This week in PR (29 November)

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.

Southbank at night @sparklypinchy
Southbank at night @sparklypinchy

News in brief

  • Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has published nine principles designed to safeguard the future of the web (Contract for the Web)
  • Ed Vaizey, the former UK government culture minister, has joined FTI Consulting as a senior advisor.’ (Holmes Report)
  • Bibi Hilton is stepping down as MD of Golin London to oversee the Unilever business across parent company Interpublic’ (PR Week)
  • Rachel Friend will succeed Jim Donaldson as the PRCA’s chairman for 2020-2022 (PRCA)
  • Twelve more have achieved Chartered Practitioner status. They are: Katy Busby, Jo Field, Adam Harwood, Keith Lewis, Neil McCarrick, Claire Melia-Tompkins, Jennifer Robson, John Rockley, Jill Spurr, Ben Supple, Jo Twiselton and Michelle Ulyatt
  • The PRCA and CIPR have responded individually to the latest proposals from The Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists (PRCA responseCIPR response)
  • The Guardian has published an obituary of Sunday Times journalist David May who went on to become the BBC’s head of strategic communication.
  • ‘How do you promote a party manifesto on social media’. (The Guardian)

Academic and education

  • Ana Adi with Liz Yeomans: Women in PR with Ana Adi #5 Liz Yeomans [podcast] (25 November)
    One of my reasons for looking at emotional labour was as a way of explaining why we now have this feminised profession. With feminised professions goes a whole host of associations: the driving down of salaries, the loss of status.’

Purpose and professionalism

The British Academy has published a Principles for Purposeful Business report: ‘A purposeful business will organise itself on all levels according to its purpose. We propose eight principles for business leaders and policymakers.’

Consulting and careers

  • Danielle Owen-Jones: How to stop agencies ghosting freelancers (26 November)
    ‘Ghosting is a constant talking point in the freelancer community. The concept might have originated in dating, but it has certainly crept into the world of work in recent years.’
  • John Harrington with Bibi Hilton, Emily Buckland, George Blizzard and Rich Leigh, The PR Show: Is flexible working a problem in PR? [podcast] (25 November)
    ‘We talk a lot about the F word back in the office. Flexible working encompasses any way of working that isn’t the classic, traditional 9-5 in an office at a desk.’
  • Caroline Addy: How our people-first culture led to the launch of Milk & Honey Australia (26 November)
    ‘I’ve never been one to shy away from hard work. I’ll try most things once and have achieved a lot I’m proud of in my 34 years. Yet the idea of being at the helm of such unchartered waters was enough to send shivers down my spine. That was until I joined Milk & Honey.’

Public and third sectors

  • Louisa Dean: Fail to plan, plan to fail – 7 steps to creating a good comms strategy (27 November)
    ‘The subject of communications strategies is never too far away from a conversation involving industry colleagues. Here’s a smart 7-step guide to creating one which could work for you.’
  • Darren Caveney: The #UnAwards19 – your guide to the big day (25 November)
    ‘Now in their sixth year, there has never been a more important role for the UnAwards in saluting, recognising and celebrating the work of communicators across our industry. Some of you are working under tough conditions. Some of you are adapting to smaller resources and increased demand. And others are just delivering damned fine work.’
  • Tess Tinker and James Staff: Defining what it means to be a leader in the GCS (22 November)
    ‘The GCS leadership model will help GCS recruitment and retention, improve how we work in government communications and set up our Profession for success in the next decade.’

Politics and public affairs

  • John Rowland: Even a Conservative majority might not make for an easy 2020 for Boris Johnson (28 November)
    ‘Even a majority does not make him immune to a difficult 2020: there are too many hard decisions that have been postponed until after the election for that. The idea that a Tory majority will magically solve Brexit and return the country to business as usual does not seem especially realistic.’
  • James Donald: Parties get creative as campaign continues (25 November)
    ‘There’s not long left until the election and it remains to be seen what the parties will do with the remaining time. With manifestos published they are likely to try and hammer home their key messages and headline policies, before a final push to get people to turn out on polling day.’
  • Simon Fitzpatrick: Polling averages don’t tell the whole story (22 November)
    ‘The final average in the Financial Times poll tracker in 2017 for instance placed the Conservatives on 44% and Labour on 36% – a margin of 8 points. The real result on the day was a Conservative victory of just 2 points. The trend line correctly told the story of a narrowing race, but the final figures still masked just how close the race had become.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Carrington Communications: CommsCon19: Taming the beast! How the Whitechapel fatberg became a global celebrity (28 November)
    ‘Going beyond the fatberg and back to the reason why this was all so important for Thames Water’s aims, Stuart explained that the key message here was that people needed to bin – not flush – non flushable items and products. The fatberg helped get people’s attention in a whole new way.’
  • Hey Reynolds: Do you get the comms butterflies of dread? (27 November)
    ‘You create something a little different that you think is pretty good – but you don’t know how it will be received by your audiences, & colleagues. It’s emotional. Nerve-wracking.’

