This week in PR (31 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.

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Post Office Horizon IT scandal

Profession and ethics

  • Rachael Clamp: CIPR President May update

    (29 May)
    ‘The CIPR will continue to push for ethical PR practice and greater transparency to rebuild public trust in our profession and in democracy.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Christian Koch: Alan Edwards, the godfather of modern music PR (31 May)
    ‘Since launching his first public relations business from a Covent Garden squat in 1975, Edwards has hung out with Blondie in punk-era New York, played football with Bob Marley, helped pioneer the global stadium tour with the Rolling Stones and David Bowie during the 1980s, brokered the £1m OK! magazine media deal for the Beckhams’ 1999 wedding, and even introduced Shakira to Tony Blair.’

Public and third sectors

  • Nadia Khan: For the love of community: ethics and diversity in climate action (28 May)
    ‘Although climate change is urgent, many people from seldom heard backgrounds are more concerned with basic day-to-day survival. Many have been hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis and are reliant on food banks, for example. There are also language and access barriers, lack of trust in councils and government which has led to historic disengagement from council processes.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIPLOMA

  • Fraser Raleigh: Election Week 1: What were we talking about? (30 May)
    ‘Campaigns are messy. Parties work round the clock to try and make them about what they want them to be about, but they never quite are. Things happen, someone says something stupid, something that seems trivial suddenly becomes existential.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Election 2024: Business endorsements matter but could matter more (29 May)
    ‘The letter signed by over 120 business leaders supporting the Labour party and Keir Starmer was a very welcome boost to the party’s economic credibility. It is not that the Conservative party are short of support amongst the business community but such a public statement in support of Labour demonstrates that business takes them seriously.’
  • Tom Frackowiak: Political Update with Steve Richards – an unexpected Election (29 May)
    ‘Steve’s analysis on why Rishi Sunak called the election now is based on two key factors: a calculation that the Government’s fiscal and political position is as strong as it is going to be at any point from now until the end of 2024; and the realisation from the Prime Minister that holding the Conservative party together until November, as it is impacted by ‘events’, might not be sustainable.’
  • Oliver Deed: Labour’s first misstep of the campaign? (29 May)
    ‘What is going on here then? My theory is the leadership of the Labour party would prefer to have an ally in place as the MP for the safe Labour seat of Hackney South and Stoke Newington. By announcing the decision this late, the Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) can impose a candidate on the local party, thereby avoiding a difficult selection process.’
  • Alli Hayman: How can we fix the planning system and build the homes the country needs? (28 May)
    We surveyed 416 planning committee members across England and Wales… The headline finding is that an already severe housing crisis is only getting worse. Two thirds of councillors rate the degree of the housing crisis in their local area as severe, marking a significant increase from 2023, when just over half of respondents perceived there to be a severe housing crisis.’
  • Phil Briscoe: The Ballot or the Bullet? (28 May)
    With around six million voters aged between 18 and 24, any increase in turnout could put them in the driving seat for the outcome of the 2024 election, especially when considering the 2017 election majority of around 800,000 votes that separated Theresa May from Jeremy Corbyn.’
  • Tim Gatt: Why the Conservatives and Labour are using TikTok differently (28 May)
    TikTok isn’t the “young person’s app” anymore. Like every social media platform, it tends to be initially adopted by younger people, before older demographics join as it becomes more mainstream.’
  • Lisa Hunter: What goes on in Whitehall during a general election? (24 May)
    From a government communications point of view,  extreme caution will now be taken. I’ve lost count of how many conversations I had about which account a video could be published on and whether a Minister could, or could not, ‘retweet’ it onto their own personal channels. Generally big, flagship announcements that were in the pipeline, will now be completely halted.’
  • Jon White: Election 2024: Opportunities for public relations in a time of renewal (24 May)
    In the past, public relations practice has often been used as a defensive practice, to push for or defend the continuation of existing ways of doing things, to maintain the status quo and protect reputation. It can also be a source of change, arguing against practices which cannot be sustained, or challenging outdated attitudes and values that may damage long-term interests.’

Research, data, measurement and evaluation

AMEC CERTIFICATE

Crisis, risk and reputation

CRISIS COMMUNICATION DIPLOMA

  • Farzana Baduel: The Reputation Game: Mastering Corporate Image with Rupert Younger

    (28 May)
    ‘The only people in the senior management team who can decode the outside world are corporate affairs professionals. Everyone else is focused on an inside view of the organisation.’

  • Amanda Coleman: Crisis communication in the dock (24 May)
    ‘It is clear that crisis communication and PR has been put under pressure by the information released this week. I have long had a view that we have to do things better. It is not acceptable to put the reputation of businesses above the people who are affected by events.’
  • Michael Wilson and David Buik with Steffan Williams: PR will be turned on its head

    (24 May)
    ‘If you look at the risk factors of any annual report of any company, reputation will be in the top three. It certainly wasn’t ten years ago.’

Internal communication 

INTERNAL COMMUNICATION DIPLOMA

  • Jenni Field: The power of influence and persuasion in internal communications (27 May)
    Most of us like to think we can’t be influenced. Or, that if we are, we’d know when it was happening. Research, however, suggests this is not the case. The way we make decisions, the role of bias, and our own memories are all powerful forces that come into the equation, often without us ever realising.’

Media, digital and technology

DIGITAL COMMUNICATION DIPLOMA

  • Neville Hobson: Insights on podcasting from The Podcast Show 2024 (30 May)
    While Apple and Spotify dominate with their combined UK share at 58 per cent of the total, the remaining 42 per cent share is split among at least 23 other apps, with tiny numbers individually.’
  • Zoë Clark: Perfect pitch: Successful story placement in 2024 (30 May)
    ‘With the changing nature of the media landscape, and certain publications closing and new outlets, blogs and podcasts launching, something we have certainly found over the last few years is that the balance of our media relations activity is changing.’
  • Ben Smith: Daney Parker reflects on 15 years as PRmoment’s editor [podcast]
    ‘Although I had written about PR before at Marketing Week, I also had to write about all the other marketing disciplines – some of which are not as interesting as PR. As a journalist, it’s my tribe: people who are interested in words.’
  • Ann Wright: What is your role in this media interview? (28 May)
    A journalist will “cast” their stories, and where you fit into this will have an impact on the type of interview you will be expected to do, and the questions you might be asked. Broadly, there are five roles.’
  • Alan Anstead: RIP humble hashtag (24 May)
    Hashtags have become unnecessary. Their original purpose is no longer needed, and hashtag searches have correspondingly decreased dramatically. If you still love using hashtags, limit the number you add to each post. A maximum of five on Instagram, two on X, and one on Facebook. Otherwise, the algorithm thinks that fishing for views is phishing.’

Academic, education and training