This week in PR (8 December)

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

Profession and ethics

  • Dan Holden: Reflections from the CIPR Horizon conference (6 December)
    ‘Listening to Katie King, Founder of AI in Business, shocked me at how fast Artificial Intelligence (AI) is developing. I frequently hear the phrase, ‘AI won’t replace you at work, but someone who knows AI will’ and I can see how this can be the case.’

Purpose, climate and ESG

SUSTAINABILITY COMMUNICATION DIPLOMA

  • Andrew Adie: COP28 Rest Day: The lull before the storm (7 December)
    Saudi Arabia has angered many by stating that it will not agree to any final text that calls for a phase-out of fossil fuels. Sultan Al Jabar (President of COP28) also stoked a furore by stating there is ‘no science’ behind calls to phase-out fossil fuels (although he later clarified his remarks to say he believed in a phase-down and phase-out of fossil fuels).’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Maja Pawinska Sims: ICCO World PR Report: ESG & AI Top Priorities For Comms Leaders (6 December)
    ESG is the area in which most communications investment is expected in 2024, while mastery of AI tools is the most important skill for the future, according to the new World PR Report 2023-2024 from the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO).’
  • Paul Holmes: 2023 Review: Top 10 Thought Leadership (6 December)
    ‘Research into the impact of AI and the backlash against ESG dominated the year’s thought leadership, but other studies looked at the capacity of business to solve societal problems and provided new insight into the African PR profession.’
  • Paul Sutton: My Business Very Nearly Cost Me My Home [podcast] (6 December)
    ‘This is the last Digital Dowload episode of the year so I thought I’d do something different and run that whole Socially Unacceptable podcast here.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIPLOMA

  • Harry Brown: Jenrick gives Sunak a nightmare before Christmas (7 December)
    It is not just the Prime Minister’s Rwanda plans that are facing criticism. Sunak’s wider leadership and struggle to unite a party already onto its third prime minister since 2019 is in jeopardy of unravelling into a factional war again.’
  • MHP Group: 30 To Watch: Politics awards – Gold winners revealed (7 December)
    Last night, 30 of the UK’s leading young politicos came together at One Birdcage Walk in Westminster for the 2023 MHP Group 30 To Watch Politics Awards, celebrating with Members of Parliament, Political Advisors and leading editors of 2023.’
  • Fabian Cooper: Low Northern Productivity is a Transport Problem (5 December)
    Public transport in the North is an old problem, and one that was emphasised by the scrapping of HS2, and replacing it with the hypothetical Network North. Northern Powerhouse Rail has been shouting about these issues for years.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Interview with Kirsty McHugh, Carers Trust [podcast] (5 December)
    ‘We’re a membership body, supporitng over a million people every year. If I have a specialism it is membership organisations, and parrticularly in the social sector.’

Brands, content, community and creativity

  • Cheryl Morris: PR fails and how to avoid them (6 December)
    When it comes to public relations always allow your marketing campaigns to be carefully analysed by several eyes before sharing it with your audience.’

Research, data, measurement and evaluation

  • Stuart Bruce: PRCA Measurement Conference questions answered by AI (1 December)
    I thought it might be interesting to see what ChatGPT’s answers to the same questions were. All of the answers below are exactly what ChatGPT Plus using GPT 4 generated and haven’t been edited at all.’

Crisis, risk and reputation

CRISIS COMMUNICATION DIPLOMA

  • Amanda Coleman: Ready for another year (6 December)
    There is a lot to think about in heading towards 2024 but I would ask you to remember that we never know when or where the next  issue, problem or crisis is going to hit. We just need to do our best to be ready for it.’

Internal communication 

INTERNAL COMMUNICATION DIPLOMA

  • Rachel Miller: Podcast: How to improve your IC channels (1 December)
    ‘Do you know the purpose of each of your internal communcation channels? We often have a whole list of channels: some of them may be owned by an IC team, others not. A channels matrix is a table showing why each channel exists among other information.’

Media, digital and technology

DIGITAL COMMUNICATION DIPLOMA

  • Ethan Mollick: An Opinionated Guide to Which AI to Use: ChatGPT Anniversary Edition (7 December)
    ‘If you are at all interested in generative AI and understanding what it can do and why it matters, you should just get access to OpenAI’s GPT-4 in as unadulterated and direct way as possible.’
  • Jed Backhouse: SEC Newgate AI Weekly (7 December)
    The most exciting announcement this week, for me, was that of Google’s Gemini. A step beyond the ‘experiment’ that Google Bard was labelled, which has advanced “reasoning capabilities” to “think more carefully” when answering hard questions.’
  • Ian Silvera: Web3 is back, again (7 December)
    The cryptoasset and blockchain industry has died a thousand times by now. The latest passing followed the FTX scandal, where, yet again, Web3 was pronounced unresponsive and without a pulse.  Behind-the-scenes there was another story to be told.’
  • Jon Clements: AI and public relations – focus on fundamental and mind yourself in wonderland (6 December)
    I think that both the communications profession and those it serves shouldn’t forget some communications fundamentals before falling down the rabbit hole into AI Wonderland.’
  • Focus Mode: The Impact of AI on Digital Marketing: a Deep Dive (no date)
    The intersection of AI and digital marketing began to take shape as marketers started to realise the potential of AI in understanding and predicting consumer behaviour. AI’s ability to analyse large datasets and identify patterns has been a game-changer in digital marketing.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Public relations braces for AI (2 December)
    The analysis considers relative exposure to AI rather than estimating absolute job impacts. Most jobs are likely to be aided rather than substituted by AI. The minority of roles at high risk of full automation tend to be administrative, content and customer service focused.

Academic, education and training

  •  Dr Philippa Hardman: Academic Integrity 2.0 (7 December)
    ‘If we embrace rather than monitor the use of AI in education, can we enhance (rather than erode) academic integrity? I think the answer is yes.’