This week in PR (5 February)

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.

Landscape version of my shot of sunset over #Glasgow @DanJonesGlasgow on Twitter
Landscape version of my shot of sunset over #Glasgow @DanJonesGlasgow on Twitter

News in brief

  • 39% of consultant lobbyists on the government’s statutory register have failed to declare which code of conduct they follow, according to the PRCA (51% follow its Public Affairs code). The PRCA suggests this reveals an ethical divide.

Covid-19 and comms

Academic and education

Ethics, purpose and professionalism

  • Ben Smith with Trevor Morris and Simon Goldsworth: Does PR have an ethics problem? [podcast] (1 February)
    ‘There have always been ethical issues for PR, and they fall into two main categories: who you’re working for (is the organisation ethical?) and how you do the PR (is your practice ethical?). The Bell Pottinger case study drew these two things together.’

Corporate and financial

  • Gini Dietrich: The Differences Between Corporate and Personal Thought Leadership (4 February)
    ‘Corporate and personal thought leadership can stand alone—or together.’
  • Adam Lloyd: Can tech stock valuations keep going up? (3 February)
    ‘So what if the most innovative and exciting electric vehicle company is worth more than all the other car companies combined. Who cares that the biggest selling electric vehicle in Europe in 2020 was actually a VW and that Tesla lost market share? For many, Tesla is the next big thing and until proven otherwise the only way to play the electric vehicle revolution.’
  • Elisabeth Steyn: Don’t Ask Why (2 February)
    ‘The plethora of disclosure standards may have, to date, precluded a benchmark and hindered widespread ESG activity and measurement. But that’s about to change.’

Consulting, teams and careers

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Carli Harper-Penman: We must protect leaseholders and housing associations from the cladding nightmare (3 February)
    ‘The End Our Cladding Scandal campaign by Inside Housing is right, Government must take the necessary action now, so that people feel safe in their homes once again, and have the threat of financial ruin removed after three years of stress and uncertainty.’
  • Joe Cooper: UK Government begins to set out its vision for post-Brexit subsidies regime (3 February)
    ‘Whatever the economic and political arguments around the merits of subsidies, the short-to-medium term priority for the Government will no doubt be on leading the economic recovery from COVID-19, with next month’s Budget providing the next opportunity for the Chancellor to provide an update on the state of the country’s economy and plot the course for recovery as the vaccine rollout continues.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: What next for crisis communication? (2 February)
    ‘I have felt the need to challenge thinking on crisis communication, including my own. People can often forget the key elements of communication when they are dealing with a crisis.’
  • Stuart Bruce: Crisis communications – how to be crisis proof (31 January)
    ‘Crisis Proof’s chapters are a step-by-step guide to what you need to think about if you want to prepare your company or organisation to be ready to manage a crisis. It looks at risk and what a crisis is, corporate culture and getting buy-in for preparing for a crisis, developing a crisis communications plan, creating a crisis communications team, running crisis simulations and rehearsals, and responding to a crisis.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Kat Harrison-Dibbits: How to tell a story in six seconds (3 February)
    ‘It’s tempting to stick your branding right at the start of a video to “make sure” the audience see it, but are they really going to stop scrolling for your logo? No. It’s here that one of the key principles of PR – newsworthiness – comes into play. Dog bites man isn’t news, and neither will it make someone stop and watch your video.’
  • Scott Guthrie: Profile of Brendan Gahan, partner at Mekanism [podcast] (3 February)
    ‘It’s hard to envisage a world where Facebook is not dominant. But look at China; consider TikTok.’
  • Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies with Lucy Eckley and Paul Sutton: What’s Your Story?

    (3 February)
    ‘It’s about making that human connection. With independents, it’s about shining the light on the person behind that business. With corporates, they’re a complex web of human beings. People want to see real life stories from their colleagues.’

  • Orlagh Shanks: The Influencer Pay Gap (3 February)
    ‘Thanks to a lovely Instagram creator, there is an Instagram account dedicated solely to exposing the pay gap in influencer marketing.’

