This week in PR (7 February)

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.

London's central financial district (looking quite small) from the south Bank of the Thames, Monday morning. @tonylangham
London's central financial district (looking quite small) from the south Bank of the Thames, Monday morning. @tonylangham

News in brief

  • Former MP and one-time Home Secretary Amber Rudd has joined Teneo as a senior adviser. (via PR Week).
  • The Holmes Report has rebranded as PRovoke. Paul Holmes explains: ‘The PRovoke brand was an obvious choice. We started using it for the Global Public Relations Summit because people told us that it was so much more provocative than other conferences of its kind. We try to bring that kind of provocation to everything we do, producing content that challenges the conventional wisdom, that urges people to think deeper or differently about the issues facing our profession, that incites behavioural change, and that challenges our own people to ask the tough questions.’
  • Public relations software and services vendor Cision, until recently on its own acquisition spree, has itself been acquired for $2.7billion by Platinum Equity, and is now a privately-held business. (Via Cision)
  • Respected education journalist Richard Garner has died aged 69. Anne Nichols has written his obituary for the CIPR Education and Skills group.
  • Entries are open for PR Week’s 30 under 30

Public relations research

  • The top 14 public relations insights of 2019 from the US Institute for Public Relations (IPR) [pdf]
  • The PRCA and PRWeek have launched the 2020 PR Census. You can complete it here.
  • CIPR will soon publish findings around the lived experiences of BAME practitioners in public relations. The research – due in March – finds that the main challenge in addressing the lack of diversity in the profession is not in attracting diverse talent, but in retaining that talent.

Purpose and professionalism

  • Karan Chadda: The environment is tricky ground for companies (6 February)
    The difficulty for businesses is that the right thing to do is not clear. There are obvious things like installing motion sensing lights in offices, removing disposable plastic cups and cutlery, etc. At the other end of the scale, grand commitments are also relatively easy. Executives who commit to being carbon neutral or even carbon negative in 10 years’ time, can do so comfortable in the knowledge that they probably won’t be around.’
  • John Brown: Thoughts from the PRCA B Corp launch (no date)
    ‘Jess Ballinger was disarmingly honest about the ups and downs of B Corp certification. She outlined that yes, B Corp gets you asking lots of great questions about the impact you have. But, coming up with the answers and the solutions to improve, measure and improve again are time-consuming dedicated tasks that shouldn’t be taken lightly.’

Consulting and careers

  • Rich Leigh: PR in a car Episode 6 – Building a team [podcast] (5 February)
    ‘I’ve made some great recruitment choices, and I’ve made some missteps; the recruitment process is a difficult one. If you’re a good fit but low skilled I can always teach you. If I’ve got happy people, they’ll do good work.’
  • Ben Smith: Mitch Kaye, co-founder and CEO of The Academy, on the PRmoment podcast (4 February)
    ‘Dad is the greatest manager of people, ever. Mum is the greatest salesperson, ever. If you take the best of them and put it into the job I do now, it’s a pretty good start.’
  • Andy M Turner: Are you ready for April’s IR35 tax change? (4 February)
    ‘Only firms with 50-plus employees or turnover exceeding £10.2m are bound by the IR35 extension. Note, though, that this also includes client companies based outside the UK. If you work for PR agencies, all but the largest will be outside IR35.’
  • Lisa Fleming: Top three takeaways from first month of self employment (4 February)
    ‘I’m an introvert. I enjoy my own company and much preferred working in a small office than a large, open plan workspace. But I didn’t bank on feeling so lonely at times. I didn’t value the energy you get from the inane chatter of a busy office. I miss it.’
  • Alex Malouf: A Work-In-Progress – What the first capabilities study says about PR in the UAE (and your role too) (1 February)
    ‘At the top by a mile is reputation, which makes a good deal of sense given we’re reputation builders. However, what I’m not showing here is what’s at the bottom. Among that group is ethics.’
  • Nigel Sarbutts: IR35 – An opportunity for clarity (31 January)
    April sees the introduction of IR35 rule changes which affect the tax and employment position of thousands of freelancers with private sector clients.’

Public and third sectors

Politics and public affairs

  • Bieneosa Ebite and Paul Nezandonyi: PR Bants: In Conversation with Steve Reed MP [podcast] (3 February)
    ‘This result in December was the worst result for the Labour Party in 85 years. [Jeremy] Corbyn was an extremely unpopular politician with the voting public – and we’ve known that for a long time. I’m backing Keir Starmer as he has very significant leadership experience from outside parliament to bring to the role of leader of the opposition.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

Campaigns and creativity

  • Joanna Timmermann: The Super Bowl ads: What makes creative ideas resonate? (6 February)
    ‘What can we learn from the ‘hurrah’ that is Super Bowl marketing, from the perspective of a more sceptical UK market? What makes good creative great, and how can we apply this across other marketing communications disciplines?’
  • Jessica Pardoe: Creative campaigns #2 – The Sign You’ve Been Waiting For? (3 February)
    ‘The stunt has made its way not only into the national newspapers, but also to TV channels both here and in America – including BBC Breakfast and Good Morning Britain.’

