This week in PR (8 April)

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

Energy policy

  • Scott Harker: Onshore wind: it’s time for the Government to hold its nerve (7 April)
    ‘Onshore wind in England is effectively prohibited by a requirement within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that requires that any objections to new wind farms from the local community have been addressed and that the proposals have the support of all. This effectively places a special burden on onshore wind.’
  • Andrew McQuillan: Energy Security Strategy: What Can We Expect? (no date)
    ‘Despite some enthusiastic briefing over recent weeks about a potential renaissance for onshore wind turbines – the bête noire of shire Tories – they seem likely to play a less prominent role based on the indications coming out from Government.’
  • Madeleine Arnold-Richards: Birthdays, dog sitting and the latest IPCC report (5 April)
    “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”
  • Emily Highmore-Talbot: Forget about the Bananas. It’s time to get some Grapes. (5 April)
    ‘Today, I think we can all take heart that the world has woken up to the fact that there is no silver bullet that will deliver an energy future that is as cheap or as secure as we would like, or as kind to our precious planet as it deserves. And that’s why I’m all about the grapes. Get Ready And Plan (for) Everything.’


Purpose and ESG

  • Eva Rana: Pressure points for NZAM signatories (7 April)
    ‘As stewards of a vast portion of global capital, members of the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAM) should have plenty of leverage – right? Yet, as the next round of interim disclosures approaches, the ‘path to net zero’ seems paved with awkward questions and dilemmas…’
  • Stephen Waddington: The role of public relations in addressing societal discord (6 April)
    ‘For every organisation such as Iceland or Patagonia that has embraced a broad vision of stakeholder capitalism rooted in society, there are countless that remain focused on the economic model of capitalism.’
  • Lucy Walton: Last Chance (no date)
    ‘The reduced environmental footprint was an unintended consequence at the time but our pandemic response ultimately delivered a 5.8% drop in CO2 emissions in 2020 compared with 2019. It proves what’s possible.’
  • Paul MacKenzie-Cummins: Pin your colours to the charity mast very very carefully (5 April)
    ‘If you wish to support a cause, then do so without placing conditions on that support. ‘If you give us $5 we will match-fund it for XYZ charity/appeal‘ works. But ‘If you pay us $5 as part of our new promotional drive, we’ll give $1 to XYZ cause/appeal‘ does not because it is opportunistic.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Tara Lee and Immy Keys: 1 brief, 11 slides, 24 hours- how we took on Young Lions PR challenge 2022 (7 April)
    ‘We’re both fresh(ish) out of uni and pretty early on in our PR careers so it was a huge learning experience, but one that we have valued so much since. Growth never comes from staying inside your comfort zone, this goes for creative ideas and personal development.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Stuart Thomson on the importance of building your personal reputation (4 April)
    ‘Reputations are, in their simplest form, what people think about you. In the workplace this is important when thinking about building a career, in the development of relationships with colleagues, or helping to build a practice and attract new work. So, your personal reputation is critical and needs to be invested in.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Zach Cutler with Sarah Brown-Fraser, Rachel Miller and Jarrod Williams: Accessible communications [podcast]
    ‘For me, good communications is inclusive is accessible. So actually, if we are going to really do honour to our trade, we have to make sure that we think more about our communications and who they reach and who they don’t reach.’
  • Aby Hawker: Steer Clear of Rainbow-washing or you WILL be called out (5 April)
    ‘We live in a time when companies are increasingly being held to account – and this is exactly as it should be. If you want all the benefits that come from being diverse and inclusive, specifically in relation to an LGBT+ audience, your support MUST come from a place of authenticity.’
  • Sudha Singh with Becky Cho: Cross cultural influences and leadership in PR [podcast] (5 April)
    ‘My mantra as a leader – or parent, same thing – is that we should make trouble. The type of trouble that leaves our kids better, that leaves the room we are in elevated.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere  

