This week in PR (31 January)

About the author

Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of our Insights, formerly PR Place. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

‘Brands aren’t your friends’
Subvertising - spotted on the London Underground
via: Katie Martel/Twitter @famouscampaigns
‘Brands aren’t your friends’ Subvertising - spotted on the London Underground via: Katie Martel/Twitter @famouscampaigns

News in brief

  • The CIPR and the PRCA have both welcomed the UK government’s decision not to implement the EU Copyright Directive which they argued would threaten the digital economy (via CIPR and PRCA).
  • Here’s the shortlist for the Influencer Marketing Awards 2020
  • Vodafone’s former sustainability lead, Justine Harris, has joined Brunswick’s London office as a partner, to focus on environment, social and governance (ESG), sustainability and social purpose. (via Holmes Report)
  • The Guardian: ‘We have decided that we will no longer accept advertising from fossil fuel extractive companies on any of the Guardian’s websites and apps, nor in the Guardian, Observer and Guardian Weekly in print. Our decision is based on the decades-long efforts by many in that industry to prevent meaningful climate action by governments around the world.’
  • The BBC has announced that 450 jobs are to go in BBC News in pursuit of £80m in savings. A day later, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme editor Sarah Sands announced she would be leaving in September this year. (via BBC)

Purpose and professionalism

  • Katie King: People Over Profits: Why Corporate Purpose Matters & How to Adopt a Stakeholder Mindset (30 January)
    ‘A business is not a living person, but people are at its core. Whether they are a publicly listed multinational or a small shop on the high street, businesses big and small all have stakeholders to serve.’
  • Caroline Kealey: How to be Strategic (29 January)
    ‘The essence of being strategic is intentionality and focus – it’s the idea of having laser-like clarity on where you’re going and then setting up a path to get there. Put another way, if you don’t know what success looks like, by definition you cannot be strategic.’
  • Jenni Field: Jenni Field updates [CIPR] members with her first president’s monthly video [vlog] (29 January)
    ‘My [work] focus is on internal communication and employee engagement, and my focus for this year is on improving the service for members.’
  • Stephen Waddington: PR needs to stop talking to itself in bid to tackle trust deficit (29 January)
    ‘In a market where anybody can call themselves a PR practitioner, individuals need to take their own professional development seriously. Time served should not and is not a measure of competence.’
  • Jon Meakin: #5×20: Communications trends for 2020 (24 January)
    ‘Companies are turning their (genuine) values into action, using ethical leverage to help customers to change their behaviour for the better and positively impact society.’

Consulting and careers

  • Ross Wigham: Tips from the top (27 January)
    ‘Careers aren’t always linear and sometimes it takes you in different directions or even in ways that could be seen as a backward step to help gain a broader skillset.’

Politics and public affairs

Risk, crisis and reputation

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Darren Caveney: Mental health first aid – life skills for all? (30 January)
    ‘Well I am now officially a mental health first aider. And I have the certificate to prove it. Cool. But so what – what does it mean and could it be useful to you?’
  • Arianne Donoghue: Finding my courage (28 January)
    ‘The reality is, that despite how outgoing I may appear and how self-confident and even assertive I may come across, I’m chronically insecure and have spent most of my life avoiding confrontation. That’s the legacy of a childhood of being bullied I suppose – I must fit in and do my best to adhere to the status quo and not appear different for fear of what might happen. But since discovering I’m autistic about seven years ago, that’s slowly stopped being enough, if it ever really was in the first place – because I am fundamentally, irreversibly (despite what some idiots on the Internet might say), different.’
  • Jenifer Stirton: PR campaign’s legacy highlights issue of depression (28 January)
    ‘In the past 12 months, iprovision has provided more support to members than before. And for the first time the financial support provided has outstripped the funds we received in the same period.  Evidence, if needed, that more people are seeking help they cannot get elsewhere.’