Brands, storytelling, content and influence

  • Claire Southeard: A decade of content (no date)
    ‘We have seen brands evolve into publishers, taking up the mantle for producing editorial, intelligent, entertaining content that enables a direct relationship with their audiences.’

Measurement and evaluation

  • Advita Patel: Three top tips to help you bring measurement into your everyday practice (no date)
    ‘I didn’t want to be a ‘busy fool’. It was important to me to prove my value and more importantly prove that internal communication can influence the numbers that matter to the Board. To give you a kick-start, here are my top three tips on how to embrace measurement and how to make it work for you.’
  • Laura Joint: 8 Judges Share Their Secrets This PR Awards Season (31 January)
    ‘‘As an occasional judge, I read backwards from measurement. So, perhaps try writing an entry the same way. Clear results that support the strategy really matter.’

Internal communication

  • Katie Macaulay with Chuck Gose: The cheerleader for IC [podcast] (5 February)
    ‘I hope that communicators get the hell out of the way. As communicators we should be facilitating conversations, empowering others to communicate, not just be the people who push the buttons and take the orders. You can be the trusted adviser by advising.’
  • Martin Flegg: Comms it up (3 February)
    ‘Can you just comms this up?’ The words stabbed at my communicator’s soul like knives, as they dropped carelessly from the stakeholder’s lips.’
  • Wedge Black: Content design for internal communicators and the intranet (3 February)
    ‘Content design is an evidence-based approach to creating content to give the audience what they need in a way they expect and can use. It’s about discovering and defining needs and meeting those needs through the presentation of content.
  • Rachel Miller: These are the skills you need to be an IC practitioner (31 January)
    Today the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) has launched its updated profession map following an eight-month consultative review with a broad range of practitioners on a newly established professional development advisory board.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Shauna Madden: The splendour of social media (6 February)
    ‘When the bushfires started to ravage Australia, and the videos and images from those on the ground started to show the devastating effects of the fire, social media users sprung into action. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram mobilised to raise awareness, and push people towards donating to the charities and causes who were best placed to help.’
  • Ste Davies: Five macro social media trends on the horizon [podcast] (no date)
    ‘People have had their issues with Facebook and Google/YouTube, so more competition is a good thing. Privacy is going to be a big topic in the next five years.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Hannah Chambers (Ulster): The Real Winner of the Superbowl was Sabra’s Advertising Campaign (6 February)
    ‘The best thing about the ad was the combination of internet culture with pop culture giving it legs on both social media and on TV. The ad brought influencers off the internet and onto our big screens, showing breakout TikTok stars Charli D’amelio and Brittany Tomlinson aka Kombucha Girl. As well as Doug the Pug, a popular online canine influencer (yes you read that right).’
  • Abi Kitcher (Solent): Professional Practice… take time for yourself (6 February)
    ‘As a student, describing yourself as a ‘professional’ seems really odd doesn’t it? But in the PR industry where you’re networking, keeping your social media profiles professional (or just private!!) you do have to think about your reputation and your image that you want the world to see.’
  • Emma Rogers (Solent): Expanding the ASA guidelines to TikTok (6 February)
    ‘TikTok is an emerging platform, gaining popularity worldwide. But in order to maintain a high level of transparency, the ASA guidelines need to be used within videos made by influencers.’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Ryanair offers lies to consumers – at no extra charge (5 February)
    ‘That’s the thing with Greenwashing. It doesn’t matter if the ad’s banned or changed, people will just think that the replacement ads are the latest ad campaign. Some people will always remember the claims that were made.’
  • Emma Street (Lincoln): PR moments of the Last Decade (4 February)
    ‘#MeToo: It was such a huge PR moment when this widespread movement caused new concerns for organisations to address and to actively look at how we should conduct ourselves around allegations.’
  • Teela Clayton (Leeds Beckett): I have a dream (4 February)
    ‘Will a first/distinction in my MA be enough to get a good job or will I need work experience? Will people approach me on *LinkedIn like when I was a teacher, or do I approach them? Do I need a fancy website and business cards?’
  • Niamh Mac Manus (Ulster): Instagram Vs Reality (3 February)
    ‘Instagram is like our ‘life highlight reel’, our social media persona and I’ve learnt not to compare myself to other people.’
  • Emer O’Neill (Ulster): Does WIFI connect us? (31 January)
    ‘One major lesson I have learned over the past few weeks is how fun it can be to cook a meal with your friends and sit down to enjoy it while having an actual face to face conversation.’