  • David Cohen: Why did Hungary’s united opposition fail? (no date)
    ‘Ever since [returning to government in 2010], he has been determined not to let power slip out of his hands again. During his second term, the leader of Fidesz began to use his leverage in parliament to reform the Hungarian Constitution. He has since halved the number of representatives in the National Assembly, changed the electoral process, curtailed thepower of Hungary’s constitutional courts, and replaced media and campaigning laws “to improve his chances of re-election”.’
  • Lizzy Cryar: Too many cooks? Navigating change in apprenticeships policy (7 April)
    ‘Sunak, inspired by the employer investment he saw while working in California, is keen to incentivise employer spending on upskilling their workforce, including through the introduction of tax credits and embedding more flexibility for employers in the system.’
  • Tom Bromwich: Two years of Keir – A bumpy road to gain new voters and win public trust (no date)
    ‘Starmer has a bumpy road ahead of him. He knows his party cannot risk another hard-left leader, evidenced by his attempt to change the rules on how leaders are elected last year, yet seems to be orchestrating a turnabout akin to New Labour’s in the mid-1990s, but with less charisma and a more methodical approach.’ 
  • Beth Park: Another Local Plan bites the dust (7 April)
    ‘The Chesham & Amersham by-election can again be seen as a turning point in the Government’s approach to planning reform, having been viewed as a major rejection of the Planning White Paper and a warning to the Conservatives about the vulnerability of seats in their traditional heartlands.’
  • Laura Griffiths: Privatising Channel 4 (5 April)
    ‘The battle for public ownership of Channel 4 has been contentious ever since it was first touted, and the Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries’ announcement that the government would push ahead with plans to sell the channel is no less controversial.’
  • James Surallie: Trade as a force for good: A spotlight on Labour’s international trade policy (5 April)
    ‘Labour is determined to ‘Make Brexit Work’, and repairing the UK’s relationship with the EU – as a close (historically and geographically) ally and the UK’s largest trading partner – would be a Labour government priority.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: The book that needed to be written (6 April)
    ‘There are so many things to take away from When the Dust Settles. For me the resilience of people and the fragility of life are brought home. The random nature of how things happen and how we need to do more to be ready to not just deal with disasters but to help people through them.’
  • Kate Hartley: The importance of community in a crisis (5 April)
    ‘When a crisis hits, people turn to their communities. Local groups thrived during the pandemic.’

Behaviour and influence

  • Paul Sutton with Max Dundas: Media, celebrities and the balance of power [podcast] (6 April)
    ‘The thing with celebrity PR is that everyone wants what they haven’t got: you’ve got people coming who are enormously famous and want less exposure and more protection around their private lives; and you have people who are not famous enough who want way more fame, more exposure; then you have digital-first influencers who want to be more mainstream, they want to be on the cover of Cosmo, they want to be on This Morning, they want to be in The Sun.’ 
  • Scott Guthrie: Influencers banned from fronting gambling ads to under-18s (5 April)
    ‘The new rules state that gambling and lottery ads must not: “be likely to be of strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture”.’

Internal communication

  • Brian Landau: Why your company’s first podcast should be internal (5  April)
    ‘When you launch a podcast for your first audience – your employees – you can encourage and facilitate feedback on the content through internal channels.’
  • Kate Isichei: What’s in a word? [podcast] (4 April)
    ‘The difficulty of using writing to communicate is the interpretation. How it reads to the author is not always necessarily the way others will understand it. I’m not a believer in relying 100% on writing to convey information and instruction.’

Media, digital and technology

  • Mark Borkwoski: Elon Musk x Twitter: For The Showman, A New Stage (7 April)
    ‘When it comes to communications Musk seems to thrive on unfiltered chaos, a style that would benefit from a Twitter with a more absolutist view on free speech and a less ‘curated’ algorithm, both of which Musk and his minions have previously pushed for.’

#prstudent #CreatorAwards22

  • Elena Niculescu (Solent): Another day, another shooting in the US (6 April)
    ‘Sacramento, California had a rough Sunday last week. Then Dallas, Texas saw a shooting a few days later. So how many more shooting should happen before gun ownership is restricted?’
  • Bethany Gough (Solent): My experience running a book launch (6 April)
    ‘The main method of drawing people to attend the book launch was targeted emails. Our email campaign was sent to over 80 people who the author, Wayne Palmer, knew or had worked with throughout his career.’
  • Mark Primakov (Leeds Beckett): University life in year one and year two – there’s a big difference! (6 April)
    ‘Being a second-year student means that it is expected that you know the basics of academic life, such as Harvard referencing, writing reports, essays, and much more. Also, the assignments require 4000 words, instead of 2000 words in the first year.’
  • Brooke Harrison (Leeds Beckett): Like It or Not, Y2K Fashion Is Here To Stay (5 April)
    ‘The fashion associated with this period was mocked for years, from low rise jeans to ugg boots, it’s a trend that some thought would never return.’
  • Ellie Jones (Liverpool John Moores): Study Business with Public Relations for a week! (3 April)
    ‘I am lucky in the sense that I love what I do because I just find the work challenging (which is a good thing: what doesn’t challenge you won’t change you). I like to see what I can accomplish and get better at.’
  • Sarah Cockett (Leeds Beckett): Celebrities and Charity: well-intentioned or free publicity? (1 April)
    ‘I’ve always found there to be a strange relationship between celebrities and charity. I completely understand the feeling of helplessness during humanitarian crises and the feeling of wanting to do something, anything to help. But the truth is, and perhaps this is a little cynical, but I’ve always found it to be a little vain.’