This week in PR (6 March)

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.

@woolfallalex “I couldn’t help but wonder: after three storms in three weeks, the Coronavirus, incessant rain, James Bond being put back and empty shelves of hand sanitiser everywhere - what exactly was it that I was drunkenly celebrating at midnight on December 31st?”
@woolfallalex “I couldn’t help but wonder: after three storms in three weeks, the Coronavirus, incessant rain, James Bond being put back and empty shelves of hand sanitiser everywhere - what exactly was it that I was drunkenly celebrating at midnight on December 31st?”

News in brief

  • If last week’s top talking point involved tea, this week’s is rather more serious with coronavirus dominating the news headlines and social media commentary.
  • Anthony Hilton argues in the Evening Standard that vague measures and inconsistent rankings are damaging ESG, as they did CSR.
  • The CIPR is establishing a behavioural insights panel led by Dr Jon White who invites expressions of interest to join.
  • The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) has been awarded a Royal Charter. It has over 3000 members able to help ensure the accuracy of content. 

Academic and education

  • Tahmineh Tayebi: Why people take offence (4 March)
    ‘The words we use are not polite or impolite in and by themselves. Even the most offensive words (for example, the notorious F- or C-words) can be generously used among close friends, as in-group solidarity markers, without anyone ever taking it to heart. It is therefore the context that determines the offensiveness of our words.’

Purpose and professionalism

  • Paul Sweeney with Francis Ingham: New P&L podcast (28 February)
    ‘Agencies have nowhere to hide. You need to make public who you work for; you need to justify that decision and most crucially, you need to accept that people will judge you.’

Consulting and careers

  • Nigel Sarbutts: The battle for talent in PR: when will the narrative change? (5 March)
    ‘PR has both a longstanding fascination with youth and a serious problem with attracting and retaining talent which is why comments from authoritative voices which equate youth with relevance are both disappointingly familiar and in themselves, disappointing.’
  • Jon White: Public relations: stress and resilience (3 March)
    ‘In recent years, concerns have emerged about the mental health of people involved in public relations work. More has been found out about levels of stress in public relations work, and the resilience needed to cope with stress, through the CIPR’s recent State of the Profession studies.’
  • Jessica Morgan: Does more hours really equal more productivity? (4 March)
    ‘I had a coffee with a potential PR freelancer yesterday. She said she didn’t want to get back into the agency world she’s been out of for a few years as it was a myth that you could work part-time in communications. I’d like to keep calling that myth out.’
  • Barri Rafferty: Communicators of the Future: Order-Takers Need Not Apply (3 March)
    ‘Evolving into a consultancy was motivated by what our clients need. They want trusted advisors, not order-takers. They want partners who go beyond the brief. They value help navigating the current landscape and anticipating what’s next.’
  • Claire Munro: More Focus, Less Flexibility: What I’ve Learned about Productivity, Parenting and PR This Year (2 March)
    ‘This is probably the busiest, most successful year for personal development I’ve had since leaving full-time education –  while parenting two young children – which de facto means there are never enough hours in the day (especially post-kids’ bedtime!).’
  • Adam Driver: Surround yourself with radiators, not drains (1 March)
    ‘Radiators are those ‘can do’ people who radiate positivity and energy, boosting our mood, creativity and collaboration. Conversely, there are others that are continually ‘hard work’, sapping energy, causing negative situations and being a ‘drain’ on progress.’

Public and third sectors

  • Abha Thakor: Coronavirus: What communicators need to know (4 March)
    ‘This post provides a list of links and resources relating to coronavirus. The information from the official sources can assist communications practitioners working in the local public sector and other fields.’
  • Lisa Potter: When public support goes wrong (2 March)
    ‘Managing a council social media account can feel like a thankless task. Dog poo, potholes and bins are like a never-ending cycle, broken up seasonally by gritting or sandbags depending on what the British winter decides to throw at you.’
  • Daniel Green: Campaign case study: Connected Kingston (1 March)
    ‘Advertising in the Facebook/Instagram main feed is really big for over 55’s, but if you want to get your message to a younger audience, stories are a great way of doing it.’

Brands, storytelling, content and influence

Internal communication

  • Katie Macaulay with Priya Bates: Courage, confidence and communication [podcast]
    ‘Everybody can claim to be a communicator, but not everyone can claim to be a communication professional. So let’s get out there and prove it. We need to get that critical mass of people embracing these certifications.’
  • Rachel Miller: How to use tech to communicate with employees during COVID-19 (3 March)
    ‘Conversations today appear to be focused on how to communicate, particularly how to use technology to bring people together when you have restricted travel or lots of people working remotely.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Holly Hodges: PR blogger spotlight with Ella Minty, Power & Influence (5 March)
    ‘The blog articles I loathe are those who invite you in (clickbait style) and bore you to death in the first five minutes with their services on the topic, how you can work with them, etc.’
  • Chris Lee: Podcasting: Lessons from 100 consecutive episodes (no date)
    ‘I just completed a series of 100 consecutive podcasts over three years for my ‘side hustle’, football history and culture blog, Outside Write, and I want to share some key learnings with you.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

We smashed a glass ceiling. So far this academic year, we’ve only featured one #prstudent blog post by a man. Now there are four. #blokescanblogtoo

  • Teela Clayton (Leeds Beckett): There’s a brown girl in the ring tra la la la la (5 March)
    ‘In the past two years, people have looked me in the eye and called me a nigger or a black bitch or a paki. I’ve retorted that actually if one is to define me then I prefer the label ‘Anglo-Indo-Caribbean’. And if that’s too much, just brown.’
  • Emma Rogers (Solent): Rest (5 March)
    Self-care is becoming a big deal in our society, which is great because we all need to focus time for just ourselves.’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Why people went ‘nuts’ at Snickers (4 March)
    ‘I mean, fair enough, it did get “consumer engagement”, but not in a good way. In true consumer-revenge fashion, people threatened to boycott Snickers for life because of the whole thing.’
  • Chantelle McKeever (Ulster): Is PR a Girls World? (4 March)
    ‘Can you imagine the uproar if this statistic was the other way around? The industry would be criticised for being sexist and would likely generate a lot of negative attention. So why are there so few males in PR?’
  • Chloe Light (Ulster): The Fears of Social Media (3 March)
    ‘We need to stop focusing on the what ifs and start focusing on the here and now, forget FOMO and remember JOMO (‘acronym for joy of missing out and describes the pleasure of taking a break from social activity- especially social media to enjoy personal time’).
  • Rory Drake (Sunderland): Why am I studying PR? (2 March)
    ‘The question ‘Why are you studying PR?’ is one I have been asked a lot since September, along with ‘What is PR?’ and ‘I thought you wanted to do sports journalism?’
  • Son Pham (Leeds Beckett): “Content”porary (2 March)
    ‘Thanks (but no, thanks?) to social media, we are exposed to constant deluge of information every day, from second to second.’
  • Daisy Dunn (Leeds Beckett): The Irresponsible Influencer? (28 February)
    ‘Unless you have been living under a rock you will be aware of the fact that we are experiencing a climate emergency and currently living in a world ridden with environmental issues, a lot of which are irreversible. Yet here we are, surrounded by a constant stream of influencers promoting cheap travel, fast food and fashion and to put it bluntly, an incredibly unhealthy relationship with mass consumerism.’
  • Joel Silva (Ulster): Admiring football and Messi (28 February)
    ‘He looked quite lazy, didn’t try to win possession and waited until his team-mate got the ball before passing it to him, and that’s when the magic started! Every touch was perfection, exactly how I had imagined and seen on TV.’