Brands, storytelling, content and influence

  • Tom Hindle: How screenwriting and copywriting overlap (30 January)
    ‘The opening line of a piece of copy… needs to tell the reader just enough that they know exactly what they’re about to read, while also posing a question that makes them want to scroll down and keep reading.’ 
  • Scott Guthrie: Brand outs influencer over £30 gift (29 January)
    ’The Siren song of the influencer lifestyle is beguiling. The reality for many is a far cry from the Insta-perfect world.’

Measurement and evaluation

Internal communication

  • Emma Kane: The BBC keeps scoring own goals with its internal communication (30 January)
    ‘Times were already tricky — but somehow, the broadcaster made things worse by committing a cardinal sin of internal communications and failing to let employees know about a major shake-up of its current affairs programming.’
  • Mike Pounsford: Why Listening Is a Critical Leadership Capability for Today’s Communicators (28 January)
    ‘Communication professionals can help improve the discourse and create connection by listening more. The explosion in the number of available communication channels has led to a focus on messaging, audience segmentation and channel choice. We’ve lost the balance between receiving and transmitting.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Paul Nolan: 5G in the UK: When politics and technology collide (no date)
    ‘It’s almost as if [Boris Johnson] considered the position of the UK government in the wake of Brexit, acknowledged the need to maintain positive relations with the Americans and the Chinese with possible trade deals in mind, reached a compromise that he felt both sides could begrudgingly entertain, and then asked his advisors to come up with the detail.’
  • Stuart Bruce and Tim Bailey: Over the Horizon – a look into the future [podcast] (28 January)
    ‘RSS and email won’t be going away. They’re both really simple and they perform important functions.’
  • Ste Davies: Browsing the web with privacy with Des Martin from Brave [podcast] (no date)
    ‘Ads have evolved into behavioural tracking and surveillance. Most people say ‘so what?’ But it affects individuals, groups and whole countries.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Hannah Chambers (Ulster): Why a Career in PR is for me? (30 January)
    ‘I may have taken the scenic route to my career in PR but I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and I think I am in exactly the place I should be right now. Maybe I should have listened to my parents, but I think I needed to find my way to this path by myself.’
  • Emma Rogers (Solent): #SainsBey (30 January)
    ‘This month Beyonce launched her new Ivy Park x Adidas fitness range, but what Beyonce maybe didn’t expect was the apparent similarity with Sainsbury’s uniform. The maroon and orange colours are well known within the UK for being a part of Sainsbury’s staple brand identity.’
  • Cassandra Roos (Solent): 2020 (30 January)
    ‘I want others to know that it is never too late, an old dog can learn new tricks and whatever timeline you are on that is your business. Ten years ago I was not ready to take the step into University and the only thing that would have happened if I went straight in would have been me under-performing.’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Remove stigma, not hair: Why brands are promoting female body hair (29 January)
    ‘There’s also the Janu-hairy trend which was encouraging women not to shave for the month of January. Which, by the way, is no more “unclean”, “weird” or “disgusting” than ‘Movember’.’
  • Teela Clayton (Leeds Beckett): Time for a re-brand? (29 January)
    ‘It’s hard to be a teacher. But it’s even harder to be anything other than a teacher once you’ve donned that persona.’
  • Georgia Galway (Ulster): Why does a career in PR interest me? (29 January)
    ‘Almost every industry is realising the effectiveness of Public Relations to their business, so successful PR practitioners can flit between locations and lines of business until they decide to make nest in a particular niche.’
  • Fionnuala Hegarty (Ulster): Keeping on top of your digital strategy (29 January)
    ‘It’s simpler than you think. Although I do advise that you always plan for the worst as you cannot control every situation or employee that crosses your path. Feedback from customers can be a heart-breaking or a ‘made my day’ experience, reels in opportunities to boost your business, being inspired to improve.’
  • Emer Stinson (Ulster): Applying for a placement year? Look no further! (27 January)
    ‘For anyone out there who is in the process of either applying for a placement or on the fence on whether to do one, I have a few tips that might make the decision/ process a little easier for you.’