This week in PR (3 May)

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.


Thought leadership


Business and finance

  • Simon Evans: IPO comms in focus: media (29 April)
    The media can drive momentum during a listing, they can directly affect the price range, or they can kill processes dead in their tracks.’

Purpose, climate and ESG


  • Tim Le Couilliard: Purpose on Payday (26 April)
    Energy companies face particular scrutiny when it comes to ESG commitments at AGMs. Just this week, we have seen the BP and Drax shareholder meetings in London targeted by activists, unhappy with the progress the energy majors are making on their net zero commitments.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Mary Whitehouse: Freelancing: what to do when it all goes quiet (2 May)
    ‘Whether it’s informal WhatsApp or Slack groups, organised networks like the Female Copywriters’ Alliance or virtual coworking from ProCopywriters or Freelancer Magazine, making that connection can help you feel less alone.’
  • Siobhan Holt with John Harrington, Evie Barrett and Elizabeth Wiredu: Who made the UK Top 15 Consultancies list? [podcast] (2 May)
    ‘Analysis of the 2023 calendar year brings home how tough that year was for agencies. Growth was flat when adjusted for inflation; margins were squeezed more than ever.’
  • Emma Drake: Confronting Imposter Syndrome: My Reflections on Growth in Podcasting and Coaching [podcast] (2 May)
    ‘Imposter syndrome has been a reoccurring obstacle throughout my career. This became very evident when I came to start my podcast. But embracing discomfort is essential for growth.’
  • Neville Hobson: How AI is Changing the Consulting Game (1 May)
    As artificial intelligence transforms the consulting industry, the traditional pricing model based on billable hours is quickly becoming obsolete. With AI cutting the time needed for many consulting tasks, clients are demanding a shift to value-based pricing.’
  • Sarah Browning: What to include in a communications toolkit (30 April)
    Evaluation of communications seems daunting enough to those of us who do it regularly. Sharing your framework is a great way to help others who have less experience. It will also boost the quality of data and feedback that you have access to.’

Gender, diversity, health and wellbeing

Public and third sectors

  • Dan Slee: TIKSTOP?: No, the UK public sector won’t be that affected by the proposed TikTok sale (27 April)
    If TikTok gets banned in the US it gets banned in the US. It won’t be banned in the UK. This will hit UK companies who are using the platform to sell to the States. But for the public sector who want to talk to residents to tell them about places to go, recycling messages and pothole news this really doesn’t matter a hill of beans.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere


  • Robyn Evans: Prime Minister’s fate rests on ‘Brand Andy’ (1 May)
    In his campaign, Street has distanced himself from his party, promoting what he calls “Brand Andy, the individual” and urging voters to focus on him and his record, not the performance of the Conservative Party nationally.’
  • Karl Pike: After struggling with its past, is the Labour party looking to the future? (1 May)
    New Labour factionalism has lessened over the past few years. New generations of Labour politicians and activists are beginning to treat the New Labour project like any other part of the party’s past.’
  • Gill Morris: Taking Back Control? (1 May)
    ‘We are now seeing our Metro Mayors doing things differently and blazing a trail. It feels like they have come of age. Those voting for the third time for a Metro Mayor on May 2nd will feel more engaged and will be able to point to real change.’
  • Jack Spriggs: The Dawn of the TikTokracy (no date)
    TikTok’s growing popularity has not gone unnoticed by politicians and mainstream media outlets, who are now increasingly taking to the platform to engage new audiences.’
  • Chris White and Jonathan Winston: Is this a 2019 Labour moment for the SNP? (30 April)
    Once again, the SNP finds itself searching for a new leader, one who can help bind together the disparate nature of their political party.’
  • Ben Smith: Iain Anderson on a potential incoming Labour government’s approach to business [podcast] (29 April)
    ‘It’s all got a bit mashed up lately, let’s be honest. What does the UK stand for? What’s its approach towards business? Does it like business? Is it interested in long-term investment and where it comes from?’
  • Stuart Thomson: Labour’s Plan For Rail: The First Of The Big Ideas? (29 April)
    At the heart of the plans is to ensure public ownership and control of passenger franchises. Some have interpreted this as being nationalisation but that is not the case. Both the freight system and rolling stock will remain in the private sector.’

Research, data, measurement and evaluation


Behaviour and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: Gen Z’s dwindling desire for authenticity (29 April)
    ‘Influencers appear trustworthy in comparison to traditional celebrities by creating a sense of intimacy with the audience. In turn, authenticity is an important sub-element of trustworthiness.’

Brands, content and creativity

  • Annie Hilditch: The Tortured Poets Department: A masterclass in PR (1 May)
    Sure, Taylor Swift’s music isn’t for everyone but no matter how much you may dislike her music, you can’t deny that she’s a PR powerhouse, and that’s in no small part down to her publicist, Tree Paine.’
  • Ben Brigham: The power of storytelling: How Wrexham AFC rose from the ashes (30 April)
    This emotional connection can be the difference between making it or not, particularly when times are tough. Wrexham, through their powerful storytelling has exponentially grown their fan base – even to the point where fans are now travelling thousands of miles to watch a game and if lucky, meet some of the players.’
  • Debby Penton: Is playing it safe in PR actually the riskiest move? (no date)
    Worryingly, creativity has become synonymous with risk. And no one wants to do anything too risky in the current climate. There’s a feeling that it’s simply not the best time to put your neck on the line.’

Crisis, risk and reputation


  • Andy Barr: Tips from an old corporate PR man on handling a Trade Union media storm (30 April)
    ‘There is no point in trying to battle with the emotional narrative deployed by a trade union, not least because on many occasions that emotion is warranted and valid. Keep your replies short and factual. Don’t get into the detail and address individual or personal issues.’
  • Holly Abbott: Media engagement during a cyber crisis (29 April)
    Trade and national journalists are tremendously influential, so it’s crucial that cyber attacks are clearly communicated to them. If, when and how the media reports on a cyber event greatly influence public, partner and customer perceptions. Managing the media during such an event requires skilled spokespeople, consistent and clear messaging and, ideally, existing relationships with journalists.’

Internal communication 


  • Mike Pounsford: Listen up to lead digital transformation (1 May)
    Artificial intelligence and new working models involve the need to lead change, innovate, build resilience, and create positive employee experiences.  This requires leaders skilled at managing human processes that engage and motivate people.’
  • Redefining Comms: “Leadership is a contact sport”, so should we all be back in the office? (30 April)
    As the world returns to a more normal rhythm, the debate around how often workers should be in the office is taking place in boardrooms up and down the country – and it’s never without controversy.’
  • Rachel Miller: Who can be an internal communicator? (26 April)
    ‘As a professional communicator you need to develop your career courageously. Yours is the voice that says ‘why’ and holds leaders to account.’
  • Jordan Greenwood-Hatton: The RSPCA rebrand from an internal comms perspective (26 April)
    For my internal comms friends out there who may be about to embark on a rebrand journey, here are some of my rumblings, lessons learnt, and reminders that may help you on your way.’

Media, digital and technology


  • Alistair Kellie: Is ‘fake news’ a case of disinformation, mis-information or is it something else? (30 April)
    The reputational risk from disinformation is significant.  Customers can lose faith in a product or a business as a whole and investors might take flight driving abnormal trading activity and increased volatility, along with the brand damage caused by incorrect media and social media content.  As we know, it takes years to build a well trusted brand, and this work (and value) can be destroyed in minutes.’
  • David Olajide: The Rise of Podcasts (no date)
    The unique characteristics of podcasts make them a valuable asset in a PR professional’s toolkit. Here are a few ways PR specialists can leverage this growing medium.’