Crisis and reputation

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Koray Camgoz: The truth about diversity in PR (and what we can do about it) (28 November)
    ‘Whether it’s blatant discrimination or unconscious bias, it’s clear our industry has a deep-seated cultural problem with diversity.’
  • Jude Tipper: IIt takes just 20 minutes to learn how to save a life (27 November)
    ‘I’ve recently become vice chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) health group. The group has a specific workstream on mental health and wellbeing and we asked the CIPR to add the zero suicide training to the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) database.’
  • Adam Driver: Recalibrate and go again (aka the life garden) (27 November)
    ‘New parents, both juggling back at work with their own stresses; multiple apps going off; sometimes working in the evening; making time for us as a couple; a (gorgeous) on-the-verge of teething baby; three days of iffy tummies (I’m being polite); dark mornings, dark evenings; lack of sunlight; less time (no motivation) to exercise; eating shite; almost turning 34 – can you hear the solo violin?!’
  • Andy Turner: Diversity is about more than gender or ethnicity (25 November)
    ‘PR is a creative occupation driven by ideas. Breakthrough ideas arise from diversity of thought, experience and perspective. But fresh ideas only take us so far. Our most effective campaigns stem from deep knowledge of those we wish to engage and influence.’

Measurement and evaluation

  • Maya Koleva: 3 takeaways from PR Week’s Measurement Conference 2019 (no date)
    ‘Communication professionals are growing more confident in measuring – and demonstrating – the impact of communications.’
  • Andy West: Putting Planning at the Heart of Measurement (no date)
    ‘In Hotwire, planning is very much a process that embraces measurement, evaluation and insight. All of which must be conducted systematically to offer genuine focus, purpose and power. Taking such a stance is the only way to transform PR from the poor relation of marketing (and business more widely) into a strategic driver for the organisation.’
  • Stella Bayles with Steph Bridgeman and Maya Koleva: PR measurement: Sentiment explained [podcast] (27 November)
    ‘The most important area in PR is how the brand is talked about: sentiment. With machine learning it is becoming more and more trusted.’

Brands, storytelling and influence

  • Laura Cavanagh: Why PR is becoming the most prominent strategic pillar in the marketing mix (25 November)
    ‘It used to be advertising that built trust in a brand, but now I would say it’s much more likely to come from an authentic story, which can be told in a number of different ways, from stakeholder engagement to social media. It actually tends to be a mixture of tactics that builds trust, but PR is becoming the prominent driving force, rather than advertising.’

Internal communication

Register for a free webinar on Monday 2 December to hear about the latest research into employee voice. The full “Who’s Listening?” report will be available as a free download from the PR Academy website after the webinar.

  • Suzie Robinson: smilelondon talks about remote workers (27 November)
    ‘Something that stood out to me at smilelondon on 18th November was how many of the case studies were centred around remote or deskless workers… ‘Deskless employees’ has been an area to challenge internal communicators and intranet managers for a long time.’
  • Rachel Miller: Introducing the All Things IC Hub (25 November)
    ‘I am now just weeks away from opening the All Things IC Hub. This is a dedicated and confidential space and I can’t wait to share it with you.’
  • Emma Bridger: How a simple equation can help you build trust (22 November)
    ‘Trust is vital for employee engagement, but it’s difficult to know where to start if you have an issue within your organisation. If this challenge feels familiar it’s well worth checking out the “Trust Equation” (Maister, Green and Galford, The Trusted Advisor, 2000). The Trust Equation is a really useful tool understand trust and how to build it.’

Media and digital

  • Matt Churchill: Whatever Happened to my Blog and Roll (27 November)
    ‘I was a little bit embarrassed with myself that the last serious blog post I’d written was three years ago. For someone who is supposed to position themselves as a “writer” first, it is more than a little pathetic.’
  • Sarah Evans: 6 reasons why you should put your website at the centre of your PR campaigns (28 November)
    ‘Having your website as the anchor of this activity can help provide a huge piece of the puzzle as to whether your PR campaigns and activity are driving meaningful action…’
  • Paul Sutton with Andrew Grill: Preparing for digital technology in 2020 [podcast] (27 November)
    ‘Your value to an organisation is not what you know, it’s what you share. But the sharing part is very hard to do because culturally we’re programmed not to share, but to keep everything to ourselves.’ 
  • Drew Benvie: Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches plan to save the internet (25 November)
    ‘Berners-Lee describes the Contract as “a global plan of action”, which has been “created over the past year by activists, academics, companies, governments to make sure our online world is safe and genuinely for everyone”.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Emma Street (Lincoln): The Ethical Code of Working With Each Other (27 November)
    ‘This week at University we began our plans for our group work, and interestingly our tutor set us the task of compiling a list of 10 rules that we should follow during that time. While creating the list I realised that they were pretty much the standard rules, sometimes unspoken ones, of how we should be communicating with each other in the workplace.’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): A Tinderella story: a new norm of online dating (27 November)
    ‘We judge people off wee trivial things like their hairstyle (even though they might only have worn it like that once), their shoes (they might’ve since binned that pair) and their names (don’t even pretend you don’t do that too). But maybe we’d overlook that if we had met them in person and realised that they’re actually really nice or funny.’
  • Benita Brown (Ulster): Kevin puts on a Christmas Cracker (27 September)
    ‘Christmas campaigns are also starting earlier each year and it’s getting hard to turn on the TV without being bombarded with adverts telling you how little time you have to buy presents for your loved ones and why you should buy from their store. Amidst the madness one advert in particular stood out to me, Aldi’s advert featuring Kevin the carrot.’

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