This week in PR (31 July)

About the author

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

remember folks, wear your masks 😷 @liambettinson_ on Instagram
remember folks, wear your masks 😷 @liambettinson_ on Instagram

News in brief

  • Boris Johnson has begun the search for a spokesperson to front daily White House-style media briefings. “Essential skills” include “excellent risk management and crisis communication skills”.’ (via BBC News).
  • Changes to the PRCA’s board are designed to reflect greater diversity. Departing from the board are Tony Langham, Jon Hughes, David Gallagher and Ed Williams; incomers who join recently-appointed Barbara Phillips are Kamiqua Pearce, Rimmi Shah, Ondine Whittington and Hugh Taggart (via PRCA newsroom).
  • The CIPR’s Influencer Marketing Panel has published three free guides to this area of practice (via CIPR).
  • TikTok has announced a $70m creator fund in Europe (via TikTok blog post)

Covid-19 comms

Purpose and professionalism

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Una McHugh: On boybands, fangirls, feminism & how society treats teenage girls (29 July)
    ‘In general, young people’s interests are treated as silly, juvenile, and unimportant. In particular, those things enjoyed by young women, or teenage girls, are especially ridiculed.’
  • Maja Pawinska Sims with Katy Howell: Podcast: How PR Can Move From Words To Action On Support For PoC (28 July)
    ‘A huge number of people viewed it [BLM video shared on LinkedIn]. I was so angry I had to say something. There was an enormous amount of hope in the responses I got. I’ve spoken to a lot of women (some of colour) who are trying to change the world.’ 
  • Phoebe-Jane Boyd: Spotlight on Barbara Phillips, chair for the PRCA Race and Ethnicity Equity Board (28 July)
    ‘We are all agreed that the current status quo of ‘all white leadership and decision makers’ is unsustainable and we refuse to let future talented PR and comms professionals enter our industry with close to nil chance of succeeding to its highest echelons because of their race.’
  • Amanda Coleman: A call for some kindness (25 July)
    ‘In the coming months, the situation both financial and medical may become more challenging but I hope to see the best from the PR and communication industry. I am finally becoming more comfortable with being vulnerable and am not prepared to go back to the harsh macho behaviour of the past to try and fit in.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Rachel Miller with Adam Driver: Starting a consultancy during lockdown (30 July)
    ‘My background is in hospitality, leisure and FMCG (beer and brewing), With the onset of coronavirus I have not been able to work much in this sector, as priorities are on survival right now.’
  • Cheyenne Shen: It’s vital – 3 tips to survive as the lowest person in a PR agency (30 July)
    ‘As a complete novice to the industry, I’ve come to realize that PR is not just about media gatherings. For clients with global needs, we spend our days learning and becoming experts in their fields.’
  • Danny Rogers: From the editor-in-chief: lost revenues, big media cuts – how PR must adapt post-Covid-19’ (30 July)
    ‘The first-half results from marketing services groups, now coming through, confirm the impressive resilience of the PR discipline.’
  • Laura Sutherland with Jim Hawker: Laura talks to Jim Hawker about PR after the pandemic and his business journey [podcast] (30 July)
    ‘The biggest challenge is going to be income. There were too many agencies before Covid. You’re going to see a lot of agencies closing doors or merging in the next few months. But some of the best businesses are started in the worst of times.’
  • Rich Leigh: On being stressed, growth, being kind, digital PR – oh, and hiring! (29 July)
    ‘Anticipating further growth, I’d like to hear from you if you are in the first stages of your career, whether you’re just starting out or already have some experience under your belt.’
  • Adam Tuckwell and Jon Wilcox with Josh Burrell, Jainie Mills and Liv Shalofsky: From A to GenZ [podcast] (28 July)
    ‘The internships I enjoyed the most were the ones where I was empowered to take the lead and show initiative. But not everybody can get an internship.’ ‘It costs £1,000 a month to do an unpaid internship in London.’ ‘I’m passionate about internships being paid.’
  • Andy Turner: Agency staffing is stuck in the twentieth century (28 July)
    ‘Management consulting firms have the same problems as PR firms, albeit on a larger scale. The difference is that in other professional services sectors, this is a problem solved. For example, EY set up GigNow to improve its client project resourcing in 2017. It already covers 42 countries and taps into what most talented people prize above reward: flexibility.’

Public and third sectors

  • Jon White: Reforming Government Communication… Again (29 July)
    ‘In managing government communication, there are choices relating to more or less centralisation of control and coordination.  The approach now proposed in the UK is one involving greater centralisation, a choice which allows greater political control of communication, but which brings with it a number of limitations on the effectiveness of communication.’
  • Darren Caveney: Welcome to August, your new planning month: 5 tips to lighten the load (26 July)
    ‘With a journey into the comms unknown as we head into autumn and winter it makes August your best bet for a little creative thinking time to check your comms plan is still fit for purpose.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Sheena Thomson: A shift in risk – online reputation (30 July)
    ‘In today’s uber-digitally connected world, social media is where we are spending increasing amounts of time.  This is set to increase as a result of the longer-term impact of COVID-19.  To re-iterate, it is always worth taking a moment to ask why you are posting, how it impacts your personal brand and what legacy you are creating, and to remember some golden rules.’

Campaigns and creativity

Internal communication

  • James Scott: IC: The secret ingredient to a thriving post-Covid business (28 July)
    ‘Because IC teams are the leaders in information sharing, they can have a great deal of influence over the attitudes and behaviours of employees in their workplace. This influence can be used for good in a couple of ways.’
  • Katie Marlow: Work in progress (24 July)
    ‘What if we took this huge opportunity of this moment in time to imagine something better? To test out ideas and experiment with what works for each of us as employees, leaders and organisations?’

Technology, media and digital

  • Dan Slee: VIDEO ON: Five ways to use TikTok for good in a pandemic (30 July)
    ‘TikTok is a video platform that’s best described as ‘real short video.’ It’s shot upright and the app itself has some really good editing tools that you can mess around with before you post. In particular, adding text is really helpful. It’s also got access to a pile of music tracks that you can use freely on the platform.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Why innovation in PR tech is so slow (28 July)
    ‘Cision, Meltwater and Kantar are aimed at the enterprise agency and in-house market and are expensive. They are also focused on earned media. The tool market is built on media relations and not public relations, or even the integrated PESO model.’
  • Natasha Hill: Blend of PR and ecommerce is more important than ever (27 July)
    ‘Digital PR and growing organic traffic is a marathon, not a sprint; it requires sustained, consistent effort. But at a time when brands are scrutinising every penny of marketing spend, and prioritising on value, now is the time to super charge the power of Digital PR at both the top AND the bottom of the funnel and grow its share of the marketing budget.’
  • Beth Turner: Using data for a newsworthy press release (27 July)
    ‘Data should only be used if it’s newsworthy and adds something to the point you’re already making. Don’t just pop a stat in for the sake of it.’
  • Ste Davies: Social media’s growing influence on the financial markets (no date)
    ‘A perfect storm is brewing between smartphone apps that provide easy access to the markets and the formation of communities and influencers who can collectively manipulate the price of a financial asset like a stock or crypto.’
  • Matt Silver: Will coronavirus disrupt silly season in 2020? (24 July)
    ‘So far this year, much of the news agenda has been dedicated to fast-paced reporting of serious issues. So are we going to see the traditional late summer silliness in our favourite publications? Or will current affairs dictate a more serious tone?’

Academic, education and training