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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In the news

  • Zeno Group Europe managing director Steve Earl (co-author of two books with Stephen Waddington) is to leave the firm to become managing director of APCO Worldwide (Holmes Report).
  • She recently received a Holmes Report Outstanding Individual Achievement Award. Now Telefonica’s director of corporate affairs Nicola Green has been appointed to Telefonica UK’s executive team. ‘As a member of the Executive Team, Nicola will offer her communications counsel and experience at the highest level of the company. This appointment gives O2 a majority female representation on its Executive Team.’
  • PRCA has awarded fellowships to: Paul Bristow, managing director, PB Consulting; Mark Glover, chief executive, Newington; Richard Millar, global president, H+K Strategies; Warwick Smith, managing partner, Instinctif Partners; and Donna Zurcher, former managing partner, Instinctif Partners.

Research and academic

  • Stephen Waddington with Liz Bridgen: Celebrating half baked ideas (26 May)
    ‘Research can be a lonely business, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The conference is a way of helping people feel less alone with their research.’

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). Heather Yaxley (@greenbanana) is responsible for next week’s selection (7 June). Please follow her and share your recommendations.

AMEC Summit 2019

  • Libby Howard: Measurement 101: five lessons from the AMEC Summit 2019 (no date)
    Ten years ago, discussions about measuring and evaluating communications were perhaps seen as niche and a bit geeky – but in 2019 these discussions are fundamental for our very survival.’
  • Ben Smith: A bonus PRmoment podcast from AMEC’s Global Summit in Prague (29 May)
    Richard Bagnall: ‘The measurement industry has moved on so far; the tipping point was the Barcelona Principles. There are no more excuses. AMEC’s integrated evaluation framework is now being taught in universities.’
  • Francis Ingham: A postcard from Prague: Francis Ingham reports from AMEC’s annual summit (28 May)
    ‘Evaluation is absolutely critical to the future of the PR industry. Proper evaluation, placed at the heart of every piece of work, would prove the value that we bring. Which in turn would allow us to charge appropriate (higher) fees. Which in turn would allow us to reward people better -and so address the number one issue highlighted by industry leaders in pretty much every PRCA and ICCO market analysis I have seen over the past decade: talent.’
  • Nicole Moreo: Data is a journey, not the destination! (24 May)
    ‘Be prepared for failure… and, it is ok to fail! In fact, one speaker went so far as to say, “fail forward, innovation comes from not being afraid to get things wrong.” Success is not the best teacher – so, embrace when you have failed and use it to make your next steps smarter and better.’

Consulting, careers and skills

  • Roger DarashahIt Doesn’t Always Pay to Follow the Money (31 May)
    ‘Unless the integrated PR offering is significantly distinct to that offered by traditional marketing or advertising agencies, it is a hard stretch for any CMO to switch.’
  • Colette BrownDoes the answer to the talent issue lie in creating a culture of ‘intrapreneurs’? (no date)
    ‘While money still clearly matters, not least because these people have had to invest a lot of cash into their education, the next generation of PR practitioners want more if they are to stay engaged. For the majority, it’s more about purpose than profit.’ 
  • Phillipa Chikwedze with Ronke Lawal: Let’s chat comms with Ronke Lawal [podcast] (29 May)
    ‘I started my business quite young, in my early 20s. The recent rebrand was to focus more on PR and communications – and this has worked well.’ 

Politics and public affairs

  • Stuart Thomson: Public affairs on a shoestring (29 May)
    ‘Do not be tempted to try to push at the edges of ethics just because your budgets are limited. For instance, holding a tender just to receive ‘free’ advice and campaigning ideas should not even be thought of.’
  • Brad Johnson: Storytelling – how everyone can be a winner in elections (28 May)
    ‘As you can see, even though there is one set of results, from one election, there can be hundreds of different stories depending on who you ask.’

Public and third sectors

Brands and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: What if Instagram hid follower numbers? (28 May)
    ‘If you don’t own the platform on which you depend then you are only one Terms of Service change, one algorithm update away, from oblivion. As American futurist Alvin Toffler once reasoned “If you don’t have a strategy, you’re part of someone else’s strategy” (and chances are they simply won’t care about you).’
  • Jessica Pardoe: Has the Influencer Marketing Bubble Burst? (28 May)
    ‘Nothing is perfect, but influencer marketing has become really problematic recently. The practice isn’t dead (as I still maintain that when targeted correctly, influencer marketing can be very effective) but it’s dying at the hands of engagement myths and skewed morality.’


  • Holly Atterton with Alex Myers, Julian Obubo and John Harrington: Anatomy of an idea: breaking down the DNA of creativity [podcast] (30 May)
    ‘I’ve noticed a big difference in the nine years I’ve been running an agency. Previously, CMOs just didn’t want to get sacked. Now, I feel there’s a lot more creative ambition because there’s an evolution in thinking about brands. The product isn’t enough: the brand is the product.’

Trust, crisis and reputation

Internal communication

  • Charlotte Stoel: Killing them softly: The reputational threat of employee crises (28 May)
    ‘Ignoring the situation and hoping it’ll go away will only lead to bigger problems down the line – brushing things under the rug really does make a mountain.’
  • Helen Deverell: Great expectations (no date)
    ‘Creating a brief at the beginning can save you lots of time later. It helps you think through all the various elements you need to consider (because a brief can be as much for you as it is for the person/people you’re briefing) and ensure that everyone is completely clear on who’s doing what when and what the final outputs and outcomes need to be.’
  • Stephen Davies: Employee Advocacy with Rachel Miller of AllThingsIC [podcast] (no date)
    ‘We’re trusting employees a lot more and we’re seeing hashtags being used like #lifeatloreal and #lifeatdiageo to encourage employees to share their stories externally. But it has to be authentic.’
  • Martin Flegg: Be more Beethoven – the internal communications symphony (27 May)
    ‘When you’ve completed the audit you’ll have established a picture of how communication is happening in your organisation. Inevitably it will be a complex and messy picture. This may provoke a head in hands moment of despair for you. Don’t worry internal communicator, there is a way out of this mess!’
  • Advita Patel: Do you need to be an IC pro to deliver IC tasks? (24 May)
    ‘When you’re asked or you’re asking someone to write an IC strategy and they are not experienced / qualified to deliver this please think about bringing on board an experienced individual or hand over to a specialist.’

Technology and AI

  • Alice Simpson: 8 tips for PR success at tech trade shows (29 May)
    ‘Earlier this year I went to Barcelona to experience Mobile World Congress for the first time. Ahead of my trip, I sought out as much advice as I could from anyone who had knowledge of the event in some way.’
  • Ross Wigham: Thinking digital: curious minds & movie monsters (24 May)
    ‘With 1.9bn active users there are more creators than ever competing for eyeballs and becoming a YouTuber is now the most desired career for kids. If you watched all new content on YouTube in the last 3 months without sleeping it would take until 8069.’

Media and digital