This week in PR (5 April)

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

  • Here are all the winners from Thursday’s PR Moment awards: south and north.
  • CIPR released its State of the Profession 2019 study. See commentary on this below.
  • Arcadia Group has appointed MHP on a short-term contract. According to Financial News, several other agencies refused to pitch for Sir Philip Green’s business.
  • LEWIS has appointed Leila Mountford as creative director. A 2013 Greenwich PR graduate, she previously worked at Amnesty International, and before that The Romans.
  • Gender pay gap reporting: this was such a big story last year, but has been widely ignored this year. Yet the figures appear to be going in the wrong direction. The BBC has a pay gap calculator and explanation of terminology.


  • With marketisation comes marketing: The Guardian provides some numbers showing how much universities are spending on student recruitment. For the University of Central Lancashire, it was £3.4 million in the last academic year (compared to £70,000 spent by Durham). Anglia Ruskin has 120 full time equivalent staff in its marketing team.

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). Recommendations are welcome to [email protected] or @pr_place

State of the profession

Consulting, careers and skills

Politics and public affairs

Public and third sectors

  • Joanne Ford: Pressing pause: a playlist for comms team development (1 April)
    ‘We agreed that for the month of December we would step back from the day to day stuff as much as possible and focus on our team’s development. We stripped back our social media schedule and held off on any proactive PR and stakeholder engagement except what was absolutely essential.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Advita Patel: Be proud of who you are (no date)
    ‘I’m such a champion of people believing in themselves and never apologising for who they are, yet here I was feeling a little embarrassed about being on this list compared to what all the other fabulous people had achieved.’

Brands and influence

Trust, crisis and reputation

Internal communication

  • Katie Macaulay: How to communicate Brexit (1 April)
    ‘We remind leaders that our employees are astute. They are insiders. They can spot spin and obfuscation a mile away. But in the case of Brexit, how do we communicate when almost everything is still unknown?’

Media and digital

  • Jason Mackenzie: Words work (4 April)
    ‘The chances are you don’t craft campaign messages. But you do write, and speak. These are the main tools we use to influence and persuade others.’
  • Gini Dietrich: Adopting the PESO Model as Your Own is Theft (3 April)
    ‘I LOVE that the industry has adopted the PESO model. I do not love that people think it’s OK to take the model and the image and pretend it’s their own.’
  • Paul Sutton with Darryl Sparey: To blog or to podcast: that is the question (2 April)
    ‘Blogging is the entry-level drug – it’s cannabis – whereas podcasting is the hard stuff, it’s crystal meth!’
  • Claire Etchell: Interview with David Meerman Scott (1 April)
    ‘Meerman is my middle name – there are a whole bunch of David Scott’s out there – one who was an Iron Man triathlon champion, a David Scott who is a member of Congress, a David Scott who walked on the surface of the moon and so rather than compete I use my middle name Meerman in my professional endeavours. This has been a really important aspect of my branding in that I am one of one rather than one of many.’
  • Harry Gardiner and Isobel Arrowsmith:  PRCA PRcast episode 4: Rax Lakhani [podcast] (1 April)
    There’s this phrase: content is king. No it isn’t: conversation is king!’
  • Nicola Rossi: Facebook asks government to take a more active role in the internet (1 April)
    ‘Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has surprised some commentators by suggesting that ‘a common global framework’ is needed to regulate the internet.’


CommsSchool on Facebook

  • Yana Miladinova (Bournemouth): The art of branding yourself (4 April)
    ‘Twitter and LinkedIn are the professional networks, where you need to have an online presence. You must keep them up-to-date, because as I mentioned before, people do ‘stalk’ you on social media.’
  • Marcel Klebba: Personal branding basics and leaving digital footprint (2 April)
    ‘In practice, personal branding is your online presence, social profiles and your blog or site. It’s what people will see on these sites — colours, headers, profile pictures. It’s up to you how you position it. Personal branding online is everything others see about you online.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

PR Careers: 2019: 150 PR internships and graduate schemes

  • Heiða Ingimarsdóttir (Leeds): Surrounded by sales! (4 April)
    I have a knack for sussing people out, I quickly learned how to “hook” which characters to get then to agree on a meeting. With some I had to be ballsy and witty, others needed information, some I had to be very formal with, others I had speak very calmly to and then there were the ones that didn’t want to know I existed.’
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): The Line between Sponsored Posts and Plain Old Adverts (3 April)
    ‘I think there is a lot of confusion and ‘winging it’ when it comes to advertising with Influencers. Is it sponsored content, a paid partnership or paid promotion? Or is it just a plain old #Ad?’
  • Rachel Mole (Southampton Solent): The Reality of Finding Work Placements (3 April)
    ‘For the last six weeks I have been frantically trying to find work placements for my upcoming assignment for University, however what I didn’t expect was how hard it was really was going to be.’
  • Lucy Hayball (Bournemouth): #Startingout: Career profile with Marcel Klebba (2 April)
    ‘Blogging and content creation can help you get ahead. That’s one of the reasons why together with Stephen Waddington, my long-time mentor and now boss, we founded Comms School — Facebook community, where we run a series of webinars for students and teach practical skills you need to start blogging.’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Are we Easily Offended? (2 April)
    ‘It’s pretty straightforward – if people don’t want to be called something, don’t call ’em it. Drake’s real name’s Aubrey, but he doesn’t like it (wonder why) so wants to be called Drake. So what do we do? We call him Drake. See how easy it is??’
  • Megan Tidbury (Southampton Solent): Top 5 April Fool’s Day Ads (2 April)
    ‘April Fool’s Day is the perfect time for professionals to make the most of their creativity.’
  • Katie Gebbie (Sunderland): Pitching To Journalists (1 April)
    ‘Be unique and be exclusive. When you’re pitching to a journalist it isn’t the same as creating a ‘send to all’ press release.’
  • Eleanora Izzo (Leeds Beckett): Walking and writing: the perfect recipe to calm the soul (1 April)
    ‘Writing is an incredible self-discovery tool, because it forces us to make sense of our story from an outer perspective, as if we could see ourselves from the outside.’
  • Silje Bekkelund and Maria Torstad (South Wales): Social media influencers: podcast edition! (31 March)
    ‘There’s a debate going on in Norway (where we are both from) about influencers and the responsibility they have on social media.’
  • Ceri Jones (South Wales): How much does it really cost to start a profitable blog? (30 March)
    ‘This is the crucial, number one step if you really want your blog to be profitable. You’re not just starting a blog, you’re starting a business, and like any other business you need to invest in it for it to be a success.’