This week in PR (29 March)

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.

I'm easy like Sunday morning.... @_gossipgirlpr on Instagram
I'm easy like Sunday morning.... @_gossipgirlpr on Instagram

News in brief

  • Take your pick of developing crises: a presidential sex crisis in the US, the Australian ball tampering scandal (‘it’s not cricket’), and the question of anti-semitism in the Labour Party. For a second week, Facebook has its own section below.
  • The CIPR has released its State of the Profession 2018 report.
  • The BBC has appointed a commissioning editor for podcasts.


Our calendar of events now appears on a separate page

Thought leaders: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week (focused on the UK, but with a global outlook). Recommendations are welcome to or @pr_place

Cambridge Analytica and Facebook

  • Lee Edwards: Cambridge Analytica: a symptom of a deeper malaise in the persuasion industry (no date)
    ‘Arguably, the origins of the current scandal lie not in lax oversight by Facebook, or in the amorality of Cambridge Analytica and its clients, but in the histories of promotional industries that have normalized the idea of manipulation in their professional practice, while marginalising ethics and the public interest.’
  • Andrew Grill: When an apology isn’t an apology – when it’s from Facebook (26 March)
    ‘The irony can be found that Facebook (the world’s largest social network), chose traditional media – newspapers to publish their “apology”.’
  • Paul Sutton: How to lock down your Facebook data (26 March)
    ‘Given that the vast majority of us aren’t worried enough about our personal Facebook data to want to quit the network, what can we do to minimise the risk?’
  • Neville Hobson: What next for Facebook? (25 March)
    ‘I joined Facebook in April 2007. Unlike many friends and acquaintances whose opinions I value, I have no plans to shut down my account and leave.’
  • Max Tatton-Brown: B2B can worry less about its Cambridge Analytica moment (no date)
    ‘B2B Tech really means B2B innovation. It means what’s next. It means the new way of doing things and a potential source of advantage over the competition.’
  • Margaret Heffernan and Robert Phillips: Message to Zuck and friends (no date)
    The question of who is collecting and harvesting our data – and who stands to profit? – has been troubling us for some time, even before Alexander Nix and his worrying, if colourful, claims.’

Business / profession

Careers and skills

Crisis and reputation

Internal communication 

  • Matthew Batten: How to prepare for GDPR (27 March)
    What do all successful campaigns need? One memorable and clear call to action.’
  • Sue Palfrey: Internal Comms – How it Aligns with Employee Engagement [podcast] (26 March)
    ‘[The National Trust] is in reality a very complex, matrixed organisation with up to 12,000 staff in the summer season plus an army of 65,000 volunteers.’
  • Jenni Kampf: The power of ‘thanks’ (24 March)
    ‘A ‘thank you’ in person, from a member of the senior team, engages our people in a different way to an annual awards ceremony.’

Media and digital

  • Arianne Williams: What you need to know about social media algorithms (26 March)
    ‘LinkedIn’s algorithm is perhaps one of the most simple to understand. Simply put, there is a four-step process when you share content on your news feed.’
  • Stuart Bruce: Who owns social media? (26 March)
    It’s the same with social media. The clue’s in the name. To be social you really need to do it yourself. You don’t usually get a mate or work colleague to be friendly on your behalf.’ 

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

Here are two useful resource for PR students:

And here’s our pick of the best posts by those studying public relations and/or aspiring to work in PR.

  • Katya Hamilton-Smith (LCC/UAL): My first week at the PHA Group (28 March)
    ‘Keep a log of everything you do. This might sound a little over-the-top but I always write down everything that I do in my internship. This way, I have a log of everything that I have learnt, everything that I have done and when I undoubtedly forget, I can refer back to it in future.’
  • Matthew Johnston (Ulster): Employee Engagement – Needless or Necessary? (28 March)
    ‘One organisation for me that stands out in employee engagement is Richard Branson and Virgin Media.’
  • Nicole Service (Ulster): Being Cool to be Cruel: Exploring makeup for those that love animals (28 March)
    ‘For a lot of brands, it seems to be that you have to do the research yourself to find out information about their animal testing policy.’
  • Lauren Hill (Ulster): A message for final year students (27 March)
    ‘Coping with final year studies as well as sleeping, retaining a social life and sanity and managing a part time job is without a doubt stressful.’
  • Jessica Pardoe (Liverpool John Moores): Let’s Talk about Film PR (27 March)
    One of my biggest assignments this semester is based around film promotion and PR and it’s actually been remarkably interesting.’
  • Una McHugh (Ulster): Missguided: Stretching the Media’s Beauty Standards (27 March)
    A well known fashion website using images of a model with her stretch marks still intact!  How astounding! Groundbreaking! Simply MINDBOGGLING!!’
  • Roisin Watters (Ulster): A Bloody Easy Donation (26 March)
    ‘Because it was so easy I felt guilty that I hadn’t gotten round to donating before and we learned that, amazingly, just 1 donation can help up to 3 patients.’
  • Chloe Campbell (Ulster): Look What ‘PR’ Makes Taylor Do – she’s not ‘really’ dead… (26 March)
    ‘Taylor repeats in her new album “my Reputation’s never been worse so…” but let’s not forget she “never goes out of style” and she’s not wrong.’