This week in PR (8 May)

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.

Under wraps @dfergpr on Instagram
Under wraps @dfergpr on Instagram

News in brief

  • ‘The US government has been the least impressive in terms of its response to the pandemic, while the governments of New Zealand and Germany impressed the most’ according to a PRovoke survey among PR practitioners.

Academic, education and training

Covid-19 comms

  • Niki Tibble: Should you be blogging right now? (7 May)
    ‘While I think blogging is important for businesses at all times (and especially now), there are reasons why you don’t want to or shouldn’t blog.’
  • Ben Smith with Amanda Coleman: The UK government’s communications performance since Covid-19 crisis kicked off [podcast] (7 May)
    ‘You would hope that when a crisis hits you’d planned and prepared. But the scale and complexity of what they’re dealing with is massive.’
  • Danny Rogers: This crisis brings ethical purpose to a critical juncture, meaning tricky calls for bosses (7 May)
    ‘We finally arrive in the age of multi-stakeholder relations; where companies and leaders really must walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.’
  • Helen Deverell: Jacinda’s communication masterclass (5 May)
    ‘It shouldn’t really be a surprise that New Zealand’s Prime Minister is giving the world a masterclass in communication. She completed a degree in Communication Studies in Public Relations and Political Science, and she’s had to deal with a fair amount of crisis comms in her short tenure.’
  • Tim Johns: Zoom fatigue (5 May)
    ‘My view is that video calls are good for some types of meeting but not all. They’re good for debating specific issues amongst small groups, say up to ten. And, of course, they’re great for social huddles. But for everything else they can be suboptimal. For general meetings conference calls can be more effective. There are fewer distractions. One idea is to start the meeting with a video cameras on so that everyone can say hello, and then turn all cameras off.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Lockdown letter: Zoom fatigue, checking in with Maslow and future plans (2 May)
    ‘A lockdown book or new language may be a tall order but there is pleasure in art, cooking, craft and community.’

Purpose and professionalism

  • Laura Sutherland: Company culture – the glue that holds the organisation together (5 May)
    ‘One area PR professionals are called in to change culture, is when a new CEO takes over. The legacy the last CEO has left isn’t always a great thing and each CEO will want their own style of leadership to help inform the culture.’

Consulting, teams and careers

Public and third sectors

  • Dan Slee: COVID COMMS #10: This is what you need to know right now about recovery comms (8 May)
    ‘There is no map. Anyone expecting to be spoon-fed is in for a shock. But bright communicators can draw on some basic principles and make an absolute difference.’
  • Andrew Kirby: Homework: my values (3 May)
    ‘Defining your values is much harder than you’d think, and it takes much longer than you’d think. And it comes with problems. Once you’ve done this, once you’ve publicly professed what your values are… if you then monumentally break one of them, you’ll beat yourself up ‘til you find a way of making peace with it.’

Politics, public affairs and public sphere

  • Alison Clark-Dick: Celebrating VE Day (7 May)
    ‘Let’s celebrate VE Day, acknowledge the sacrifices so many made then by ensuring we continue to make sacrifices of our own now. This is an opportunity to bring the generations closer together – they did it for us, now let us do something for them.’

Risk, crisis and reputation

  • Amanda Coleman: Ready, get set… (6 May)
    ‘Recovery communication after a crisis leaves little room for error and there is no manual to tell you exactly what to do. It is why I have written a Recovery Communication Readiness Assessment guide that will hopefully give those working in business continuity, recovery, resilience, and communication some prompts about what they need to be considering at this difficult time.’
  • Sheena Thomson: Reading the small print (5 May)
    ‘With the Coronavirus pandemic, many businesses making a claim against their business interruption policy clause have had their claim declined, with any references to a pandemic virus defined as separate to contagion causing business interruption.’
  • Tom Opper: Reputation Success and Disasters in the age of COVID-19 (1 May)
    ‘Over the years, how a business treats its customers and staff has become an increasingly important aspect of their employer brand, corporate profile and company reputation amongst today’s ethically-conscious consumer base, and the public has been quick to make its voice heard on companies they feel have fallen short in this regard.’

Brands, storytelling, and influence

  • Scott Guthrie: Influencer marketing is dead. Long live influencer marketing. (1 May)
    ‘The media tend to treat the subject of influencers as one amorphous blob. A standardised, commoditised, one-size-fits-all entity. Celebrities, subject-matter experts, creators, reviewers, gamers, micro-influencers, nano influencers, bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers… all are clumped together; heaped into a single pile.’

Internal communication

  • Kevin Ruck: Listening helps wellbeing (5 May)
    ‘Recent research conducted with Mike Pounsford and Howard Krais has led to the development of a new ‘spectrum’ of listening practice which shows how organisations can enhance their listening strategies.’

Technology, media and digital

  • Orlagh Shanks: Is TikTok the New Instagram? (6 May)
    ‘What a time to gain popularity – at a time when people don’t have much to do in isolation. The TikTok app reached its 2 billionth download last week, making it the most downloaded app of 2020.’
  • Daniela Hamill: Artificial Intelligence in PR and the new wave of PR pros (no date)
    ‘As someone who is just starting out in PR, being told some of my current account executive roles will be automated or non-existent in the next half a decade wasn’t the nicest thing to hear. It did give me a ‘well why am I here?!’ moment.’
  • Will Hobson: Newsjacking- How this strategy drove authority and over 250 links for our client in 6 months (4 May)
    ‘Here’s how we landed over 250 links on the likes of The Guardian, Independent, CityAM, Mashable and more using newsjacking, and drove a 288% increase in organic traffic in just 6 months (and 92 links built during the COVID19 pandemic).’