This week in PR (5 July)

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.

Great view this year. @jameshickman
Great view this year. @jameshickman

In the news

  • Former deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg, now at Facebook, is the most influential person in public relations according to the PR Week US Power List. All of the top ten work in-house.
  • Matt Cartmell is to leave the PRCA after seven years to set up his own content and communications agency (PR Week).
  • Tony Langham celebrated the publication of his book Reputation Management at a reception last night. While my review had identified his concern for the future of public relations, Langham devoted his talk to the more important future of capitalism (a metropolitan concern, goaded Ian Wright).
  • Here’s a useful approach to thought leadership and for education: What if you posed your company’s mission statement as a question? (via Andrew Bruce Smith)
  • Here’s PR Week UK’s list of 30 Under 30 2019.

Research and academic

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 or @pr_place

Purpose and professionalism

  • Emma Leech: State of the profession report (27 June)
    ‘Over 100 students from 24 different countries recently completed CIPR qualifications. This is a testament to the quality and prestige that CIPR accreditation is held in across the globe. We’ve also had an amazing response to the launch of our new digital Diploma.’
  • John Brown: If we Cannes then we should (27 June)
    ‘One message from Cannes was loud and clear. You can talk a great game and get away with doing sod all about it.’

Consulting, careers and skills

  • Ben Smith: Tom Buttle, CEO of Chameleon, on the PRmoment podcast (1 July)
    ‘At one point I mandated that no one call us an agency. If you’re part of an agency, you’re just there to take orders. The overservicing thing has been to the detriment of many. Giving consultancy to the client is the Hippocratic oath of our industry. We always want to be consultative. You need to [be able to] stand up and say ‘this isn’t the best way to approach things’.’
  • Jennifer Robson: The business of storytelling (1 July)
    ‘You shouldn’t be afraid to tell your story; even the struggles, conflicts, setbacks, as well as the successes can help people understand the passion and heart that goes into your business.’

Public and third sectors

  • Darren Caveney: 3 things I learned this week – volume 06 (4 July)
    ‘I’ll soon be launching a brand new comms2point0 eMag which replaces what was the old comms2point0 weekly email and which stopped a while back.’
  • Dan Slee: IT’S ON: Haters gonna hate… how to deal with raised voices online (28 June)
    ‘If people don’t like the planning application or the policy decision it’s fine for them to disagree and say so. Sometimes your organisation will do something that people don’t like. It’s your job to listen and reflect that to decision makers.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Surinder Sian: Get your mentoring squad in shape (no date)
    ‘Once you’ve acknowledged that everyone brings something different to the party, you realise that your squad needs to have different perspectives to challenge you and keep you growing. Here are the seven types of mentors that you might need.’
  • Maja Pawinska Sims: Podcast: Asad Dhunna On Diversity & Inclusion In PR (1 July)
    ‘Rather than just talk about diversity, why don’t we do something about it? What’s the ‘so what’ of all this talk?’
  • Katrina Marshall: LGBT+ Representation in PR (1 July)
    ‘It is an irony repeated by several people I interviewed for this piece: we are an industry pushing authenticity and diversity, yet our foot soldiers are not representative of that statistic.’
  • Shelby Loasby: The Imposter Syndrome; Losing your mojo and hitting the career wobble (30 June)
    ‘I started looking around for some explanation as to why I was feeling the way I was. I started talking to colleagues and bosses, and opened up about how I was feeling, and it soon became apparent that I was suffering with a case of the Imposter Syndrome.’

Brands and influence

Trust, crisis and reputation

  • Charlie Pownall: How to manage reputational risk (3 July)
    ‘Trust in Malaysia appears to have been restored to some degree over the last eighteen months. However it is clear that organisations based in Malaysia – and elsewhere – continue to grapple with the strategic, governance and operational challenges reputation risk management inevitably raises.’
  • Chris Lee: Podcast: Crisis Comms with Laura Sutherland (no date)
    ‘What I’m seeing is the speed at which things are taken out of context with the keyword warriors out there. I’ve now seen firsthand journalists lying – and they have a public duty to report facts.’ 
  • Emma McCallum: Embattled Persimmon offers a cautionary lesson in reputation management (30 June)
    ‘For those still failing to grasp the core principles behind reputation management – and the value of reputation – Persimmon’s handling of troublesome Facebook groups should offer a cautionary tale.’

Internal communication

  • Jenni Field: Leaders are not transformers (4 July)
    ‘As a leader you should inspire, challenge and demonstrate a vision that people can follow but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change everything.’
  • Jane Roques-Shaw: Employee Engagement, Experience and Everything in-between (no date)
    ‘I’ve found the most affinity with HR and leadership, as they are most focused on the people and culture of the business, whereas Marketing and Corporate Communications can tend to prioritise the external customer or consumer.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Mark Borkowski: Stormzy Glasto a PR miss? (2 July)
    ‘Striking as his set was, there was quite a strange contradiction in the crowd. Black Britain in all its glory on stage was watched by a stereotypical Glasto audience. The BBC cameras failed to capture a picture perfect multiracial fanzone.’
  • Graham Goodkind: Cannes Lions Grand Prix winner: How The Tampon Book outsmarted the law to make a change (no date)
    ‘This campaign had PMT. Pretty Magnificent Talkability. It outsmarted the law using the law itself and provoked a reaction that will now open up the opportunity for gender inequality in the tax system to be discussed again, and hopefully the country’s taxation classification on feminine hygiene products to be reviewed and brought in line.’

Measurement and evaluation

  • Matthew Taylor: Measuring effectiveness: three grand challenges (2 July)
    ‘Together with colleagues I wrote a paper, aimed at measurement experts, which highlights three of the biggest challenges around measuring the brand and sales impact of marketing.’
  • Andrew Bruce Smith: Why web traffic volume is a rubbish KPI (and why this matters) (1 July)
    ‘I’d advise everyone not to be a slave to the metric of web traffic volume. You clearly aren’t going to ignore visit numbers but it should never be viewed in isolation. Making sure that you are focussed on the metrics that really matter should always be your primary concern.’

Media and digital