This week in PR (6 August)

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.

#whitstable view at 6pm
#kent #kentcoast
via @clareparsons2012 on Instagram
#whitstable view at 6pm #kent #kentcoast via @clareparsons2012 on Instagram

It happened this week

Academic and education


  • Adam Bull: The Olympics: An armchair expert’s dream (5 August)
    ‘That’s the beauty of the Olympics. Sitting for hours on end, watching a sport that doesn’t cross your mind for 4 years, but then suddenly becomes the most interesting thing in the entire world.’

ESG, corporate and financial

  • Hannah Craig: Does your brand get the green light with new ‘eco-scores’? (5 August)
    ‘With a new eco-friendly traffic light system on food and drinks packaging being launched in the UK this autumn, how much impact is it likely to have on consumer purchasing decisions?’
  • Gihan Hyde: How do businesspeople see the world differently from environmentalists, regulators or politicians (5 August)
    Businesspeople speak and only understand the language of finance. Whereas on the environmental side the conversation is more about good and evil, right, or wrong. Hence, they are both singing from different hymn sheets.’
  • Steffan Williams: AI will spot your greenwashing (no date)
    ‘Annual reports used to have hiding places. By overloading professional scrutinisers with masses of information, it may have once been possible to throw the scent off a particularly worrying disclosed business risk. Or, neat presentation and attractive word structure could just about convince a reader that all was rosy. But, as the use of technology has become more prevalent, it’s becoming harder to hide information in the weeds of corporate communications.’
  • Sara Neidle: Pensions are locked in the ESG debate (3 August)
    ‘The impact of ESG considerations is becoming an essential part of pension schemes, and trustees are under continued pressure to consider climate-related risks and opportunities, and exercise effective stewardship.’
  • Andrew Adie: Purpose on Payday (30 July)
    ‘While investors are focused on ESG as a measure for how prepared corporates are for the financial and operational challenges of a world affected by climate change, whether they are willing to accept a smaller proportion of profits and proceeds flowing back to their pockets with a larger proportion diverted to plug pension scheme deficits, reduce prices or invest into climate smart investment remains an open question.’
  • Orlagh Shanks: Corporate Social Responsibility Is Not Public Relations With Author, Sangeeta Waldron [podcast] (30 July)
    ‘If you have CSR embedded in your strategy you don’t have to work very hard at publicity.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Alex Malouf: Communicators (and everyone else) need to embrace uncertainty (6 August)
    ‘Even though I’ve worked in the industry for two decades, I can never be sure of any outcome. But it doesn’t mean that I won’t try. And that’s because I’m ok with uncertainty.’
  • Ash Billinghay: How to get a job as a graduate (5 August)
    ‘We’re in the business of ideas. Whether that’s PR, SEO, copywriting, design or development, it all starts with a thought, and if you can have some of your own you’ll be invaluable. Look at the clients the agency you’re applying for works with and come up with a new campaign for them. Show them you can do the job to get the job.’
  • Jessica Pardoe: Are You Only As Good As Your Last 30 Days In PR? (3 August)
    ‘I think the future of PR looks like a hybrid of digital and traditional – one that works to create an outstanding position both online and offline for brands. If we’re stuck in the mindset of links, links, links, then I don’t think this can truly be achieved.’
  • Hel Reynolds: 14 Social media interview questions: prepare to land that dream job (3 August)
    ‘What experience do you have dealing with a social media crisis. How do you measure the success of your social media content? What do you do if content isn’t working?’
  • Beck Dawson: Starting a PR career during the pandemic (no date)
    ‘Before I started my role, Hard Numbers paid for me to get my CIPR Foundation Certificate to lay some groundwork. And since then, I’ve completed HubSpot and Google Analytics courses to further upskill. PR webinars, internal training and blogs have all helped me strengthen my confidence and industry knowledge.’
  • Gemma Storey: Avoiding groupthink (2 August)
    ‘How can we stop groupthink from taking hold? It’s very human to want to surround ourselves with people who think like us. It’s reassuring and makes us feel secure in the group. But groupthink also discourages creative and critical thinking. It leads us to the wrong conclusions.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

Public and third sectors

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Laura Griffiths: Vaccinations – lower the age, lower the risk (5 August)
    ‘We should be proud of the success that the vaccination programme has had so far in terms of protecting the elderly and more vulnerable members of our communities and we should feel encouraged by this success to continue the roll out to young members of society who have also been deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Political language: The careful choice of words (3 August)
    ‘Politicians, especially at a senior level, are very aware of their reputations. I am sceptical about the idea that politicians accidentally use a word, make a comment, or let us see into their lives without first having thought about the potential consequences.’

Campaigns, creativity and behaviour

  • Clodagh Mckechnie: Hindsight Bias (4 August)
    Why are the answers to a test so obvious after you’ve taken that test? And why do you think of so many good comebacks after you’ve walked away from an argument?’

Internal communication

Technology, media and digital

  • Ed Cooper: Ransomware – key milestones and major players (5 August)
    ‘There is now an established, dynamic, and highly skilled network of cybercriminals conducting ransomware operations to devastating effect. In this blog, we will look at a few of the major players in the ransomware ecosystem and some of the key events that have driven its rapid growth.’
  • André Labadie: How do you continue to make an impact when the media is shrinking (2 August)
    ‘The findings reveal that the total number of articles published by leading UK media outlets has shrunk significantly (21%) over the last five years, meaning brands are having to fight harder than ever to secure coverage. Based upon thorough analysis of 25 national and business media titles since 2016, articles mentioning brands has fallen steeply – by 28% – over that period.’