This week in PR (3 August)

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.

Big summer sky (Tom Watson @watson950)
Big summer sky (Tom Watson @watson950)

Behind the headlines


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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


  • Laura Sutherland: Why I try to help the PR and communication industry (1 August)
    ‘I’ve been head-hunted twice, made redundant once, started two businesses (the other was Dynamic Young Women, a networking group for future female leaders) and wouldn’t change what I do. I’m carving out my own path.’
  • Dan Gerrella: Six reasons why I’ve renewed my CIPR membership (1 August)
    ‘Being a member of the CIPR shows that you work to a set of professional standards including a Code of Conduct. Employers view this positively and it helps when interacting with senior leadership.’
  • Lionel Zetter: APPC and PRCA – to merge or not to merge? (31 July)
    ‘A merger between the APPC and the PRCA would reinforce the already substantial commitment of both organisations to ethical standards, and would also bring considerable commercial benefits to both sets of members.’
  • Andy Sawford: APPC and PRCA merger (30 July)
    ‘Today, few agencies or practitioners would describe themselves as being ‘political consultants’, instead we identify as communications consultants with expertise in particular audiences and channels, including political and governmental decision makers and influencers. In the context of the debate about the APPCs future, I believe it is time for self regulation and industry representation to be integrated too.’
  • Ella Minty: Think about the contribution you can make to Public Relations (28 July)
    ‘It’s not your age, ethnicity, gender or accent that will get you elected; what will get you elected is your ability to prove to your CIPR peers (and voting members) that you’ve got what it takes to be a member of the CIPR Council or its 2020 President and, I have no doubt, you’ll get our votes!’

Business / profession

  • Robert Gage: Putting the Public Back Into Public Relations (31 July)
    ‘For educating and informing, dialogue beats press releases, social media discussions, or producing ‘stimulating’ written content. It is enriching for the PR practitioner because it is multi-faceted, honest feedback.’
  • Alan VanderMolen: Marketing Services Genius in China? 3 Questions to Ponder (31 July)
    ‘WPP is in “early stage” discussions to sell 20 percent of its Chinese business to a group of Chinese technology and media giants. WPP’s China operations are valued at roughly US$2.5 billion.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Video: CIPR founder Tim Travers-Healy on what is public relations? (31 July)
    ‘Tim Travers-Healy is a founder of the IPR, and former President. He was one of the first people to set out a vision for a PR profession in the UK following World War II.’
  • Sarah Stimson: Leaving the Taylor Bennett Foundation (30 July)
    After over a decade it was a terribly hard and emotionally challenging decision to leave, but it is the right time to explore some new opportunities and I have a number of exciting projects to announce later this year.’
  • Kirsty Leighton: Reach for the sky! New consultancy of the year (27 July)
    ‘What started as a one-woman band at my kitchen table in January 2017 has now grown to be an energetic, ambitious agency of ten equally ambitious professionals.’
  • Mark Borkowski: Please can we stop making sense? (27 July)
    ‘I am rather tired of explaining what PR is and the value it has. I am jaded by treading in the footsteps of advertising… Advertising sells. PR creates a desire to be bought. Only one of these things holds real power…’

Public and third sectors

Careers and skills

  • Marcel Klebba: The #PowerAndInfluence chat: What I [have] learnt, so far, about public relations (1 August)
    ‘Learning is key to being a good PR practitioner. Learn from different sources and stay curious.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: Passing the baton to the next PR intern (30 July)
    ‘When I first started thinking about future careers, my first choice was to get into magazine journalism. But then I watched two of my favourite magazines fold and I knew that it wasn’t a stable industry to work in. So I chose PR instead and I still get to work with magazines without the uncertainty that I may be out of a job.’
  • John Brown: Four things that scare me about running my own business [vlog] (31 July)
    ‘The right clients to me are the ones that work on a partnership basis rather than a service agreement. They’re the ones that can see a long term future ahead and they’re ones – to be honest with you – I enjoy working with.’
  • Alex Myers: Nine things I’ve learned in nine years of Manifest (no date)
    ‘Those early hires – many of whom still work here now – set a precedent for us. As we quickly gained a reputation for creativity and throwing the rule book out the window, it was obvious that it was because we had a team of misfits for whom the concept of ‘normal’ was completely alien.’
  • Margaret Webster: How to proofread your own writing (30 July)
    ‘In order to proofread your own writing properly, we need to see what’s really on the page – not what we think is there.’

Crisis and reputation

  • Sheena Thomson: When closure can’t be communicated (31 July)
    ‘There is no text book approach to crisis communications as every crisis is different with its own set of challenges.  However, the case of MH370 is unique.’
  • Julie Odams: Too aloof to be challenged? (28 July)
    ‘To date [the University of Reading] tweet has had over 75k likes and over 25k retweets along with large numbers of comments. That’s the kind of engagement Communications Teams dream of.’
  • Emma McCallum: The vital role of PR as brand loyalty plummets (30 July)
    ‘PR plays a core role in brand management and reputation and, at a time when brand loyalty and trust is falling, its value is magnified.’
  • Paul Blanchard: Silence is golden – someone should tell Thomas Markle (30 July)
    ‘It seems obvious to say that a discreet silence would have been in order; one of the things I always try and tell my clients is that they don’t have to say anything, and sometimes silence really is the best way to handle things.’
  • Christopher Zahn: The Economics of Reputation (30 July)
    ‘Ultimately, the link between corporate reputation and financial performance may be aerial but far from tenuous. The requirement is clear: reputation is important enough to put in the hands of experts.’

Internal communication

  • Advita Patel: Keep on learning (1 August)
    ‘As CIPR #SummerOfCPD kicks off today (1 August) I thought it would be apt to give a quick overview on how the Diploma went and if it was worth it the effort.’
  • Ellie Buckingham: Diary of a freelancer – six months in… (28 July)
    ‘Six months on, it’s probably more accurate to call myself a contractor… albeit with a sprinkle of freelancing on the side!’
  • Jenni Kampf: Names not numbers (28 July)
    ‘If we speak about ‘resource’, we’re not speaking about people. ‘Resource’ is an imprecise and impersonal term that seems to boil the individual down to their monetary value to the organisation.’
  • Helen Deverell: Bringing diversity of thought to IC (27 July)
    ‘Understanding how our leaders think, work and communicate, puts us in a much stronger position to act as a trusted adviser.’

Media and digital

  • Paul Sutton: My Biggest Mistake in a Decade of Blogging (1 August)
    ‘I write for people not for search engines. I write what I feel passionate about at the time, not about keywords. But there is one thing I got wrong from day one and that, even as I write this, I’m still getting wrong. I have never focused on building my email subscription list. Never.’
  • Scott Guthrie: Influencer fraud could be criminal offence (31 July)
    ‘It wasn’t until January this year that fake social media followers really hit mainstream media attention.’
  • Arianne Williams: The biggest news sites across the globe (31 July)
    ‘ comes out on top as the most popular in the UK. But, interestingly, is the most popular news site in the world, coming in the number one spot in nine countries.’
  • Laura Crimmons: The content marketing sweet spot and how to find it (31 July)
    ‘I see journalists as our ‘middle audience’ because we need to make sure we engage them in order to reach our end audience – customers/prospective customers, so we need to know what they’re interested in/writing about too.’