This week in PR (9 November)

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.

Morning @itsjamesherring
Morning @itsjamesherring

News in brief

  • Marking its 70th anniversary, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR’s) 70 at 70 list celebrates those who have made a significant contribution to the institute and to the industry. Unlike some other lists, this one includes academics as well as practitioners, the young(ish) and the old(er).
  • Jim Donaldson, CEO of FleishmanHillard Fishburn, is the new PRCA Chairman serving to 2020.
  • AMEC is making videos available of its past measurement summits (from Lisbon 2011 to Barcelona 2018). This is AMEC Measurement Month, and you can follow activity and #amecmm conversations on this Twitter dashboard.
  • Rich Leigh’s Radioactive PR continues to gain recognition for its four day working week – most recently in The Guardian and on the BBC’s The One Show.
  • Persimmon’s chief executive Jeff Fairburn has been asked to resign by a board concerned about the reputational damage caused by his bonus and by his refusal to defend it when interviewed on camera. It looks like the firm’s statement on this was prepared by lawyers and accountants, with no input from PR or corporate comms.


  • Conference notice and call for papers. ECREA Crisis Communication Section: 6th International Crisis Communication Conference is being held in Leeds, 3-5 October 2019. Deadline for submissions, 1 March 2019.
  • Dr Katharina Wolf of Curtin University has been named as educator of the year at the Public Relations Society of Australia awards.

Insights and opinions: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week (UK focused, but with a global outlook). Recommendations are welcome to [email protected] or @pr_place

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Arianne Smart: What do people see when they Google you? (8 November)
    ‘If you want to create a strong personal brand and reputation in the digital marketing sphere, for example, you need to have a genuine interest in the industry news and trends. You need to want to share your opinions and advice.’
  • Ella Minty: Pragmatism in Public Relations (8 November)
    ‘Your relevance and career as a PR practitioner will mainly be dependent on your ability to advise and influence, pre-empt and protect, analyse and strategize, deliver on mid to long-term outcomes and against tight KPIs and, most of all, on your professional competence.’
  • Jade Beddington: What should be included in a good brief for PR agencies? (7 November)
    ‘If a brief isn’t clear or well-written then it can slow up the agency recruitment process, as agencies might need lots of clarification and questions answered. Or worse, it can compromise the quality and relevance of agency responses.’
  • David Gallagher: Re-examining The Public Sphere (6 November)
    ‘Recent attention to fake news, social media hacking and data privacy invites a re-examination of the “public sphere,” an idea studied by German philosopher Jurgen Habermas to describe the virtual space in which individuals and authorities can discuss matters of “public” interest.’
  • Stephen Davies: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi book review (5 November)
    ‘The book is actually not about networking (a term Ferrazzi doesn’t like or use) but rather it’s a strategy to help you establish long-term healthy business relationships.’
  • Sarah Stimson: Be kind, nothing else matters. (2 November)
    ‘I have learned many, many things from our graduate alumni over the years, but the gift of kindness is a precious thing indeed. If you can be kind, nothing else really matters.’

Ethics and professionalism

Politics and public affairs

  • Paul Simpson: Resist! (7 November)
    ‘My own personal motivation was having to surrender my driving licence a few years ago due to my neurological condition, I discovered just how woeful public transport has become.’

Public and third sectors

Gender and diversity

  • Claire Mason: How Women in PR can help close the Gender Say Gap (no date)
    ‘For the last decade women have outnumbered men in high status professions. But we are missing. And this really matters. Because women can’t be what we can’t see.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Gary Taylor: All a-Goggle(box) (8 November)
    ‘Every communications activity should refer back to the strategy. Without a strategy (or mission) to guide you, what is it that you’re doing? And could what you do be detrimental to the mission (or brand)?’
  • Dani Kerby: CommsCon 2018: Is traditional PR held back by a lack of originality? (6 November)
    ‘At this week’s CommsCon 2018, a panel of four PR powerhouses from a range of different organisations took to the stage to talk all things storytelling, creativity and also to show of some great examples of creative work from their teams.’

Brands and influence

Crisis and reputation

  • Dan Gerrella: Communicating when it all goes wrong (6 November)
    ‘In a crisis, one of the first recommendations is that organisations cancel scheduled social posts and updates. Websites should be streamlined so that users can go straight to the information they need.’

