This week in PR (6 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.

North Bay Beach @lennyletterbox
North Bay Beach @lennyletterbox

Behind the headlines

  • The PRCA/ICCO have been especially hyperactive this summer. Francis Ingham and Steve Miller seem to have been everywhere (Barcelona, Edinburgh, Cannes, Oxford, Birmingham, Bled…)
  • PR degree courses outside London are not in the best of health. It appears that the oldest BA Public Relations degree course, at Bournemouth, will stop recruiting this autumn (though public relations will still be offered as part of a marketing pathway).
  • This year’s CIPR president Sarah Hall and 2014 president Stephen Waddington have announced their engagement. They plan to marry next year.
  • PM presenter Eddie Mair is to leave the BBC after more than 30 years. The press release announcing this is full of his wry humour.


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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

Business / profession

  • Sarah Halton: Celebrating EO Day – What we’ve learned in a year (29 June)
    ‘As we celebrate our first year of EO [employee ownership] status, we’re all looking forward to many more successful years as the future of Tangerine remains firmly in the hands of those who nurture, grow and improve it day in, day out. As it should be.’

Public sector

Careers and skills

  • Meg RowleyEngland V Colombia: Storytelling at its best (4 July)
    ‘I caught the end of the England Colombia match, and I realised that stories are even better when they’re not crafted.’
  • David Alexander: 5 comms lessons from England manager Gareth Southgate (4 July)
    ‘It’s easy to be wary of journalists and there are certainly some who can be mischievous, but generally, providing open lines of communication means that they are more likely to be supportive and more likely to share your key messages to the audiences that matter most to you.’
  • John Brown: Four things to achieve healthy conflict (2 July)
    ‘Healthy conflict is a good thing for our industry… I thought I’d share a few pointers about how to get something out of healthy conflict.’
  • Darren Caveney: Danny Dyer on Brexit (29 June)
    It’s undoubtedly my age but over the past year or so I have found myself being more and more honest on matters. Not that I was dishonest before but it can be easy to let some things slide and to ‘choose our battles’ wisely.  It feels uplifting to be brutally honest.’

Issues and crises

  • Jo-ann Robertson: There is No Such Thing as a PR Crisis (6 July)
    ‘The communications function does not have a magic wand. Our role is to advise what impact the external noise and interest is having on your organisation, communicate the decisions and actions that are being taken to rectify the situation to the right stakeholders and audiences and convey a sense of control and leadership on behalf of our senior leaders.’

Artificial Intelligence

  • Matt Silver: The Debate About #AIinPR Is Just Getting Started (3 July)
    In recent months we’ve seen AI evolve from something only a handful of people in the PR industry discussed, to a hot topic on the agenda in Cannes, and feature much more prominently in PR blogs and the industry’s trade media.’

Measurement and evaluation

  • Andy West: Mapping your way to measurement maturity (5 July)
    ‘AMEC’s Measurement Maturity Mapper (M3 or M-cubed, for you geeks out there) is about how you can put the existing Barcelona Principles and Integrated Evaluation Framework to work in a practical sense.’


  • Mark Borkowski: Putin’s world cup gamble is a PR masterstroke (4 July)
    ‘It not just the Kremlin that cares little about what the Western commentariat thinks- much of Russia has developed a thick skin of incredulity when exposed to criticism, whether it be over Ukraine or the recent poisoning in Salisbury. This show is for a domestic audience.’
  • Alex Malouf: On a Path to Growth – My thoughts for IABC across EMENA (1 July)
    While the UK and Gulf chapters are in good shape, I realize that we need to tackle the issue of faltering chapters in Europe. And we’ve got to keep on stressing the international nature of IABC, the most global communications association there is.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Emma Howard: A nudge in the right direction: How to change behaviour (1 July)
    ‘At their very best, behaviour change campaigns can make lives easier and even save them. Some of the most prominent campaigns aiming to drive awareness, understanding and action are health-focused campaigns. For example, Change4Life encourages frequent exercise and less junk food.’
  • Benjamin Braun: Why brands should ignore marketing gospel and dare to be different (28 June)
    ‘We have allowed ourselves to be indoctrinated in the ways of creating content. Social preachers deliver the gospel: it needs to be vertical; it must be short and sweet; and it has to work with no sound. And so, everything in our social feeds looks the same. Generic. Vanilla.’

Gender and diversity

  • Julian Obubo with Elizabeth Bananuka and Trish Champaneri: The ‘D’ Word [podcast] (5 July)
    ‘The case for diversity in PR is super simple. The work can only be representative if there are people with different perspectives helping to shape people’s perspectives on brands or society.’
  • Arianne Williams and Sara Hawthorn: Disability diversity in PR (1 July)
    ‘It’s actions that make the difference; small, everyday things on an individual level or larger steps that have an organisation-wide benefit. For example, blind recruitment. We do that here and it’s so easy to do. There’s no excuse not to make this change.’

Internal communication

  • Rachel Miller with Glenn Grayson: Why Missguided launched cultural vibes as values (4 July)
    ‘As a business we talk a lot about sharing good vibes, so it seemed natural to use similar language for our version of values. A vibe can be described as ‘a person’s emotional state or an atmosphere of a place, communicated to and felt by others’; so, we believe a perfect name for talking about our people behaviours.’
  • Jenni Kampf: Internal communications in higher education (4 July)
    ‘I think the challenges facing internal communicators in higher education are unique. Our people are a rich seam of expertise, passion, and enthusiasm, and are what set us apart from other universities and companies.’

 Media and digital

  • Scott Guthrie: Facebook admits it is a publisher (5 July)
    ‘Facebook has admitted it is a publisher not just a neutral technology platform. Here’s why this 180 degree turn is big news and what the catch is.’
  • Paul Sutton with Gemma Went: The immense value of online communities [podcast] (4 July)
    ‘Superfans choose you. You only need a handful of these people and you’re laughing. There’s no recognised superfan club but they all get something back from me.’
  • Ella Minty: Be careful what you post on social media – it can get you fired (4 July)
    ‘Authenticity comes with a steep price sometimes and that, just as you would do in a public setting, you need to mind both your words and actions.’
  • Dan Slee: THREE LIONS: How the FA have changed how they use video to communicate (2 July)
    ‘Coming into the 2018 World Cup, the FA ditched how they normally communicate the squad they’d be sending. Rather than a man walking into a room and reading a list of names to a roomful of journalists they released it straight to their audience.’