This week in PR (9 February)
About the author
Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.
News in brief
- The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled against Poundland’s naughty Elf Christmas campaign, but with no sanction other than a demand not to run the same campaign again.
- There are signs of global collaboration around a drive towards professional ethics (see this statement from Global Alliance).
- The Prime Minister has announced a government review into the future of newspapers. In separate news, Trinity Mirror has agreed to buy Richard Desmond’s Express and Star newspapers and OK! magazine.
- The PRCA and IABC have signed a cooperation agreement and will share activities across the Europe, Middle East and North Africa region.
- The CIPR has established an #AIinPR panel chaired by Stephen Waddington to explore the impact of artificial intelligence on business and public relations.
- The New York Times has published a feature-length review of events leading to the collapse of Bell Pottinger:‘How Bell Pottinger went bankrupt is a tale of corporate skulduggery that seems lifted from “House of Cards,” the P.R. edition.’
- Taylor Bennett Foundation is to run an internship programme in Scotland (its first outside London).
Our events listing is now on a separate page.
Thought leaders: Pick of the posts
- Andy West: The Year Ahead in Measurement (8 February)
‘I am bored of the AVE discussion and now refer to it “as the three letter acronym that shall not be named”.’
- Paul Sutton: What’s Really Meaningful About Your Brand? (8 February)
‘In 2018 being meaningful is about adding genuine value to people’s lives, not floating more crap down the Thames.’
- Ella Minty: Made in… Country Branding (7 February)
‘Why would anyone need to brand a country? The short answer is money, the long answer is credibility and geopolitics.’
- Alan VanderMolen: Creative: Fuel, Not Function (6 February)
‘Given the complexity of today’s PR environment, where we operate across sensitive and rapidly evolving media and social ecosystems, we need creative to be the glue for multi-platform and continuous engagement.’
- Scott Guthrie: Lil Miquela: Instagram’s first avatar influencer (no date)
‘Lil Miquela is a young Instagram Influencer. She models, has released a top 10 Spotify single and produced her own clothing range. She’s also computer generated.’
- Sarah Stimson: Women’s Suffrage and the movement’s influence on government policy (6 February)
‘In 1928 the passing of the Equal Franchise Act meant that women over the age of 21 could now vote, with no property restrictions, giving them the same voting rights as men for the first time in history.’
- Rich Leigh: Reading ‘Edelman and the Rise of Public Relations’ as the owner of a growing PR agency (6 February)
‘I feel like my agency, with its focus on a happy team doing great work with (and not for) happy clients has a lot more in common with Edelman than I might have initially expected.’
- Jenni Field: What is the state of the sector? (6 February)
‘There is an 11% drop on the point that leaders and the internal communications team agree on the role and purpose of internal communications.’
- Andy Barr: Is Instagram testing a bot follower cull on the UK Female Fitness Influencer sector? (6 February)
‘Right now the prices for working with UK based influencers is (relatively) far more expensive than working with influencers from other countries… a fake follower cull should address the pricing disparity.’
- Matt Silver: How Will Emerging Technologies Impact Public Relations? (6 February)
‘‘If the work that has traditionally been done by junior PR practitioners is going to be done by new systems and software, then how will they develop the skills and knowledge to become those trusted, strategic advisors that can command both the budgets and the respect the industry feels it deserves?’
- Amanda Coleman: A century old struggle (6 February)
‘As an ambitious young (ish) person I raised and few eyebrows if I challenged senior police officers who back then were usually men.’
- Rosie Park: Behavioural economics: top tips for communicators (5 January)
‘The Behavioural Insights Team website is a valuable resource for understanding how you frame, position and deliver your communications to nudge your audiences into a preferred behaviour.’
- Alex Malouf: Breaking Taboos – the issue of Sexual Discrimination in the Middle East’s Marcomms Industry (4 February)
‘For all the impact that the online social movement #MeToo has brought to much of the world, there’s been little public talk of the challenges that women in the Middle East face when it comes to sexual discrimination.’
- Kate Hartley: Influencers and the problem of fake followers (4 February)
‘We have an issue with ‘fake’ followers and bots: people buying hundreds of thousands of followers, likes or even shares for a few dollars.’
- Stephen Waddington: The case for plain language in spoken and written communication (4 February)
‘Outreach, reach out, reaching out and reaching in – all ill-advised unless you’re the Four Tops or your karaoke game is strong.’
Here’s a very useful resource for PR students and graduates:
- PR Careers: 2018: 150 PR internships and graduate schemes
And here’s our pick of this week’s posts by those studying public relations and/or aspiring to work in PR.
- Jessica Pardoe (Liverpool John Moores, 3): Staying sane in your Final Year of University (8 February)
‘You’ve heard the horror stories of dissertations, but really, it’s not so daunting as long as you start it early.’
- Alex Slaine (Ulster, 2): Oh Poundland (7 February)
‘With the image of the elf behind bars and their lack-lustre apology it is clear Poundland are stuck in their ways and are not willing to accept the ruling.’
- Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores, 3): #PlacementYear: Month Six (6 February)
‘I was sipping oysters and drinking champagne last week, but that’s beside the point. I’m still poor – it was oyster happy hour and yes that really is a thing.’
- Georgia McCalmont (Ulster, 4): #MeToo what is it and why should I care? (6 February)
‘Unlike many kinds of social-media activism, it isn’t a call to action or the beginning of a campaign, culminating in a series of protests and speeches and events.’
- Katya Hamilton-Smith (LCC/UAL, 1): Is a PR degree really worth it? (5 February)
‘I do see people that don’t really try at university and to be quite honest I don’t see the point in wasting 3 years at a university and tens of thousands of pounds to get a job that you may have just as easily got without your degree.’
- Tierna Garvin (Ulster, 4): Students: we have it all… Right? (3 February)
‘University is a scary place filled with people who are supposed to be ‘grown ups’. Well, I can tell you the majority of us here are far from grownups and many of us don’t even know how to ‘adult’ yet.’