This week in PR (4 September)

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.

Day 1 in the Scottish Highlands and wildlife photography was a bit of a fail! @michaelwhite1
Day 1 in the Scottish Highlands and wildlife photography was a bit of a fail! @michaelwhite1

News in brief

    • PRCA has declared September as Ethics Month 
    • Nominations are now open for election to the CIPR Council and as 2022 CIPR President
    • OVO Energy has hired Brunswick’s Simon Maine as director of corporate affairs. His role covers public affairs, policy, media relations and sustainability. (via PR Week).

Covid-19 comms

  • Ben Lowndes: Cities need more than a ‘back to work’ campaign (3 September)
    ‘‘Go back to work’. If you’ve been flat out for the last six months, juggling professional, family and caring responsibilities, just let that sink in. Not ‘back to the office’. Back to work.’
  • Laura Sutherland and guests: #PRsInLockdown

    (2 September)
    ‘We knuckled down on finance so we could pay salaries for three months, and pay our freelancers and suppliers.’

Ethics and professionalism

  • Paul Sutton with Jenni Field: Calling communicators – action not words (2 September)
    ‘We are an industry of words. We talk a lot about messaging – and that’s our focus. I don’t know how action-oriented we are.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Andy M. Turner: Busting the myth: PR and communications work best when driven by business goals (3 September)
    ‘Strategy is all too often overly-complex. Communications and PR activity should always be driven by a clear, market-oriented and simply-expressed business strategy.’
  • Phoebe-Jane Boyd: PR Spotlight: Sheena Thomson, Conduit Associates (1 September)
    ‘There are many things to draw upon, but I think the reason I have stuck with PR for so long is that it always gives me the opportunity to be constantly curious, be a great listener, be analytical and think through problems, strengths and opportunities.’
  • Stephen Waddington: A new term for professional communicators (31 August)
    ‘Practitioners continue to work harder than ever. The  upside is that the value of our work has never been more appreciated by the organisations that we serve.’
  • Chris Owen: Making a cover letter count (30 August)
    ‘A cover letter isn’t an academic task. It needs to have colour and tone. It should be an enjoyable read which makes the potential employer think they’d like to have you on board and that you’d bring energy and enthusiasm to a role.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Chloe Pope: The sad state of diversity affairs in tech (no date)
    ‘Over the years, it seems the tech industry has been more focused on gender diversity than ethnic diversity, and a lot of effort has been made to advocate and lobby for more women in tech. But even despite these efforts, it’s not amounted to much.’

Public and third sectors

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Vassilena Valchanova: Defining Your Tone of Voice: Full Step-by-step Guide & Exercise Templates (no date)
    ‘We trust those we like. And we like people who are similar to us. It’s a simple process that shows how building a brand with character can actually help us generate trust. Creating a strong brand personality moves the brand away from the commercial plain and closer to the “people like me” type of influencers we are now so used to meeting.’
  • Jessica Pardoe: How Timpsons Paves The Way For Company Culture (2 September)
    ‘The long and short is that being a great employer is beneficial to your entire business model, not just your staff.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: If the Marketer Can’t Get it Right, How Can the Influencer? (2 September)
    ‘The post annoyed me more than others because this influencer is also a PR/influencer marketer. If anything, she should be leading by example, not playing along with the ‘let’s pretend this isn’t an ad’ game.’
  • Scott Guthrie with Jim Lin: Think alpha consumers, not micro influencers [podcast] (2 September)
    ‘Alpha consumers are not online to gain followers, but they have huge influence. Alpha consumers are happy to be the coolest person in their friendship group.’

Measurement and evaluation

Internal communication

  • Stuart Sinclair: Returning to Work: The Role of Internal Communication (3 September)
    ‘The coming months will be a busy time for internal communication teams. Their primary focus will be to re-engage the workforce and help them confidently navigate the new processes and procedures of the office environment.’
  • Kate Isichei with Advita Patel: Engagement Express [podcast] (31 August)
    ‘Since I launched Comms Rebel in January, I’ve had quite a few conversations with internal communicators about imposter syndrome. When Covid-19 hit, it seems to have catapulted internal comms into the spotlight, but the imposter is saying to them ‘why would the chief executive listen to you?’’
  • Martin Flegg: Cat’s Cradle (31 August)
    ‘How are we to make any sense of this tangled cat’s cradle of conflicting information and confused mixed messaging? How can internal communicators neutralise this insidious gaslighting campaign and communicate the right things to employees as we enter the next phase of the pandemic and make preparations for what could be a difficult winter as infections increase again?’

Technology, media and digital

Academic, education and training