This week in PR (29 January)

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.

Making time to get outside and get moving. Very cold but a beautiful 50 minutes round the ‘little pond’. @jennifield on Insagram
Making time to get outside and get moving. Very cold but a beautiful 50 minutes round the ‘little pond’. @jennifield on Insagram

News in brief

  • Women in PR has named Anna Geffert as its president, replacing Bibi Hilton, who is stepping down after three years of leading the organisation. New committee members have also been announced.


  • Please check our PR Calendar and send us links to your events.

Covid-19 and comms

Academic and education

Corporate and financial

  • Bob Huxford: The outlook for the UK IPO market in 2021 (28 January)
    ‘UK tech-enabled businesses looking to join the London market in 2021 include online delivery service Deliveroo, expected to float for over £5 billion, AI Cyber-Security business Darktrace for £3.8 billion and fin-tech pension consolidator Pensionbee at £300 million.’

Consulting, teams and careers

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Christine Quigley: Necessary journeys? (28 January)
    ‘Johnson is well aware that heading off independence is a long-term game, but the first skirmish is likely to be the Holyrood elections. His visit today is intended to galvanise the Scottish Conservative base and maintain the gains made in the last Holyrood election under popular then-Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.’
  • Stuart Thomson: The Singapore Choices: Why Political Engagement is Critical (26 January)
    ‘This, for the first time, starts to show what Johnson’s idea of Global Britain really means. But the approach is not without challenges for Government. As with other recent Government announcements, the vision is grand but the details are so far lacking.’
  • Graham Fitzgerald: Coffey turns off Piers: How not to conduct a media interview (26 January)
    ‘It was hard to feel sorry for Coffey. Britain has the highest death rate in Europe, and it was obvious she was going to be questioned about that.’
  • Phil Briscoe: Polls open in 100 days – or will they? (26 January)
    ‘Postponing elections is never done lightly and pre-COVID, it had only happened once since the Second World War – in 2001, when travel restrictions prompted by the foot and mouth disease saw the elections postponed by just one month.’
  • Louise Winmill: Alastair Campbell and Jon Sopel on the future of US democracy [podcast] (25 January)
    On the day of the storming of Congress there was just cult-like devotion. The only truth was Trump truth. This is a perilous time for American democracy and I never thought I’d say those words.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies: National Storytelling Week – social media for business challenge (27 January)
    ‘Over on my Instagram I’m running a Social Media for Business Storytelling Challenge throughout the week to help businesses find their feet and build their confidence telling stories.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: Are Influencers Worth The Risk? (27 January)
    ‘People of the internet are very quick to judge. As soon as a thought appears in someone’s mind, it very often appears on Twitter two seconds later. As well as being very quick to judge, people of the world are now very quick to cancel the careers of celebrities and influencers.’

Planning, measurement and evaluation

  • Stephen Waddington: How To Measure PR: The Definitive Guide (22 January)
    ‘The closer that you can tie the value you deliver to the objectives of the organisation the more you’ll be valued.’

Internal communication

  • Chloe Michel: Trust and narrowing the say-do gap (26 January)
    ‘The word deadline has dark origins. The first use was in the early 1860s to describe “a line drawn within or around a prison that a prisoner passes at the risk of being shot.” Although most of us aren’t in a daily life and death situation, if we fail to follow through on our words, there are still implications.’
  • Katie Macaulay: In a world of mistrust, employer media is most believed (22 January)
    ‘In a world where so many news sources are disbelieved, ‘employer media’ has become the most trusted source of information.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Chris Norton: PR bashing: the “hope you’re well” debate. (26 January)
    ‘PR bashing is a trend (not really a new one) where journalists take to Twitter to share emails or other forms of communication, they have received from PRs to call out behaviour they do not believe is right or acceptable.’
  • Emma Hurley: Welcome to the Clubhouse (26 January)
    ‘It’s the new and exclusive, invite-only social media app that’s set to hit a million users in the next couple of weeks – and just this week got a $1bn valuation courtesy of a new series funding round. But what exactly is Clubhouse?’
  • Carrie Rose: What is digital PR? The definition… (24 January)
    ‘Digital PR isn’t a part of SEO. It is a part of marketing. Content marketers use digital PR to get their content seen by millions, marketers use digital PR to get their products in front of a direct audience, founders use digital PR to create hype around their launch and be positioned as an expert, video creators use digital PR to drive views and build authority.’
  • Jessica Pardoe: What’s The Problem With PR Bashing? (20 January)
    ‘PR bashing does remain to be a very prevalent problem within this industry, especially in digital PR, and I think we an all take steps to do a little better.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Katie Hull (Sundlerland): The Good and Bad Side of Influencers (29 January)
    ‘Many influencers enjoying “an essential work trip’ in the middle of a nationwide lockdown were previously paid to promotethe NHS Test and Trace System.’
  • Megan Laura Harris (Liverpool John Moores): New Government COVID-19 Campaign – Is it effective? (28 January)
    ‘Responses to the advert on social media ranged from comments such as they were ‘traumatising children’ and ‘frightening people into submission’.’
  • Kayleigh Tinney (Ulster): Reactive Marketing Genius (28 January)
    ‘When I come across reactive marketing posts or campaigns on social media that make me literally laugh out loud I am reminded of why I love what I do.’
  • Grace Blaney (Ulster): So, you think you know what PR is? (28 January)
    ‘I remember working in a supermarket and an older customer asked me what I do in Uni, when I told him I was studying PR, his whole demeanour shifted. He would joke that you could never trust someone in PR and that they will always try to twist your words.’
  • Charlotte Cockroft (Ulster): Political Pensioners, Power and Social Media (27 January)
    ‘The minimum age to take on the role of President of the United States is 35. This begs the question, should there be a maximum age?’
  • Ciara Hughes (Ulster): The Sephora Company Culture (26 January)
    ‘Sephora have built a global beauty empire and have stores all across the world. They generate billions in revenue each year and have spent the last 50 years creating and cultivating a strong community of customers both online and offline.’
  • Shauna McKillop (Ulster): Is it time to bin the NI transfer test? (25 January)‘I wish I could tell every Primary 7 student that this ‘test’ does not define their future, nor does the school they attend, and it most certainly does not ‘limit opportunities’.
  • Sierra Malone (Leeds Beckett): Moving Overseas During a Global Pandemic (24 January)
    ‘Moving is messy. Getting used to a brand new place leads you out of your comfort zone and into a mental and social place that is awkward and sometimes completely out of your control.’
  • Sophie Smith (Newcastle): How to Stay Motivated During Lockdown 3.0 (23 January)
    ‘You can’t control everything that the future holds, so try living in the moment and doing what you can for the life you want to live.’