Technology and AI

Internal communication

  • Caitlin Kirwan: Why internal comms should focus on building a culture of recognition (no date)
    ‘Our function is about so much more than just communicating – it’s about inspiring, informing and most importantly engaging employees.’
  • Stephen Welch: Are you a soap dispenser? (6 November)
    ‘The corporate soap dispenser is a reliable, conscientious, diligent, trustworthy member of the team. He or she will always deliver exactly what is expected, and execute flawlessly every time. Every organization needs a few of these.’
  • Rachel Miller: The truth about internal communicators (5 November)
    ‘Being ‘always-on’ and visible puts enormous pressure on IC pros. Everything we do is scrutinised and debated, particularly when working in-house. From the wording in campaigns, to a choice of photograph, everything is up for discussion.’

Media and digital

  • Roger Darashah: Velocity is the new veracity (9 November)
    ‘However, if the idea of ‘fake news’ terrifies brand marketing managers, PR professionals will be less alarmed; we have always dealt in the realm of opinion, inference, nuance and ambiguity.’
  • Delia Goldsby: PR’s slice of digital pie grows says new research (8 November)
    ‘There’s been much hype surrounding the power of ‘influencer marketing’ in the last couple of years. However, we’re not surprised it is starting to level out. There’s now a more mature, measured and informed view on approaches to this branch of digital PR.’
  • Paul Sutton with Andy Barr: Link building for communications professionals (7 November)
    ‘SEO pitches for authority link building campaigns are crazy expensive – but does this mean we in PR are undervaluing our services?’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

Editor’s note: There are more posts to consider than I can include here. So I’m issuing monthly challenges to help me select. November: For AMEC Measurement Month (#amecmm) I’m keen to read your thoughts on the ROI of blogging and social media. December: I’m looking for book reviews (you choose the book).

  • Rachel Clarke (Leeds Beckett): Vlog: PR’s value to the vegan movement (8 November)
    ‘Influencers are able to convert veganism into a marketable and therefore much more consumable set of ideas and practices. Celebrity endorsement is a significant part of the influencer sphere.’
  • Yana Miladinova (Bournemouth): 10 Questions With Joanna Drabent (8 November)
    ‘PR pros focus more on finding solutions for external problems – that is, communication-related challenges of firms for which they work – rather than the problems they’re dealing with within the structures of their agencies or departments.’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): The Exclusivity of “Inclusive Fashion’ (8 November)
    ‘If the average woman in Ireland, the UK, America, and most countries is around 5 ft 4, why are nearly all clothes made to suit people who are over 5 ft 6? And why are the models always 5 ft 7 – 5 ft 10?’
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): Is Blogging Worth the Time Invested? (7 November)
    ‘Is this blog worth all of my time? I’m still unsure. I’ve reaped the amazing benefits and made so many connections, but will it stand to me in the long-term? Who knows?’
  • Kevin Doonan (Ulster): Grieving and Staying on Course (7 November)
    ‘From diagnosis to the day my mum died, 29 days, that was all the time we were permitted. When you lose your mum, it comes with a dreadful feeling of isolation.’
  • Heiða Ingimarsdóttir (Leeds): The Storyteller (7 November)
    ‘It wasn’t until I was 13 that I realised I could write my own poems. That one didn’t need to be William Shakespeare to write poems. It helped when I got a teacher that challenged the rules and form of poems. Told us to break them.’
  • Elian Owen (South Wales): Kentucky Fried Creativity (5 November)
    ‘In order to get the word out [about their new fries] KFC started promoting tweets that criticised their fries. Sounds like madness doesn’t it?’
  • Tariq Hendrix (Leeds Beckett): The destruction & rebirth of my social media persona (6 November)
    ‘Today is the day… I’m officially starting my journey but, before that I need to delete my embarrassingly funny social media accounts.’
  • Esme Wilson (Birmingham City): Communicating for one of the biggest companies in the world – Facebook (5 November)
    As a public relations student, it was a great opportunity to think about how companies like Facebook manage reputation issues and create their strategies.’
  • Lauren Thomas (South Wales): EE – Everything Everywhere or Excellent Employers (4 November)
    ‘EE take internal communications seriously. When I started in the company one of the first things I was introduced to was ‘Splash’. It’s our own bespoke internal social network. Splash brings together the best of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.’
  • Sarah Louhichi (Westminster): Digital PR and Communications Report 2018 Launch (4 November)
    ‘Brands rely on social media to drive awareness (83%), reach a wider audience (65%) and increase brand awareness (64%). However, lack of budget (30%), staff (49%) and time (45%) are the biggest reasons for not putting effort into social media engagement.’
  • Lottie Wiltshire (South Wales): Think big, write small (3 November)
    ‘Incredibly, [blogging’s] actually around 20 years old and was the start of social media.’