ @itsjamesherring

In the news

  • Here’s the full list of CIPR Excellence award winners
  • The question about corporate sponsorship of the arts has been in the news. Here’s an article focusing on the Serpentine Gallery and how galleries are confronting ‘dirty money’.
  • The future of news? Some reporters are being offered cash bonuses for driving online traffic (The Guardian reports)
  • Norwich City: The departure of Joe Ferrari and other members of the Norwich City FC comms team is newsworthy for the Eastern Daily Press.
  • The Wimbledon Championship starts next week. The woman responsible for planning this major sporting event is Sally Bolton OBE. She is PR graduate from Leeds Beckett University and her job title is: Strategic Planning & Operations Director. Here’s her interview in The Independent.

Research and academic

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

Purpose and professionalism

  • Ella Minty: Should We Ditch “PR” or Should We “Clean House”? (26 June)
    ‘I have a friend and colleague who is adamant that “PR” is a very damaging term to and for what he does. He constantly argues that the corporate world understands and knows of “Comms”, not of “PR”.’
  • David Brain: Cannes: What I Learned About Purpose From Unilever And P&G (24 June)
    ‘My morning was a reminder that purpose done properly by big brands remains an enormous opportunity for the PR industry because, by definition, it obliges them to engage with society beyond the bought space and that is still where we play best.’
  • Brad Johnson: How can ‘Why?’ be your best friend in communications? (23 June)
    ‘‘Why?’ is a great question because it makes the person requesting the project think about its true purpose and what the real desired outcome is.’

Consulting, careers and skills

  • Ben Smith: Natasha Hill, managing director at Bottle, on the PRmoment podcast (26 June)
    ‘Coming from a non-PR background, Colin [Cather] and I can have a high level discussion with our clients about their business because we can see the whole landscape. But our roots have always been in PR and we feel passionate about earned media.’

Politics and public affairs

  • Tom Hashemi: New research: less than 4% of the UK public can name a think tank (25 June)
    ‘The same research revealed that just 60% of the public say they know what a think tank is, but cannot name one. The Adam Smith Institute (1.44%) is the only think tank that more than 1% of the population can name, followed by the Fabian Society (0.85%), and the Bow Group (0.50%).’
  • Mark Flanagan: This Is What It’s Like To Work In The Last Days Of Number Ten (24 July)
    ‘The layout of Number Ten itself fosters a bunker mentality. Beyond the state rooms, most people in Downing Street are working in cramped, overheated conditions, with shabby carpets and crap IT.’
  • Stuart Thomson: In defence of public affairs (25 June)
    ‘Opponents paint public affairs as a sort of political spin machine in which businesses, in particular, hide what they do badly and present a polished version of what they do well.’

Public and third sectors

  • Victoria Ford: Case study: Welsh Water, a hidden comms gem (25 June)
    ‘Welsh Water’s unique not for profit status has created a culture that brings colleagues together to create services that work and drives innovation.  The comms team is no exception and the ability to try new things and push boundaries is helping shape their communications and ways of working.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Sarah Roberts: Importance of inclusive communications (26 June)
    ‘Think about accessibility right at the moment you start developing your communications plan. The Government Digital Service has a set of posters about the dos and don’ts of designing for accessibility.’
  • Mark Perkins: Jaguar Land Rover addresses gender bias in engineering (16 June)
    ‘To mark International Women in Engineering Day, a new campaign from Jaguar Land Rover addresses the shortfall in female engineers and the the issue of gender bias.’
  • Suzanne Goldberg: Mental health: a personal note (24 June)
    ‘My depression doesn’t make me any less capable of doing my job, but it certainly makes me less happy. And as an employee engagement specialist I am well aware that an engaged employee is much more productive than on the one that isn’t – so I want to make sure when I fully go back to work I’m ready to do so.’=

Brands and influence

  • Chris Lee with Scott Guthrie: Influencer Marketing: Life after Instagram? [podcast] (no date)
    ‘When the media talks about influencer marketing it invariably talks about Instagram. Yet influence doesn’t start and finish with Instagram. Also, it has no SEO value.’
  • Rob Smith: Love Island contestants: faking it till they make it? (24 June)
    ‘It is what it is’ has become this year’s Love Island soundbite. But when it comes to the contestants’ social media following, perhaps all is not what it seems, according to new research.’

Internal communication

  • Stephen Jolly and Calvert Markham: Is culture change a busted flush? (27 June)
    ‘It is clear that traditional approaches to culture change need re-thinking. 81% of change and transformation programmes fail (Smith, 2002). In many organisations, change is seen as something that is done to people, rather than driven by people.’
  • Noel Armstrong: Why CIPR Inside are changing the conversation about Internal Comms (27 June)
    ‘Our conference is finally returning on 8 October 2019 and it promises to be one of the best in this year’s internal communication calendar. If you’re not sure whether it’s worth your time and money, keep reading.’
  • Dave Wraith: Lend me your ear: six ways to supercharge your listening (24 June)
    ‘Listening allows us to uncover the powerful stories in our organisations. Those great examples of customer service, living the values or collaborating across teams. Stories like these often lie undiscovered. But through listening we can tease them out and give them new life by bringing them to a wider audience.’
  • Mike Klein: Employees as Citizens – moving beyond a transactional approach to workplace relations (21 June)
    ‘The role of an employee within an organization bears much greater resemblance to citizenship than customership because it accounts for agency, commitment, connection and visibility.‘

Campaigns and creativity

  • Maja Pawinska Sims with Jenna Young: Jenna Young on Cannes and creativity [podcast] (25 June)
    ‘I think that PR is across a lot of categories; I think PR is winning Cannes. You need a PR practitioner at the table, you need PR thinking, and you need PR expertise. If you put PR at the end of the process, you’re less likely to be here.’
  • Claire Bridges: Japan, Hong Kong and Finland ace PR brief at Cannes (24 June)
    ‘Team Japan’s plan was to hack the most prestigious meal in the world, the annual Nobel Banquet, attended by Kings, Queens, politicians and scientists, and give guests a choice of a regular meat-laden meal (the unsustainable choice) or one made from insects (the sustainable choice).’

Measurement and evaluation

  • Stella Bayles: Which metric best prioritises your target media? (25 June)
    ‘If you have one site on your list that has high estimated traffic as well as a Domain Authority score 70+ then you may want to give them the exclusive or your best content because the coverage will perform better and deliver more than the lower sites.’=

Media and digital