Planning, measurement and evaluation

  • Andrew Bruce Smith: The Definitive Guide To PR Reporting in 2021 (28 January)
    ‘When it comes to PR reporting, the reality is that it’s still often seen as a weekly or monthly scramble to pull together disparate sources of data, wrangled into a Word, PowerPoint or PDF document, with some textual commentary which gets emailed to clients (internal or external) with seconds to spare.’

Internal communication

  • Diane Gayeski: Is Internal Communications a profession? (4 February)
    ‘While I absolutely support the notion that most communications professionals have extensive education, practice their profession with integrity, and add value, that doesn’t necessarily make us a “profession”.
  • Valeria Schift: Compliance Communications (Part 1): Talk Ethics to Me! (3 February)
    ‘Regardless of our industry, all of us are in the ‘trust business’: just like our personal relationships, business interactions are built on trust. Integrity is a key ingredient in building that rapport: It’s part of why others may choose to do business with us. It’s also a reason why we decide to do business with others.’
  • Martin Flegg: My question…(Anon.) (1 February)
    ‘The role of the internal communicator in organisations is a balancing act. We often find ourselves caught in the middle between the demands of leaders and the needs of employees. There is a balance to be stuck to be fair to both, and it is often down to us to find that balance and compromise.’
  • Rachel Miller: How to transform your internal comms [podcast] (1 February)
    ‘You will leave this session with one thing to know, one thing to do, and one thing to think about.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Rob Kerry with James Crawford: PR Agency One with James Crawford [podcast] (4 February)
    ‘I left a traditional agency to launch PR Agency One because I felt there was a better way. Earning links seemed like a really quantifiable way of measuring PR when the PR industry was focusing very much on advertising value equivalent. But if you just focus on earning links, you’re missing out on the reputation and brand benefits.’
  • Alexa Lloyd: Will TikTok be gone in 5 years time? (no date)
    ‘I predict that once advertisers begin to flood TikTok, the original users will begin to leave the platform. FYPs will be filled with orchestrated videos from large corporations, instead of the original, fun videos that currently hold users’ attention.’
  • Duncan McKean: Why deep techs need vision and mission to be “buyable and believable” (no date)
    ‘A lot of deep tech companies are founded on fabulous technology, science and innovation, but very often they are solutions looking for problems. To achieve commercial success, there has to be a market need for them. They must have some intrinsic value to paying customers.’
  • Paul Sutton with Euan Semple and Neville Hobson: The Future of the Internet [podcast] (3 February)
    ‘Zoom is the poster child of this change. There are others: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Webex. Suddenly they’re getting huge attention and investment to make it possible for employees to work remotely via asynchronous communication.’
  • Son Pham: The curious case of Vietnam (3 February)
    ‘The media landscape in Vietnam is very complicated. In Vietnam, where independent media outlets are routinely closed or journalists hounded by authorities, and state-run newspapers dominate the media landscape, there are strict instructions on what journalists could and could not say and coverage certainly reflected the leanings of the state-run newspaper. Not surprisingly, Vietnam ranks 175th out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index.’
  • Chris Owen: How to land a story in top-tier publications (1 February)
    ‘As a PR pro, if I had £1,000 for every time a prospect or client said, “We’d like to get into WIRED / The Economist / the FT,” then I’d genuinely have no mortgage. I might even have some savings.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Eloise Newman (Solent): How Ethical Has The Covid-19 Vaccination Process Been? (4 February)
    ‘Although it is fair to say that, on the whole, that the vaccine process has so far been ethical and fair, as the JCVI have prioritised specific groups and the vaccine rollout has been efficient, there have been instances of unethical behaviour within wider society regarding the vaccine.’
  • Katie Hull (Sunderland): THIS GIRL CAN – National Storytelling Week (3 February)
    ‘My message is clear and concise to anyone reading this blog, thinking that they are not good enough or strong enough to make changes in their life or career. Just do it!.’
  • Courtney McGoldrick (Ulster): Burger King: Fast Food Royalty (3 February)
    ‘There has been a fundamental shift; consumers are no longer only looking at brands as embodiments of certain values that appeal to them but more so as a cause that they can get behind. A clear sense of responsibility & purpose is now vital!’