This week in PR (16 November)

Ketchum, Bankside, Matt Silver
Magnificent London skies this morning - view from my desk @mattsilverpr

News in brief

  • This is one of those weeks that demonstrates the true breadth of public relations. While half of us have been talking about Christmas ad campaigns, the other half have been updating our Brexit briefings.
  • ‘There is a need and a desire for collaboration and consolidation of membership bodies. There are quite simply too many small tents. There needs to be one big one.’ Francis Ingham speaking at the start of the PRCA Awards.
  • CIPR State of the Profession Survey 2018/2019 is open (membership not required).
  • Omnicom has launched a cross-agency AI consultancy - The AI Impact Group (Holmes Report)
  • The Behavioural Insights Team (once known as the ‘nudge unit’ within government) is now a £14 million business (The Guardian)
  • The Guardian claims more than one million subscribers and expects to stop making losses this year.
  • Two #bestPRblogs stalwarts - Orlagh Shanks and Jessica Pardoe - have been shortlisted for the UK blog awards 2019 in the PR, Marketing & Communications category
  • Advita Patel and Alison Tobin have been awarded fellowships of the CIPR
  • The CIPR has published an obituary of David Roscoe FCIPR, former director of public relations for Rolls-Royce and Vickers.

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 editor@prplace.com or @pr_place

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Mike Carhart-HarrisReset: A reflection (not a review) (15 November)
    'Until reassessing recently, I considered myself an under-achiever. I compared myself unfavourably to others the same age or younger who’d become more senior, with impressive job titles and salaries. I love what I do, feel I’m still learning and am yet to reach my peak.'
  • Ella Minty: Brilliance vs mediocrity - are you too smart to be hired? (15 November)
    ‘The hardest time right now for anyone looking for a job, especially for those who are looking for roles in Comms and PR, is for those who know too much or can do too much.’
  • Marcel Klebba: On priorities. Beyond to-do lists (11 November)
    ‘As a starting point of looking for my WHY, I often consider the final results. I want all my projects to be worthwhile. I want those around me to benefit from them. If it’s blogging, I always want to share what might be helpful for others.’

Ethics and professionalism

  • Alex MaloufJamal’s Legacy – What PR Must Learn & Do Differently (16 November)
    'What has happened to Jamal [Khashoggi] is a tragedy. In the light of his death, I hope that we can all learn to become a more responsible industry. That’s the legacy we owe to him.'
  • Stephen Waddington: Proud of public relations (15 November)
    'If you’re not able to speak up for your profession, maybe it’s time to find something else to do.'
  • Sarah Hall: Celebrating #CIPR70 With The CIPR's Greatest Asset - Its Volunteers (14 November)
    ‘What a very special evening this is; marking 70 years of the CIPR with the volunteers who keep it relevant, forward-looking and a wonderful community to be part of. As well as celebrating our 70 at 70, tonight we also mark the launch of Platinum, authored by many of you here, under the capable eye of editor Stephen Waddington.’

Politics and public affairs

  • Rob Luke: A 52% sort of Brexit (15 November)
    ‘It’s a 52%, neither one thing nor the other sort of Brexit and so it’s unsurprising that it’s a prospect which leaves everyone underwhelmed. Leave or Remain, we had something different in mind. Something more definitive, more compelling.’
  • Stuart Thomson: Let’s face it, public affairs issues can be dull. So what should you do? (12 November)
    ‘Many sectors by their very nature can be technical – sciences, healthcare, financial services – but they can also be their own worst enemies in the use of terminology.’
  • Peter Bingle: In defence of lobbying... (no date)
    ‘Although the word ‘lobbying’ is often used to describe our industry, the reality is that our clients are the lobbyists and we are their strategic advisers. We identify the key players. We hone the arguments. We advise on timing and place. We hold their hands and gain their trust.’

Public and third sectors

Gender and diversity

  • Sarah Stimson: Platinum: The CIPR Turns 70 (15 November)
    ‘Academic, Liz Bridgen, focuses on whether efforts to address diversity in the PR industry are having an impact, and in particular focused on the work of the Taylor Bennett Foundation though a number of interviews with alumni.’
  • Paul Sutton with Sara Hawthorn: How to tackle the diversity issue [podcast] (14 November)
    ‘Diversity has become a tick-box exercise without people understanding that means building an inclusive culture.’
  • Jennifer Sanchis with Nadin Vernon: On female leadership: “I am a firm believer in mentorships” (no date)
    ‘Be curious, always continue to learn, work hard, have the courage to speak up and confidence in your ability. Get out of your comfort zone, be present, and if you see opportunities, don’t be afraid to just ask. Remember, opportunity only dances with those already on the dance floor!’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Maja Pawinska SimsIceland: Worthy Cause Or Cynical Stunt? (13 November)
    ‘It doesn’t really matter whether we think submitting an ad that would inevitably be rejected was a cool, calculated move, or a brand being naïvely true to its values, with a leadership committed to sustainable business practice and maybe even changing the world.’

