This week in PR (5 June)

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.

Nice sunset this evening. 👌 @woolfallalex
Nice sunset this evening. 👌 @woolfallalex

News in brief

  • If last week was dominated by one name (Dominic Cummings), then this week is dominated by another (George Floyd).
  • Edelman, the world’s largest public relations consultancy network, has announced job losses and salary cuts to manage cashflow through the pandemic (PRovoke)
  • Here are this year’s CIPR Excellence Award winners
  • ‘Just as people campaign for clean water and access to education, we need a global campaign for universal internet access’ says world wide web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee, writing in The Guardian.


Academic, education and training

Virtual events

  • Stephen Waddington: 5 tips for running virtual events at scale (30 May)
    ‘Conferences and events don’t transfer easily to the web but the PRCA, Provoke Media and the Virtual PR Summit have thought hard about how to create successful virtual events.’

Covid-19 comms

  • Ben Lowndes: Time to speed up spin’s decline (2 June)
    ‘A brief review of tweets mentioning #Cummings last weekend using our social listening tool identified tens of thousands of posts in 24 hours. More than 80% of those were negative. That’s extraordinary, even if you believe that Twitter is a pretty negative place.’
  • Dan Slee: COVID COMMS #15: What local local lockdown content looks like (2 June)
    ‘In England, there is the prospect of a local lockdown in areas where the infection rate spikes. That can be a school, a workplace or an estate or town. So how to communicate it?’
  • Richard Baker: Something happened to comms during the Covid-crisis (2 June)
    ‘We don’t live in a perfect world. We never have done. Back in our normal world, there are great stories to tell about businesses, organisations, people and places doing amazing things. And sometimes making mistakes along the way. But there is a better and more believable way to tell these stories.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Ollie Tunmore: Pride 2020: A time to refocus (4 June)
    ‘A growing number of companies are waking up to the need to create authentic, genuine and impactful Pride campaigns that add to the positive movement of supporting the LGBTQ+ community in the ‘season’ of celebration.’
  • Ben Matthews: Black Lives Matter and being an active ally (no date)
    ‘The murder of George Floyd in America is not just an American problem. Racism exists in modern UK society. To combat this, we need everyone to be invested in racial justice work, not just the people who are impacted by racism and discrimination.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: #BlackLivesMatter (3 June)
    ‘From what I’ve seen, there is no justice in America. George Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill and that was why he was arrested. George Floyd died over $20. Where is the justice in that?’
  • Sarah Waddington: We have to be better, do better when it comes to racial inequality (4 June)
    ‘Three women in my network, all of whom I respect, trust and admire, spoke to me about their lived experience of this. It left me feeling bruised, embarrassed and frustrated – and illustrated how stark the difference was from my own reality.’
  • Frank Dias: I am a person of colour (2 June)
    ‘The racist killing of George Floyd and the public reaction afterwards struck a chord with me. It made me feel angry and sad. It made me remember the racist incidents in my life. It made me want to write and share this article.’
  • Annique Simpson: 7 meaningful ways you can support Black people today (2 June)
    ‘Racism is not a ‘Black’ issue. We all benefit from social equality, so it’s on all of us to do the necessary work.’
  • Katrina Marshall: #BlackOutTuesday – What’s YOUR Story? (2 June)
    ‘Here in the UK, the racism is a lot more subtle.  It’s kinda like the rain: fine and almost indecipherable but over time, consistently applied, will soak you to the bone.’

Purpose and professionalism

  • Paul Sutton: Awards, Hypocrisy & Unicorn Crap (4 June)
    ‘This is the first ever individual award I’ve won. It’s recognition for me personally, and that’s why I think I’m so flabbergasted by it. I’m terrible at taking compliments; I mean, awful! So I guess this is like the ultimate compliment.’
  • Laura Sutherland: 10 weeks of uniting PR pros and an industry-wide campaign challenge (29 May)
    ‘I actually felt like my own industry needed some hand holding, so with my cheerleader pompoms, I decided to throw some time into using the PRFest community as a catalyst for conversation. For checking in with PR and communication colleagues and for offering support if required.’

Public and third sectors

Politics and public affairs

  • Stuart Thomson: The rise (again) of Labour (1 June)
    ‘The Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer is starting to show that despite a government majority of 80, they can be a force to reckon with. So any good public affairs programme needs to take its Labour relations seriously again.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Gordon Glenister with Francis Ingham and Scott Guthrie: Series 2 Episode 1: PR & Influencer Marketing [podcast] (no date)
    ‘We had very little but communication during the lockdown and it’s proven the value of the written and spoken word, and I can’t see that going away.’
  • Scott Guthrie: Influencer marketing recognised as legitimate comms channel (1 June)
    ‘The teenage dancer [Charli D’Amelio] is the most-followed account on the social media platform TikTok. In under a year she has amassed 60.1 million followers. Her account has attracted 4.2 billion likes.’

Monitoring, measurement and evaluation

Internal communication

  • Mark Terry: Is work engagement the same as employee engagement and does it matter? (4 June)
    ‘The definition of employee engagement can be split into two main concepts: work engagement and organisational engagement. Employee engagement theory requires both of these to be present to work successfully.’
  • Katy Gandon: Internal comms comes of age in a crisis (2 June)
    ‘We’ve also worked hard on the cadence of our communications during this time. Before the crisis we had monthly broadcasts involving the CEO and the executive board which were watched by about a quarter of our employees. Since covid-19 we have held these every Tuesday morning because of the pace of change. Around 80 per cent of staff are now watching these.’
  • Liam Fitzpatrick: We need to talk about planning (2 June)
    ‘There must be a million reasons why, after decades of communicators calling for a more strategic and better planned approach, we’re still not getting it right. It would be fantastic if we knew what the barriers are and had some ideas about how to overcome them.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Stella Bayles with Daniel Johnson-Kim and Rick Maughan: How to sell in to news desks during a pandemic [podcast] (no date)
    ‘We are focusing on stories, not press releases. Earned editorial has to be earned; now is not the time for a hard sell. Can you tap into a wider social trend?’