This week in PR (8 January)

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.

Yes, it’s hard to beat the North York Moors - at any time of year
@TFaneS on Twitter
Yes, it’s hard to beat the North York Moors - at any time of year @TFaneS on Twitter

News in brief

  • Allegra Stratton’s on-camera media briefings as the prime minister’s press spokesperson begin next week. In a profile in The Sunday Times (3 January), John Arlidge quotes the boss of one large consultancy suggesting that if she lasts two or three years she will have her pick of advisory roles. “Any firm would be thrilled to have her. She could ask for a £400,000 starting salary and get it.”
  • New Year Honours: Keith Weed (formerly chief marketing and communications officer, Unilever) CBE; Adeela Warley (chief executive CharityComms) OBE; Joan Edwards (Director of Public Affairs and Living Seas, Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts) OBE; Damian Staples (Communications Officer, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust) BEM.

Reflections and predictions

Covid-19 and comms

  • Alex Malouf: Communicators are essential to ending the pandemic (3 January)
    ‘Given the fatigue after what we’ve gone through and the reluctance, even skepticism, about vaccinations among the public, it’s time for the communications industry to support and even lead awareness campaigns.’

Ethics and professionalism

Financial and corporate

  • Gareth Jones: 2021: A new post-Brexit era for the City (5 January)
    ’The UK and EU have now agreed to discuss cooperation regarding financial services on a separate basis from the trade deal, with the aim of achieving an agreement via a memorandum of understanding (MOU) by March.’
  • Nick Barron: Earning trust is simpler than you think (4 January)
    ‘Overcommunicating can be counterproductive. By contrast, The Queen speaks rarely and is more trusted as a result.’
  • Elisabeth Steyn: Building Back Better: ESG Themes in 2021 (4 January)
    ‘ESG issues have been on the radar of investors for over a decade now. When it comes to communicating their positions, however, companies have historically been a step behind. That’s about to change.’

Consulting, teams and careers

  • Jennifer Robson: Concentrating on concentration (7 January)
    ‘Here are my tips on staying focused when you must concentrate, despite the drama of the outside world.’
  • Jude Tipper: 10 top tips for nailing job interviews (7 January)
    ‘Interviews are as much about you finding out if you want the job as it is the interviewer finding out if they want you. We all know two-way comms is the way to go, so it may calm you to approach interviews in the same way. It’s just a conversation.’

Wellbeing, gender and diversity

  • Racheal Johnson: Walk your way into 2021 (7 January)
    ‘If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution you’ll actually stick to, commit to walking every day. Here are my top tips for getting the most out of your daily walk.’

Public sector comms

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

Campaigns and creativity 

  • Nicci Mills: Idea validation: How to murder your darlings (7 January)
    ‘The best digital PR campaigns come from ideas that have been prodded and poked, turned inside out and torn apart before being taken forward. That’s where idea validation comes in.’
  • Jessica Pardoe: Best PR Campaigns From 2020 (6 January)
    ‘I’m always impressed by the innovation and originality of the PR industry, and the resilience we have even during tough periods. There was some great work to come out of the last year, all things considered, and here’s my top picks.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence 

  • Orlagh Shanks: Are Influencers Above The Law? (4 January)
    ‘Influencers should already be aware that everything is caught on camera in today’s world. Everything. Even when you think you’re having an intimate gathering of ten people, once that goes online, there’s no stopping who’s going to see it and who’s going to recognise the people in it.’

Planning, measurement and evaluation

Internal communication

  • Katie Marlow: Employee engagement and internal communication are not the same thing (6 January)
    ‘It’s clear that internal communication has a key role to play in employee engagement, but alone it is not enough to engage employees. Employee engagement goes beyond communication to encompass the very essence of the organisation and how work is done.’
  • Jenni Field: Why being more specific in 2021 is essential for organisations (5 January)
    ‘Listening was the number one trend people mentioned. It is easy to say. But with listening must come action and all of that requires a change in how we do things today. We also need to get specific about wellness and community.
  • Liam FitzPatrick: Deeds not words (1 January)
    ‘Sadly, I keep seeing campaigns win awards because they look nice. I see material produced by designers that are innovative and arresting but probably don’t actually change very much. I hear writing treated as the most valuable output from communications regardless of whether it makes any difference.’
  • Tim Vaughan: The best of the best Poppulo blogs in 2020 (1 January)
    ‘When I started writing ‘Employee communications and the Coronavirus – What you need to know’ in early February, how little did I really know about the extent of the devastation that was coming down the tracks within a matter of weeks.’

Technology, media and digital

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