Measurement and evaluation

  • Chip Griffin with Johna Burke: CWC 24: Johna Burke of AMEC [podcast] (13 November)
    ‘Even for those of us who have been in the industry for many years, it’s great to hear the conversations around objectives and outcomes.’

Technology and AI

  • Dan Gerrella: Using AI to personalise communication (13 November)
    ‘Companies often underestimate the amount of time it takes to introduce change. This is not a simple software rollout but a change to process. It will redefine how people manage and use data.’
  • CIPR International: Ethical issues in artificial intelligence [podcast] (12 November)
    'The PR industry is generally a lot better at dealing with tools than it gives itself credit for... The vast majority of PRs are using some kind of AI.'
  • Hannah Claffley: Artificial Intelligence in PR: a partnership, not a battlefield (9 November)
    ‘AI is steadily automating the administrative roles historically carried out by junior professionals. Just as the practice of measuring column inches has eroded over time, so too does the collation of media coverage.’
  • Darryl Sparey: Two sides of the tech coin at Web Summit (9 November)
    ‘Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister, talked a number of times at the event, and he proposed the idea of specific regulation and a dedicated regulator in the UK, and potentiality Europe.’

Internal communication

Community management

  • Michael Ambjorn: Timeless advice for online communities in the age of algorithms (14 November)
    ‘The author’s key argument is that “Indispensable communities—the kind both organizations and their members would struggle to live without—don’t just appear through serendipitous luck. They are cultivated through a deliberate set of choices, a big vision, and a huge amount of persistence”.’
  • Richard Millington: “But My Company is Boring” (12 November)
    ‘The people who advocate, answer thousands of questions, and publish fresh content every month, aren’t usually doing it because of how they feel about the product, they’re doing it because of how the community makes them feel about themselves.’

Media and digital

  • Andrew Sheen: Your content is garbage. This is why. (14 November)
    'Original content is hard to do. It’s tough to come up with original, compelling ideas and then give someone the time to execute them correctly. But if you’re serious about content, then it’s what you have to do. Think editorially.'
  • Kieran Moriarty: The (streaming) revolution will not be televised (15 November)
    'While older generations are still happy to sit down at 9pm to watch the latest crime drama, millennials, Gen Z and younger, are increasingly abandoning traditional broadcast television in favour of online streaming platforms.'
  • Chris Norton: The Death of Google+ and what it means for us all in 2019 (14 November)
    ‘Last month, Google announced it would be closing down Google+ to consumers in August 2019 and concentrating purely on business users. But what do these changes mean for us in PR and marketing?’

#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). January: Your reflections on health (mental, physical and/or financial).

  • Lucy Hayball (Bournemouth): Building your own community and stepping out of your comfort zone (15 November)
    'My blog has taught me a number of lessons over the year but the importance of a community and your networks is a big one. It’s a proven fact it works. I’ve seen the benefits of my own community from job and internship offers to just learning and keeping my mind open.'
  • Holly Rees (South Wales): Orangu-Banned (15 November)
    ‘Frozen food company Iceland have caused a stir by taking such a strong political stand that their Christmas advert has been banned from television entirely.’
  • Yana Miladinova (Bournemouth): 10 Questions with Iliyana Stareva (15 November)
    ‘PR often seems stuck with old norms, rules and ways of doing the work. PR missed the mark with owning social media and still seems to be struggling with the adoption of all digital.’
  • Andrea Price (South Wales): What is Populism? (14 November)
    ‘The prominence of leaders such as Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Norbet Hoffer and Nigel Farage within many democracies in Western Societies is believed to have disrupted the political status quo.’
  • Heiða Ingimarsdóttir (Leeds): Blogging: Investment? Diversion? Maybe both (14 November)
    ‘With these few actions I have had more reactions to my blog than I would have imagined. For an established blogger my numbers are far from impressive but for someone that started with no one knowing who I was and thinking I would be talking to myself I am quite impressed with myself!’
  • Catherine Maguire (Ulster): Under the influence (12 November)
    ‘In a recent report, 72% of millennials admitted to buying their fashion and beauty products based on the instagram posts of their favourite influencers… Why does a generation who claim to have so many trust issues have so much trust in the people they view on social media?’
  • Niamh Murray (Ulster): Confessions of a placement student (11 November)
    ‘Don’t put too much pressure on yourself; you’re not expected to crack the code and master all aspects of your job within the first few months, let alone weeks. Don’t compare yourself  to the other people in your office who have been doing the job for years.’
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): #FridayFive: Five PR Blogs You Should Read (9 November)
    ‘So, in light of Reading Week, here are five PR blogs that I love to read and hope you will too.’
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About the author

Richard Bailey

Richard Bailey is editor of PR Place. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.


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