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.

Sally Moore (@sally.bellwood): 'This is a smug photo of my morning run. Until I ran back to the wrong hotel... looking forward to #accountex today. Super proud to be there with the #sageuk team.'
Sally Moore (@sally.bellwood): 'This is a smug photo of my morning run. Until I ran back to the wrong hotel... looking forward to #accountex today. Super proud to be there with the #sageuk team.'

In the news

  • Nicola Green is to receive a SABRE award for individual achievement (Holmes Report). Telefonica’s director of corporate affairs is a Leeds Metropolitan (now Leeds Beckett) PR graduate.
  • Following last week’s PR Week agency rankings, Holmes Report suggests 5% growth in the sector globally.
  • In a vindication of its policy of making content freely available while asking for voluntary contributions from readers, The Guardian is back in profit after decades of losses. Is this a possible future funding model for the BBC?
  • We’re acutely aware of present and potential reputation issues. Some organisations are having to address the potential for reputation damage in their past. The University of Cambridge has been in the news this week for opening an investigation into its historic links to the slave trade.


  • Michaela O’Brien is now Head of Westminster School of Media and Communication at University of Westminster as well as course leader of the MA in Media, Campaigning and Social Change.

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 [email protected] or @pr_place

Purpose and professionalism

Consulting, careers and skills

  • Chris Measures: 6 areas every PR brief should cover (2 May)
    ‘While I’ve detailed six things that I believe that PR briefs should contain, I’m sure this isn’t exhaustive. Do chip in on the comments section with your suggestions – and marketers share your thoughts on what infuriates you about agencies during the pitch process too.’
  • Ben Smith: James Hickman, director Hatch Communications, on the PRmoment podcast (2 May)
    ‘Anyone outside the capital probably has to work a bit smarter. We have smaller budgets and have to work a lot harder at relationships. We start small with a lot of our clients, and grow from there.’
  • Lucy Hayball: #Startingout: Career profile with Liam Bettinson (30 April)
    ‘In an industry with the word ‘public’ in it, there’s inevitably a lot of contact with people of all ages and backgrounds – something which people need to adapt to upon leaving university. After all, most of us go to school and then onto university with people that have the same interests as us or are at least the same age.’
  • Victoria Tomlinson: The nightmare of becoming a PR client (29 April)
    ‘What I think I minded most about all this PR, was that everyone was keen as mustard to invoice us but there was no attempt at being interested in our business or the conference.  No-one sent us a good luck note on the morning, thanked us for our business, helped tweet about the conference during the day or rang us after to ask, how did it go?’
  • Stella Bayles: From Being Told He Was “Too Gay to Pitch” to Leading an Award Winning PR Agency: Steve Strickland’s Story [podcast] (26 April)
    ‘We needed to stop having meetings about diversity and just start doing stuff. We wanted to get out there and talk about fairness, youth culture, and everything we believed in. We knew we wanted to try a new model where we are entirely transparent with all our billings.’
  • Ailene Barr: In-house to agency: one bee’s journey (no date)
    ‘Never one to take the traditional route, I recently changed jobs in the opposite direction to most PRs I know. Here’s what I’ve learned so far from moving to a small PR agency after five years in house.’

Politics and public affairs

  • Stuart Thomson: Political Decisions for CEOs (30 April)
    ‘Some of the trickiest decisions that CEOs face revolve around politics and political engagement.  This is especially the case because of the impact on reputation this can have. But what are some of the main decisions that they face and how should they consider them?’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

Brands and influence

  • Stephen Davies: How YouTubers Shook Up The World With Chris Stokel-Walker [podcast] (no date)
    ‘YouTube is this massive industry (1.9 billion people every month watch YouTube). About three years ago I decided it was time someone looked at this in depth. The book has about 100 interviews with people in the YouTube space.’
  • Orlagh ShanksHow Instagram Hiding Likes May Affect Influencer Marketers (1 May)
    ‘Does the number of likes alone measure the success of a campaign? What about views, comments and clicks? Views/reach isn’t made public and neither are the number of clicks through to a link. If these can be invisible and still be measured, why too can’t the number of likes?’
  • Scott Guthrie: UK influencer marketing watchdog seeks to clarify position (30 April)
    ‘There is a common misunderstanding that there are new influencer marketing laws in place in the UK. There are not. There are, however, new guidelines describing how to abide by those laws.’

Trust, crisis and reputation

  • Quentin Langley: Boeing’s a la carte safety options (28 April)
    ‘A separate report in the Journal tells of how investigators have now received information from several whistle-blowers at Boeing. It is not yet clear what these whistle-blowers are saying about blame, but things are beginning to look very bad indeed for one of the most storied names in aviation.’

Internal communication

  • Simon Wright: Volume 18 of the Journal of Internal Communication is out now! (1 May)
    ‘In this issue we are shining a light on the key findings from our latest State of the Sector report.’
  • Kevin Ruck: The change communication challenge (1 May)
    ‘As the value of communication is increasingly appreciated in the project management world, a stronger knowledge of change management also opens up new opportunities for communication agencies and consultants.’
  • Helen Gill: Top ten tips: Helen Gill on internal communications for SMEs (29 April)
    ‘Internal communications shouldn’t work in isolation from external branding and marketing. In the digital age, transparency is more important than ever – organisations have to be what they say they are.’
  • Shelby Loasby: 1 year in IC – Reflecting on my journey through internal communications (30 April)
    ‘IC is more than just sending emails. The amount of times I have been asked ‘So what do you actually do?’ ‘Don’t you just put up posters and send emails?’ ‘Do you really need an entire team to do THAT?’
  • Sam Boniface: How to refresh a company’s values (28 April)
    ‘Our HR procedures have also been updated to be values led, including reward and recognition, talent development and recruitment processes. And as an internal communication team we’ve taken the roll out of the new values as a chance to refresh some of our core communication channels too in line with the branding.’
  • Martin Flegg: Creative me (27 April)
    ‘Over the last few days my Twitter notification feed has been full of my internal communication friends, associates and connections sharing their creative type after taking the [My Creative Type] test. It seems that there is a plethora of Visionaries working in internal communications, with a fair sprinkling of Innovators and Adventurers, but not many Makers like me.’

Technology and AI

Media and digital

  • Ella Minty: When PR Threatens Reputations Instead of Protecting Them … (2 May)
    ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if one day media judged an organisation’s ethos, ethics and governance also based on who its PR agency is or on who their in-house PR ‘chief’ is … cowboys versus professionals.’
  • Paul Sutton with Shannon McGuirk: The differences & similarities between PR & SEO [podcast] (1 May)
    ‘It’s so easy to become fixated on top tier sites with a [Domain Authority] of 75 or above, but Google wants a well-rounded backlink profile. If everything is DA of 75 or above you don’t have that well-rounded profile.’