This week in PR (30 September)

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.

It happened this week

Purpose, climate and ESG

  • Lucy Walton: Healthy Boundaries (no date)
    ‘Commitments to net zero are growing rapidly, but fewer commitments to combatting biodiversity are observed.  The role of business in tackling biodiversity is fundamental.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Paul Holmes: Obituary: Peter Hehir, Countrywide Founder And Former PRCA Chair (25 September)
    ‘Peter had launched Countrywide in 1973 and built the firm up until by the mid-1990s it comprised 250 people operating from offices in Oxfordshire, London, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Paris and Brussels and was the fourth largest firm in the UK.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Emily Luscombe: Scratching my bald head: Asking for help – possibly the best thing you’ll ever do (29 September)
    ‘I was once told that, if you want to build a connection with someone quickly, ask them for help. People like to be asked. It shifts the dynamic; forms a bond. Maybe this will be my new pitch strategy.’
  • Sara Thornhurst: Disability and the inclusion agenda in PR (28 September)
    ‘The number of people (going by those who have disclosed a disability in an industry survey, because that’s the only data we have) with a disability working in PR is close to an all-time low at 5%, putting it under the 5000 people mark. Disabled people are hugely underrepresented as a group if we go by the data alone.’

Public and third sectors

  • Manon Jones: GUEST POST: Why is comms so bad at describing what it does? (29 September)
    ‘What struck me is the complete lack of understanding or appreciation for our craft “So you spend all week doing the weekly newsletter?”, or “A family member once told me that they wished they had a job like mine where they could just go on Twitter and Facebook all day. I was a Comms Manager in social housing at the time.” If only!’
  • Darren Caveney: Today’s favour is tomorrow’s duty (25 September)
    ‘I was chatting to an excellent comms manager last week who said he “felt like a crisis comms person every week now”. And that isn’t right or healthy.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere 

  • Imogen Shaw: Mini-Budget market meltdown: PM defends her economic agenda (29 September)
    ‘In what has been an extraordinary week for politics and for the UK economy, Truss’s interventions today have not been enough to reassure the markets. Her economic programme has attracted intense criticism from both political opponents and concerned Conservatives.’
  • Rachel Groves: Striking a balance (29 September)
    ‘The [rail] strike on the 1 October will involve RMT, ASLEF, and some TSSA members and will be the most disruptive, with only around 10% of services running. The strike on the 5 October only involves ASLEF, the train driver union’s members and will result in around 12% of services running. The final strike on 8 October will involve RMT members and around 20% of services are predicted to be running.’
  • Alistair Kellie: Pension stability questioned for the first time (29 September)
    ‘Pensions have previously made the front pages with publicised scandals such as Maxwell and his fraudulent appropriation of the Mirror Group pension fund, or issues around the BHS pension scheme following the actions of Philip Green. But these were individual cases, not widespread systemic issues.’
  • Harry Shackleton: Back in business – now is the time for business to take Labour seriously (28 September)
    ‘The Labour Party believes it is back. Whatever your own political persuasions, it would be foolish to ignore them.’
  • Yasmeen Sebbana: Political Insider: Labour Party Conference (no date)
    ‘While some many quibble about the focus on net zero during a time of profound economic crisis, Starmer clearly believes that energy independence is the answer to the country’s current woes. Alongside the commitment to protect the environment, those around the Labour leader clearly feel there is a play to be made for those who have been left uneasy by the Truss Government’s recent announcements on fracking, for example.’
  • Lee Findell: Is Labour Back? (28 September)
    ‘Keir Starmer capped off an encouraging week for Labour with easily his best speech as leader. While he will never provide the soaring oratory of Blair or Brown, he has grown into the role, and he gleefully occupied the space that had been gifted him at the centre of British politics with the departure of Johnson and the tilt to the right under Truss.’
  • Paola Ambrosino: Italian Elections: Don’t Count Out Democracy Just Yet (27 September)
    ‘Commentators lead us to question how such a solid and serious government as the one which is now ending, failed to convince and reassure a large segment of the population (over 40% of the voters) to re-elect them.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

  • Charlotte Stoel: PR messaging lesson: The power of ‘shock value’ (29 September)
    ‘Remember that you’re not creating a strapline, you’re creating clear and concise ways of describing your company. The best way to write this initially is three sentences – what the company does (and for who), why it’s different and what the benefits are to the customer. Those three lines are your messaging anchors so it’s worth spending time on these, very carefully choosing the words and structure of the sentences.’

Research, data, measurement and evaluation

Crisis, risk and reputation

  • Emma Drake: How brand advocacy could help manage reputation impact in your business [podcast] (29 September)
    ‘When a crisis hits a strong brand – and strong advocacy for a brand in the marketplace – can help a company weather a storm.’
  • Sarah Browning: 4 lessons for crisis communication (28 September)
    ‘Communicating in difficult times, with elements beyond your control, is always going to be challenging. But with some pre-planning and thought, as well as a generally positive communication culture, it is possible to communicate well and avoid adding to people’s problems.’

Internal communication

Media, digital and technology

  • Zeitzan Palazli: The Harris SEO Glossary of Terms (29 September)
    ‘Technical SEO refers to the actions taken in creating and optimising a website that will be easily crawlable and indexable.’

  • Rich Leigh: Deep dive: AI image generator DALL.E is now open to all – why should PRs and marketers care? (29 September)
    ‘DALL·E , created by artificial intelligence company OpenAI, is a portmanteau of Salvador ‘Dali’ and Pixar’s ‘WALL-E’. It is one of a number of AI image generators that takes user text prompts and uses machine learning to create photo-realistic images that have never existed before.’
  • Son Pham: The rise of BeReal: Can we ever be authentic? (29 September)
    ‘Enter BeReal – the new shiny “anti” social network which wasn’t founded in Silicon Valley. Founded in late 2019 by French tech duo Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau, BeReal dubs itself “a new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.’

#prstudent #CreatorAwards23

  • Richard Bailey: The search starts for #prstudent creators (23 September)
    ‘All students are on social media, but not many view it as an opportunity to build professional connections and develop their personal brands.’
  • Ellie Jones (Liverpool John Moores):


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