This week in PR (6 October)

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.


It happened this week

  • The broad theme of this year’s CIPR International Maggie Nally lecture was human rights (the Chartered Institute of Public Relations shares a 75th anniversary with the UN Declaration on Human Rights), but speaker Melissa Fleming from the UN – recipient of the CIPR President’s Medal – was most preoccupied by our ‘toxic information ecosystem’ and the role of professional communicators in combating misinformation and disinformation. The United Nations is developing a Code of Conduct for information integrity on digital platforms, and is currently calling for feedback and suggestions.

Profession and ethics

Purpose, climate and ESG


  • Angus Hill: Resetting net zero: the implications for business? (2 October)
    Industry will be looking for reassurance from ministers over the coming days that the broad net zero agenda remains in place and for confidence on other policy measures.’
  • Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua: Setting daily goals to reach the SDGs October 2023 (2 October)
    ‘Interestingly, there are a number of days in October that remind us to work towards achieving the [United Nations Sustainable Development Goals] targets. I list them below.’

Consulting, skills and careers

Gender, diversity, health and wellbeing

  • Tani Fatuga: Navigating the world of PR as a young Black woman (5 October)
    ‘In my case, I applied to various roles with my first name, Tani, and did not hear back from potential employers. I decided to change tack – use my middle name, Abigail – and the interview invitations picked up.’

Public and third sectors

  • Darren Caveney: Nominate someone brilliant in the unawards23 (5 October)
    ‘There’s only one thing better than being shortlisted for an award – that’s being nominated by someone else for an award. It’s a special thing.  It means you’ve caught someone’s eye, demanded their attention or impressed them with your creativity, doggedness, enthusiasm or skills.’
  • Dan Slee: AI: Yes, you need to think about the big picture while mainstream tools are already here (2 October)
    How should public sector communicators use AI? The first question might be: “should public sector communicators use AI at all?” The short answer is “yes”. In a few years, asking this question may seem as ridiculous as asking whether we should use the internet.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere


  • Jamie Capp: Railing against the consensus – Conservative Party Conference and Transport (5 October)
    ‘Yesterday’s announcement is the latest attempt in transport policy from Sunak to create a wedge issue between the parties. Labour must decide if it will support the government’s plans or risk supporting a project widely recognised as poorly run at the expense of many alternative projects that the electorate may prefer.’
  • SEC Newgate team: Party Conference analysis – Are the Conservatives on the right track or can Labour steam ahead? (5 October)
    ‘The speech covered many other topics including immigration, the economy, gender and the NHS, but fundamentally was about positioning Sunak is the agent of change while being the incumbent.’
  • Connor Whittam and Georgia Reynolds: The National Policy Forum Report: A Labour of Love? (5 October)
    Following months of consultation and internal battles, the Labour Party will set out its most significant policy vision for Government in its National Policy Forum report at their party conference next week. Very few not directly involved with the Party understand the significance of the document and fewer know what its final report will mean for them, their businesses and organisations.’
  • Philip Rutnam: Sunak shatters consensus on HS2 and opens new questions on UK transport policy (5 October)
    In the last 14 years we’ve had four General Elections, six Prime Ministers and nine Transport Secretaries. We’ve also had consensus among the leaders of the big political parties that HS2 is a good thing and needs to happen…. Yesterday all that changed.’
  • MHP Group’s Public Affairs team: Political Insider: Conservative Party Conference (4 October)
    Conservative attempts to style the Prime Minister as a man with a long-term plan and master of the instance were undermined before conference even started by the series of leaks around the future of HS2.’

Crisis, risk and reputation


  • Amanda Coleman: So what happens next? (2 October)
    Recovery and particularly recovery communication is the Cinderella of the crisis response. It is rarely thought of and little understood.’

Internal communication 


Media, digital and technology


  • Stuart Bruce: AI journalism – are you ready? (5 October)
    An alarming aspect of the research is the number of journalists and news organisations that are using AI already but don’t have an AI strategy in place, or aren’t even in the process of creating one.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Brand Vandal ten years on (4 October)
    Brand Anarchy and Brand Vandals describe the moment in time when the internet disrupted corporate communications and public relations. We’re still figuring out the implications while trying to understand the upcoming wave of disruption created by artificial intelligence.’
  • Alex Myers: I like it. What is it? (3 October)
    Standing then, as we are, at the very edge of a tidal wave of technological advancement and adoption – I have found myself increasingly concerned with the approach of the Creative Industry to innovation.’
  • Shel Holz and Neville Hobson: FIR #357: A status report on AI and PR [podcast] (2 October)
    ‘I used to use the services of a copywriter; I don’t do that anymore; instead I use AI tools for a first draft. You need to know how to use these tools; if you cannot evolve what you offer you will be superseded by AI.’

Academic and education